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The Daly Peak

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Jun 25

Making Green Events the Rule, Not the Exception

Posted on June 25, 2014 at 2:24 PM by Kelly Vaughn

Earlier this month, the Ragnar Trail Relay came to town bringing hundreds of athletes who ran all day and night on scenic Snowmass Village trails. Town Park was transformed into Ragnar Village, and dozens of tents and creatively decorated campsites dotted the softball field. Ragnar is not only a challenging race and exciting event--it's also sustainable.

The Leave No Trace tent and solar powered phone charging station in Ragnar Village. Source: Ragnar Trail Relays Facebook

In partnership with the Council for Responsible Sports, Leave No Trace, and Town staff, Ragnar implemented numerous sustainable measures which included everything from solar powered electrical equipment to composting. A full list of measures is available here.

One week later, the Snowmass Mammoth Fest hit the Village featuring three days of chili and beer tastings, and top musical acts. Also a great community steward, Mammoth Fest organizers went the extra mile to go green.

They worked proactively with vendors and the Town to make sure that festival attendees could recycle as many materials as possible, and recycling centers were clearly labeled and located throughout festival grounds and campgrounds.

To lower the event's carbon footprint, they partnered with green Mountain Energy to offset CO2 emissions and extended this opportunity to attendees traveling to Snowmass Village. A full list of measures is available here.

Paving the Way
Each and every event faces unique challenges and opportunities (budgets, staffing, etc.) when it comes to creating and implementing a sustainability plan. While the Ragnar Trail Relay and Snowmass Mammoth Fest are prime examples of how sustainability can enhance an event and leave a positive mark on the community, others may be just starting to delve into what 'green' means to them.

Fortunately, Town staff and the Environmental Advisory Board developed a Green Events Checklist to help events in Snowmass Village reduce their environmental impact. With suggestions for planning, training, waste reduction, and more it covers the basics that should serve as the foundation for any event organizer's strategy. The program is currently voluntary.

Modeled after successful ZGreen Event criteria (which started as a voluntary program and later become mandatory) in the City of Aspen, the Town hopes this resource will enhance communication and partnership with special events in a joint effort to keep our backyard beautiful!

Other great green events are coming up on the summer calendar so stay tuned and as always, help do your part to #ReducetheMass.


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