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FALL/WINTER 2017-2018

Bringing self-sufficiency and sustainability home

Do It t s Right Ju

Reimagine rush hour with easy transportation alternatives Why buying local really matters Boulder’s energy future: Where do we go from here?

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AFTERLIFE? Your old laptop could have a rich afterlife,

BUT ONLY IF YOU RECYCLE IT. When you recycle your electronics, you give a second life to materials, save natural resources and keep toxic metals out of soil and water. And, thanks to a partnership between Eco-Cycle and Blue Star Recyclers, you also create recycling jobs for people with autism and disAbilities. Just 16 computers a day equals one new job!

good for people good for the planet

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Eco-Cycle / City of Boulder Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials 6400 Arapahoe Rd., Boulder

Information on fees and guidelines for materials accepted at the CHaRM available at www.ecocycle.org/charm, or call our Recycling Hotline at 303.444.6634.

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FALL/ WINTER 2017-2018

A look at our energy use

7.......... Boulder’s Energy Future A Q&A with Brett KenCairn

8.......... Colorado’s Water By the numbers

11........ Water Everywhere

Just Do It: Cut your daily water use

SUSAN FRANCE

staff

4.......... Keeping The Lights On

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12........ Green Architecture An outlook on LEED projects

15........ Take a Breather, or Don’t Our indoor and outdoor air quality

17........ Energy Consumption

Just Do It: Reduce your energy use

STAFF

Publisher, Stewart Sallo Associate Publisher, Fran Zankowski Special Editions Editor, Emma Murray Director of Operations/Controller, Benecia Beyer Circulation Manager, Cal Winn

EDITORIAL

18........ The Faces of PACE

Editor, Joel Dyer Associate Editors, Matt Cortina, Angela K. Evans, Caitlin Rockett

22........ Agriculture Spotlight

SALES AND MARKETING

Partners for a Clean Environment

Breaking down ag’s contributions

24........ Buying Local?

Consider your “foodprint”

Retail Sales Manager, Allen Carmichael Account Executive, Julian Bourke Market Development Manager, Kellie Robinson Marketing Manager, Devin Edgley Advertising Coordinator, Olivia Rolf Mrs. Boulder Weekly, Mari Nevar

PRODUCTION

25........ Keep it Local

Just Do It: Align your values

27........ The Three R’s

Just Do It: Change your daily habits

29........ Our Open Space How to make the most of it

30........ Planet Earth Date Night

Production Manager, Dave Kirby Art Director, Susan France Graphic Designer, Mark Goodman

GENERAL & ADMINISTRATIVE

Assistant to the Publisher, Julia Sallo Circulation Team, Dave Hastie, Dan Hill, George LaRoe, Jeffrey Lohrius, Elizabeth Ouslie, Rick Slama 17-Year-Old, Mia Rose Sallo

The best climate change movies

Boulderganic is a special issue of Boulder Weekly, which is available every Thursday throughout the county.

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303.494.5511 690 S. Lashley Lane, Boulder, CO 80305

• B O U L D E R G A N I C

ALFALFA’S ASSISTANT STORE MANAGER, REBEKAH GRAUMANN, AND EMPLOYEE BRETT PARR DISPLAY THE SALVAGED WASTE PRODUCE THAT IS TURNED INTO COMPOST.

just do it right THE TIME IS NOW for climate action. Certainly we need change and

bold action from the biggest polluters and politicians in the world, but the will to create environmental change starts at home with each of us. Thus, the theme of this fall’s Boulderganic magazine is “Just do it right.” In this issue we include a variety of information about how we acquire and consume our energy, food and water, as well as practical, easy-to-implement solutions to reduce the environmental toll our consumption is taking on the planet. From transportation alternatives to local food insights and guides, there are solutions to help you incrementally decrease your carbon footprint. Of course, this is Boulder County, so you may recognize a lot of the information in this issue. But in these pages you’ll find the latest thoughts about the county’s energy goals, the newest information on transportation upgrades and rebate programs, and recently released films to get you inspired. In short, this Boulderganic doesn’t have all the answers we need to solve climate change, but it does provide a foundation so we can figure them out together.

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the lights ENERGY COMES

from many places, and it’s delivered in many forms. In Colorado, the vast majority of our energy comes from natural gas, which is extracted from the earth via wells. It’s how we power most of our refrigerators, dry most of our clothes and heat most of our homes. The more energy we use, the more natural gas (plus other energy sources like coal and crude oil) we need to extract, transport across the country and ultimately consume. Though natural gas might sound more “natural” than, say, coal, it’s still a nonrenewable source of energy, meaning natural gas does not form or replenish in a short period of time. In the past decade, Colorado’s natural gas production rose 51 percent. Last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that natural gas leaks accounted for 32 percent of total U.S. methane emissions. The truth is that we’re using more energy than ever before and that is undeniably dangerous for the future of our planet. There is some good news in the mix. Thanks to Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard, we’re taking some strides away from nonrenewable energy sources. The Standard requires investor-owned electric utilities to obtain a minimum percentage of their power from renewable energy sources. Boulder’s Energy Future promises a transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, an integral part of its mission to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

• B O U L D E R G A N I C

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Air conditioning: 2%

Water heating: 19%

Appliances/electronics/lighting: 29%

Air conditioning: 6%

Mountain North Region (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming)

Water heating: 18%

Appliances/electronics/lighting: 35%

Space heating: 41%

U.S.

Air conditioning: 1%

Water heating: 19%

Appliances/electronics/lighting: 26%

Colorado

Space heating: 54%

Household Energy Use

Household Energy Use

Space heating: 50%

Household Energy Use


just so you

know

103

million BTU

n One Coloradan household consumes an annual average of 103 million BTU — or “British thermal units,” a measurement that tracks the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. That’s a lot of energy, and also 15 percent more than the U.S. average. n The vast majority of energy used in Colorado comes from natural gas. In 2015, statewide natural gas use added up to over 492.6 trillion BTU.

Colorado Energy S ources n n n n n n n n n n

34 percent: Natural Gas 23 percent: Coal 18 percent: Motor Gasoline (excluding Ethanol) 8 percent: Distillate Fuel Oil 5 percent: Other renewables 4 percent: Net Interstate Flow of Electricity 4 percent: Jet Fuel 2 percent: Biomass 1 percent: Hydroelectric Power 1 percent: Liquified Petroleum Gas

All numbers were rounded to the nearest whole number

n Natural gas might be natural, but it’s still a heavyweight methane producer and will contribute 117 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere per million BTU expended. (We did the math for you: that’s 57.6 billion pounds of CO2 we collectively let loose last year in Colorado). n Some might say at least natural gas is better than coal, which produces 200 pounds of CO2 for every million BTU. We used plenty of that, too: 340.1 trillion BTU, which added another 68 billion pounds of CO2. n Last year, Colorado vehicles traveled 50.4 billion miles. How many miles can you shave off this? n Wind is our state’s primary renewable energy generation source. Colorado’s Energy Office reports that between 2005 and 2016, wind energy increased from 1.5 percent to 17.3 percent of electricity generated in the state. n Last year, Colorado was the seventh largest wind producer in the country, accounting for more than 4 percent of the U.S.’s wind generation. In 2014, Colorado wind manufacturing and operations jobs totaled over 6,000, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

S ources: COLORADO ENERGY OFFICE U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION RESIDENTIAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION SURVEY • B O U L D E R G A N I C

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“I adore this beautiful spa. The massage Holly gave me, was outstanding. I could not give a higher recommendation. I was floating by the end. All the employees are so lovely, and caring. A true healing environment!� - Shelley L., Dragontree Client


Healthier, wealthier and more secure A Q&A on Boulder’s Energy Future with Brett KenCairn, City of Boulder Senior Environmental Planner by Eliza Radeka

IN 2016, BOULDER CITY COUNCIL adopted several goals to decrease the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and make the push toward a healthier, renewable energy future. The city’s Climate Commitment document details all the necessary steps to produce 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. City Senior Environmental Planner Brett KenCairn explains the ins and outs of the plan.

Q: What led to the creation of the Climate Commitment? The community committed to climate action through a resolution in 2002, and we wrote our first climate plan in 2006. Those plans were all built around an international agreement called the Kyoto Protocol, which had set an emissions reduction goal of seven percent by 2012. So when that time frame came and went, it was time for a new goal, and in that interim time, a whole bunch of new science had emerged, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Academy of Sciences studies, all of which were saying that to stabilize climate, we had to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Q: What are the Climate Commitment’s steps and day-to-day actions? We’ve distilled it down into three broad categories of

action: Making the transition off of fossil fuels in our energy system, changing the way we relate to ecosystems by moving into a restoration and regeneration approach, and figuring out how we get out of a consumption and waste-oriented economy into a more circular economy. One of the really exciting pieces that we’re working on is starting to provide to any household in the community a road map for how you make this transition from where you are now to being able to essentially live off of 100 percent renewable energy.

Q: How will you distribute these road maps to the public? We’ll be launching a social media campaign. We’ll be working through existing social organizations, whether they’re faith organizations or recreation groups and also doing a lot of demonstrations and profiling the people who have already taken the steps toward renewable energy.

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Q: What do you think is the most important part of the Climate Commitment? I think it is enormously exciting for us to contemplate living into a future in which our energy is both something we can produce for ourselves and that is abundant. It’s inexpensive and it doesn’t degrade the Earth, but enhances it. I’m really excited about the next stage in which we start to realize that the natural living world is our best friend and we need to start relating to it in a new and more reciprocal way.

tion of the utility, it’ll have to be through some very profound changes in how our existing utilities work. Even if we have 100 percent renewable electricity, we can’t necessarily get to that 80 percent reduction goal unless we also displace all the natural gases and petroleum uses. There’s a lot of speculation around things like biofuels in aviation, around fuel cells in transportation and hydrogen use for some of these intensive industrial processes. The pace of technology change is happening far faster than anybody expected, and these kinds of developments are coming much more quickly than anyone anticipated.

Q: What types of new technology and innovation can we expect to emerge on our way to reducing emissions by 80 percent by 2050?

Q: What is the main incentive for Boulder residents to become fully involved in the Climate Commitment?

The goal is really contingent on driving our electricity systems to 100 percent renewable electricity as fast as possible. If it’s not through municipaliza-

I like to say that our objective is to show that this transition is going to make us healthier, wealthier and more secure, and to do that in a way that is

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COURTESY OF CITY OF BOULDER

broadly beneficial to the entire community. We want to make this a transformation that catches like wildfire; the thing that people just adopt because it’s obvious. How is it that this is making life better? Life is better in a fossil-fuel-free world. Life is better in a world where we don’t have to drive cars that burn gas. Life is better when I don’t burn fossil fuels in my house.

Q: Will switching to renewable energy save money? We are literally living into the period in which energy is free. The first costs are relatively high but the long-term costs are low. By the calculations we’ve done, the average household could be saving anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 in the first 10 years and by 20 years you’ve actually saved around $30,000 to $40,000.

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THE

STATE

OF COLORADO’S WATER

WHERE THE WATER COMES FROM FOUR MAJOR RIVERS originate in Colorado: the Rio Grande, the North Platte, the Colorado and the Arkansas. These rivers (which come from snowmelt runoff from the Rocky Mountains) help provide water for 18 other states and Mexico.

COLORADO’S RIVER system sends 14-16 million acrefeet of water — enough to fill 7.5 million Olympic-sized pools — through a number of dams helping to produce a sizable amount of renewable energy.

ONE ACRE-FOOT OF WATER supplies four people with enough water for one year. 80 percent of Colorado’s water is located west of the Continental Divide, while 88 percent of the state’s population lives east of the Continental Divide. Two-thirds of Colorado’s water leaves our state and is used by states downstream.

WHERE THE WATER GOES 86 PERCENT of water is used for agriculture. Twenty-four diversions in the form of tunnels and ditches move 500,000 acre-feet of water from west to east, where it is needed.

THE COLORADO RIVER runs through seven states and Mexico, providing water for 40 million people and 6,300 square miles of farmland along the way. However, since 2000, the river’s volume has averaged 19 percent below its 20th century average.

IN 1950, 1.3 million people lived in Colorado. Our current population is 5.5 million and it is predicted that number could grow to 8.7 million by 2050 with the majority of people continuing to live along the Front Range.

LAKE MEAD, the largest reservoir fed by the Colorado River, has dropped 140 feet in the last 15 years.

10 PERCENT of water goes toward domestic/recreational use. Of those 1.6 million acre-feet of water, half goes toward one purpose: watering lawns.

THE EFFECTS of climate change are projected to decrease the Colorado River’s flow by up to an additional 20 percent over the next 35 years. This is due to less precipitation at the source caused by increasingly severe droughts as well as evaporation caused by higher temperatures.

BY 2050, Colorado could have a water supply gap of 560,000 acre-feet. That’s the amount needed to support 2.5 million people.

19%

THE VOLUME OF THE COLORADO RIVER HAS AVERAGED 19 PERCENT BELOW ITS 20TH CENTURY AVERAGE SINCE 2000. • B O U L D E R G A N I C

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Farmers Selling What They Grow ... And Only What They Grow

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Protect Your Budget & Upgrade Comfort. Boulder County Can Help! Home Energy & Vehicles

We Make Energy Upgrades Easy: • FREE Expert Energy Advisors • Low-interest Financing & Rebates

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Be a Community Leader. Save Money. Be Sustainable. Support the Economy.

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JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT!

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

INDOOR TIPS n Nix the garbage disposal. Compost instead. n Wash fruits and veggies in a big pot or bowl instead of n n n n

IT’S TRUE. BY 2050, Colorado

could have a water supply gap of 560,000 acre-feet, leaving 2.5 million people at risk of losing a secure supply of water. However, there are easy ways to cut down on your everyday water use. Add a few to your daily habits and the savings will go a long way.

n n n

OUTDOOR TIPS n Leave your lawn 1.5 to 2 inches high. Taller grass blades n n n n n n

• B O U L D E R G A N I C

rinsing them under the tap. Save the water you use to wash fruits and veggies to water any houseplants. Don’t thaw food using running water. Plan ahead. Shorten your shower by one minute. This will save up to 150 gallons per month. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save up to four gallons per minute. One drip per second adds up to five gallons every day — check faucets and showerheads for leaks. Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they’re full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons per month. When you have leftover ice cubes, don’t put them down the drain. Give them to your plants.

shade its roots and retain soil moisture better than short grass. Weed your garden. Weeds steal nutrients and water from other plants. Plant species native to Colorado in your garden. Use commercial car washes that recycle water. Grab the broom instead of the hose when cleaning an outdoor patio surface. Consider xeriscaping, a landscaping technique that uses plants that require minimal, if any, watering. Direct runoff from your rain gutters to plants and trees.

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GREEN ARCHITECTURE AN OUTLOOK ON BOULDER COUNTY’S GREEN PROJECTS

1 “BOULDER HAS been

pushing the envelope as long as anyone. It’s extremely difficult to [certify] a house as LEED platinum. It takes a lot of expertise, from both the architects and the builders, to achieve,” says Scott Rodwin, the founding principal of Rodwin Architecture, a Boulder-based firm leading the nation’s green building movement. The U.S. Green Building Council projects LEED construction will support 103,000 jobs in Colorado and contribute about $9 billion to the GDP between 2015 and 2018. With more LEEDcertified buildings popping up across the state, we’re lowering carbon emissions, creating healthier environments, driving economic growth and prioritizing sustainable practices. All of these factors have the potential to positively affect the way Coloradans live, work and play.

BENJAMIN BUREN OF WWW.ALIVESTUDIOS.COM

2

73% • B O U L D E R G A N I C

“THE FARMHOUSE” (PHOTOS 1 & 2) WAS ARRANGED AND CONSTRUCTED FOR OPTIMAL PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN. THE ROOF AND GUTTER SYSTEMS DIRECT WATER INTO THE GARDENS AND RAINWATER HARVESTING BARRELS.

BENJAMIN BUREN OF WWW.ALIVESTUDIOS.COM

IN THE U.S., BUILDINGS ACCOUNT FOR 73 PERCENT OF ALL ENERGY CONSUMPTION.

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SUSAN FRANCE

3

THE BOULDER JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER (PHOTOS 3 & 4) TOOK 10 YEARS TO PERFECT AND DESIGN.

THE STATION 8 FIREHOUSE (PHOTO 5) RECEIVED ITS LEED CERTIFICATION IN 2009.

BUILT BY THE MAGNOLIA BUILDING COMPANY (PHOTOS 6 & 7), THIS RESIDENTIAL HOUSE IS CONSTRUCTED FROM RENEWABLE RESOURCES AND IS TIGHTLY INSULATED, MAXIMIZING ITS ENERGY EFFICIENCY.

SUSAN FRANCE

SUSAN FRANCE

4

5

THE MAGNOLIA BUILDING COMPANY

THE MAGNOLIA BUILDING COMPANY

6

7

SECOND

IN THE NATION

IN 2016

, Colorado jumped from fifth to second place in the national ranking of top states in the country for LEED green building. The Colorado Real Estate Journal reports that Colorado has a total of 92 LEED-certified projects. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Currently, it’s the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Generally speaking, LEED-certified buildings, be them residential, commercial or industrial, focus on using materials that save energy, water and other natural resources. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED projects are responsible for diverting over 80 million tons of waste from landfills. • B O U L D E R G A N I C

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Take a breather… or Don’t Indoor and outdoor air quality affects Front Rangers daily, but change can be made by Matt Cortina FIRST, THE BAD NEWS. Boulder received an F

from the American Lung Association (ALA) in air quality, due to high amounts of ground-level ozone — the byproduct of transportation and industrial processes. The ALA, in fact, ranked Denver the 11th most polluted city in the country, outdone by only New York City, Las Vegas and several populous and car-happy California cities. Going inside may provide no respite, either. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recent studies “have consis-

tently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risk to public health.” In Boulder County, indoor air quality can be affected by everything from cleaners and cosmetics to trapped radon and nearby industrial operations. OK, now the good news. There are ways to improve indoor and outdoor air quality. Some are simply lifestyle changes, some require taking on multimillion-dollar industries. But where there’s a will, there’s a way — especially when we’re talking about something as vital as air quality.

Indoor POOR INDOOR AIR quality can have a negative affect on your health — everything from headaches and eye irritations to allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Noting this, and dealing with indoor air quality concerns at some of its schools, the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) launched and Air Quality Initiative in 2016 to study air quality in the district’s schools in order to make recommendations on facility upgrades and uses. Key factors in the study will be walk-through assessments in schools, academic achievement records and health symptom data, along with absenteeism (which is coded to protect the student’s identity). When a parent calls a child out of school, they will have the option to indicate whether it is related to asthma, respiratory issues, gastrointestinal problems or other, thus concentrating the data of what the student body is experiencing. While this may be a start, it’s too soon to determine whether this program will alleviate all air quality concerns in BVSD facilities. Boulder County, too, is taking a step in the right direction toward bettering indoor air quality. By enforcing regulations on new construction in unincorporated Boulder County, officials are able to make sure the best technology is being used to prevent air quality issues in homes. There are some indoor air quality contaminants that exist naturally. In Colorado, that’s radon, a gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It’s found all over Colorado, and it causes cancer. In fact, about half of homes in Colorado have radon levels higher than the EPA recommended level. As such, most home purchase transactions require radon testing. If radon is found in your home (usually in the basement, though it is often ubiquitous in houses where it’s found) mitigation efforts usually cost up to $1,200 and involve depressurization and concenSee BREATHER PAGE 16 tration of the affected air. • B O U L D E R G A N I C

Improve your indoor air quality: THE EPA RECOMMENDS three basic strategies to improve indoor air quality. 1. Source control. The best, and simplest, way to improve indoor air quality is to address the sources of air contaminants. Some sources can be sealed off or enclosed, like those that contain asbestos. Other sources of contamination can be adjusted to decrease emissions, like gas stoves. 2. Ventilation. One way to improve indoor air quality is to let some fresh air in. Most heating and cooling systems don’t bring in fresh air, so contaminants can be retained and recycled in a home. Fans that suck out air to an outdoor vent (like you might find in your kitchen or above your stove) improve air flow, and it’s especially important to have these and other ventilation improving devices working when there are pollutants open in the house, like wood finish or paint. Simple methods like opening windows can also reduce temperature needs in the building. 3. Air cleaners. If you can’t use ventilation to reduce air pollutants, installing devices to scrub them from the air may be a good recourse. There are variety of options, but what’s key is that you’ll still need some ventilation to keep air moving through the filters.

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It’s Time To Plant Fall Mums, It’s Time ToBulbs Plant Winter Pansies and Spring

Fall Mums, Winter Pansies and Spring Bulbs Saturday, October 14th 10:00

Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs, Todd McNulty, Van Bloem Gardens Fall is for planning and planting for spring color! Join us for proper selection, planting and forcing of spring bulbs.

2851 Valmont in Boulder • 303.442.6663

www.sturtzandcopeland.com Saturday, October 14th, 10:00 8am-6pm, Planting Weekdays Spring Flowering Bulbs, Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm Todd McNulty, Van Bloem Gardens Fall is for planning and planting for spring color! Join us for proper selection, planting and forcing of spring bulbs.

2851 Valmont in Boulder • 303.442.6663

www.sturtzandcopeland.com

Weekdays 8am-6pm, Sat 8am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm

Take a breather… or Don’t BREATHER FROM PAGE 15

Outdoor THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTOR to our outdoor ground-level ozone problem that we have direct control over is transportation. If every American reduced idling in their car just five minutes per day, we’d save 13 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions

annually. But although ozone presents a major challenge, there are plenty of other contaminants in the air that need to be addressed. Ethane, propane, benzene and methane can all cause health issues, as was seen in the Aliso Canyon gas plant leak in Porter Ranch, California. Boulder County, too, recognizes the issues that oil and gas operations present people who, you know, like to breath clean air. In a study of 500 oil and gas production sites in the county between 2014 and 2016, officials found 65 percent of sites were leaking. With oil and gas production likely to increase in the county and region, continued monitoring and effective legislation to ensure air quality is needed. County officials found high levels of contaminants in downtown Boulder, where car traffic is high, and in Longmont, near oil and gas operations.

Improve outdoor air quality: BOULDER COUNTY HAS assembled a checklist of things you can do to improve local air quality. Because so much of ground-level ozone comes from car emissions, these recommendations focus on those of us who drive. 1. Combine car trips. 2. Take the bus or carpool. 3. Ride a bike or walk. 4. Telecommute. (You can save up to $455 in driving costs per year by telecommuting once a week.) 5. Take care of your car. 6. Check your tires. (Inflating your tires can save you 18 gallons of gas per year.) 7. Refuel when it’s cooler outside to prevent gas fumes from heating up into ozone. 8. Don’t top off the gas tank. 9. Don’t idle. (Idling for more than 10 seconds creates more emissions than turning your car on.)

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JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! !

REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION

before a bistro massage

and after

massage by boulder’s best

@ 3 convenient locations Downtown 1100 Spruce • 303.440.1992 Whole Foods 2905 Pearl • 303.545.6611 Living Arts Center 3825 Iris • 303.413.1992 b o d y w o r k b i s t r o . c o m

The City of Boulder recommends taking these four steps to reduce your carbon footprint.

best massage

boulder weekly 2017

best massage

Colorado Daily 2017

MAXIMIZE ENERGY EFFICIENCY. By making sure your

house is sealed against temperature changes, you not only reduce energy consumption, but you save money. Add insulation, upgrade windows and redo air sealing to make sure the energy you do consume is used efficiently.

GET SOLAR POWER. As the cost of solar panels go down, switching to the renewable technology to power your home is easier than ever. Systems can be sized specifically for a home’s intended usage. Check out the city’s solar resources too for financing and installation information. USE CLEAN TRANSPORTATION. Surely, Boulder understands the importance of walking, biking, using public transportation and driving electric or hybrid vehicles. Transportation represents a large chunk of energy consumption and conventional cars foul air quality. The city can help you figure out how to switch your transportation, and it provides a list of charging stations for electric vehicles online.

ELECTRIFY HEATING AND COOLING. Heating and

cooling can account for up to half of your home’s energy use. Thus, switching to electric heating and cooling rigs makes sense for the environment and your wallet — units tend to pay for themselves within a few years. There are even unique loans available to help you make the switch.

For more information on all these methods, visit bouldercolorado.gov/sustainability/four-big-moves. • B O U L D E R G A N I C

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best massage

boulder weekly 2016


Clean environment

PACE: PARTNERS FOR A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT SUSAN FRANCE

SPRUCE CONFECTIONS GENERAL MANAGER, JON BAKER, WITH PRODUCTS

SUSAN FRANCE

BOULDER COUNTY BUSINESSES COMMIT TO SUSTAINABILITY BY SYDNEY WORTH

E

videnced by unprecedented superstorms ripping through the East and megafires wildfires throughout the West, climate change has undoubtedly wreaked havoc on the environment. In Boulder, Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) have committed themselves to help abate future environmental tragedies by creating a sustainable community, starting with businesses and municipal offices throughout the state. When businesses partner with the program, they receive business sustainability advisors from PACE that help them adopt environmentally friendly practices and seek out more sustainable opportunities. With the guidance of their advisor, PACE partners may earn certifications in energy, waste, water and transportation. We’ve spoken with four of the numerous Boulder businesses partnered with PACE to discuss their experience with the program and why they chose to participate.

• B O U L D E R G A N I C

SPRUCE CONFECTIONS JOHN BAKER, GENERAL MANAGER Boulder Weekly: Why did you decide to take part in PACE? John Baker: “Our goal is to minimize our environmental impact and divert our waste. We can do that with PACE.” BW: How have your customers responded to this partnership? JB: “The customers are generally pretty receptive. PACE is pretty good at helping us with getting us on our feet.” BW: Why is it important to incorporate sustainable practices? JB: “The more businesses that are on this path, the more the community gets involved. We do our best as a business to use sustainable practices. We’re not perfect, but we do our best.” BW: Do you have any words of advice for businesses trying to be more sustainable? JB: “I would say if you’re working with the general public you need to make clear guidelines for customers about what to compost and how to recycle.”

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SUSAN FRANCE

MARCY MILLER, CO-OWNER OF ORGANIC SANDWICH COMPANY, BOULDER

SUSAN FRANCE

DAVIN HELDEN, CEO/CO-FOUNDER OF LIQUID MECHANICS BREWING

LIQUID MECHANICS BREWING COMPANY DAVIN HELDEN, CO-OWNER

ORGANIC SANDWICH COMPANY MARCY MILLER, OWNER

Boulder Weekly: Why did you decide to partake in PACE? Davin Helden: “Leaving the planet a better place than when we came into it is important to us. We’re in Boulder County, and we believe our customers care about that as well. We want to make great beer, but we also want to be smart about it.” BW: How has partnering with PACE affected your business? DH: “We definitely let people know in regards to that. It makes us feel better and it’s something we’ve always wanted to do. When we first opened cash was tight, but we wanted to set an example.” BW: Why do you think this is important? DH: “I think it matters to customers and generations of people that don’t have a say. It’s our business’s responsibility, and other businesses’, to take action so we can continue doing this in the future.” • B O U L D E R G A N I C

Boulder Weekly: Why did you decide to partake in the PACE program? Marcy Miller: “It goes hand in hand with being organic and caring about the environment. Putting into it what you take from it is extremely important to us in terms of how we run our business.” BW: Why do you think it’s important to be a part of this program? MM: “We want to do our part in trying to have as minimal of an impact as we can. If we can enlighten people to carry on these practices they see at our shop and take them elsewhere, that’s a bonus.” BW: Do you have any advice for businesses or people in general who are trying to be more sustainable? MM: “It’s maybe not as tricky as you might think. Composting food waste instead of throwing it away — it’s essentially free.”

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Clean environment

PACE: PARTNERS FOR A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT SUSAN FRANCE

PACE-CERTIFIED RESTAURANTS/ GROCERS n ASHER BREWING COMPANY, 4699 Nautilus Court, Boulder n LEFT HAND BREWING COMPANY, 1265 Boston Ave., Longmont n LIQUID MECHANICS BREWING COMPANY, 297 U.S. Hwy. 287, Lafayette n MOUNTAIN SUN PUBS AND BREWERIES, 1535 Pearl St., Boulder; 627 South Broadway, Boulder; 627A South Broadway, Suite A, Boulder; 600 Longs Peak Ave., Longmont, n A SPICE OF LIFE CATERING & EVENTS, 5541 Central Ave, Suite 572, Boulder n SPRUCE CONFECTIONS, 767 Pearl St., Boulder; 4684 Broadway, Boulder; 4740 Pearl Parkway, Boulder n ALFALFA’S, 1651 Broadway, Boulder; 785 E. South Boulder Road, Louisville n CURED WINES LLC, 1825 Pearl St., Boulder

SUSAN FRANCE

ABOVE: ALFALFA’S ASSISTANT STORE MANAGER, REBEKAH GRAUMANN, AND BRETT PARR, PORTER, DISPLAY THE SALVAGED WASTE PRODUCE THAT IS TURNED INTO COMPOST. RIGHT: GRAY BINS IN BACKGROUND SHOW THE VOLUME OF UNSOLD PRODUCE THAT GETS SHIPPED TO FOOD SHARE PROGRAMS AND OTHER LOCATIONS EVERY DAY.

n PIECE, LOVE & CHOCOLATE, LLC, 805 Pearl St., Boulder n CAFE AION, 1235 Pennsylvania Ave., Boulder n CENTRO MEXICAN KITCHEN, 950 Pearl St., Boulder n FOOLISH CRAIG’S CAFE, 1611 Pearl St., Boulder n HALF FAST SUBS, 1215 13th St., Boulder n JILL’S RESTAURANT, 900 Walnut St., Boulder n KHOW THAI CAFE, 1600 Broadway, Boulder n LARKBURGER, 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder n LEAF VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT, 2010 16th St., Boulder n ORGANIC SANDWICH COMPANY, 1500 Pearl St., Suite F, Boulder

ALFALFA’S MARKET AMANDA ROPER, COMMUNITY OUTREACH MANAGER Boulder Weekly: What made you want to be a part of PACE? Amanda Roper: “It’s more of ‘why not’. Why wouldn’t we take advantage of this amazing resource? We’re always trying to be better and push ourselves and challenge ourselves.” BW: How do you think being partnered with PACE has affected the business? AR: “Our customers are very aware and that’s something they care about and something we’re going to

align our values with. It’s bred into Alfalfa’s.” BW: Why do you think it’s important to be associated with PACE? AR: “Partnering with PACE is important for us because we’re looking toward the future, and PACE helps us look toward the future and be better for the environment.” BW: Do you have any words of advice to give to businesses trying to become more sustainable? AR: “I would say if there’s not a program at all in other businesses yet and you’re passionate about the environment, I would say just be the champion of your company. Look at PACE and all the amazing resources and just start small.”

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n PINOCCHIO’S ITALIAN EATERY, 211 N Public Road, Lafayette; 210 Ken Pratt Blvd., Suite 260, Longmont n SHAMANE’S BAKE SHOPPE, 2825 Wilderness Place, Suite 800, Boulder n SUBWAY (11652) 2480 Baseline Road, Boulder n T & CAKES, 1932 14th St., Boulder n THE BUFF RESTAURANT, 2600 Canyon Blvd., Boulder n THE CUP ESPRESSO CAFE, 1521 Pearl St., Boulder n THE POINT CAFE, 1101 13th St., Boulder n TWO SPOONS, 1021 Pearl St., Boulder

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CLEAR YOUR CLUTTER, CHANGE LIVES Every donation of gently-used furniture, fixtures, home improvement items, appliances and more to the Flatirons Habitat for Humanity ReStore helps build homes in Boulder and Broomfield counties. So DON’T TRASH IT, DONATE IT and be a part of creating a better future for hard-working families. Free pickup: 303.404.2008 1 Park St., Broomfield flatironshabitat.org/restore

FREE

FALL

COMPOST

WORKSHOPS

Registration is required. Space is limited. Register online at www.BoulderCountyRecycles.org

Erie This FREE workshop is taught by Melanie Nehls Burow, a Master Composter in Colorado.

6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 Erie Community Library, Meeting Room, 400 Powers St.

Longmont

6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 Boulder County Parks & Open Space, Prairie Room North, 5201 Saint Vrain Rd.

Louisville Resource Conservation

720.564.2220 resourceconservation@bouldercounty.org

6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23 2017 Louisville Library, First Floor Meeting Room, 951 Spruce St.

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Agriculture Spotlight Breaking down agriculture’s contribution to Colorado’s economy

$41

Billion

THE AMOUNT that the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) estimates agriculture contributes every year to the state economy. The CDA also says the industry employs about 173,000 people.

1/2

WHEAT AND LIVE animals account for half of Colorado’s agricultural exports. Canada and Mexico are the largest importers of our ag products, followed by Japan, China and several Southeast Asian countries.

3.9

HOW MANY BILLIONS of pounds of milk that Colorado dairy farms produced in 2016.

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THE PERCENTAGE of food grown on farmland leased from Boulder County that ends up in the food system.

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75,

2021

THE POUNDS of organic vegetables produced by Anne Cure of Cure Organic Farm on eight acres leased from the City of Boulder.

HOW MANY tenants Boulder

County leases land to for farming.

15

THE YEAR genetically engineered corn and sugar beets will be phased out from Boulder County farmland.

THE PERCENTAGE of farmland leased from Boulder County that is certified or transitioning to organic. Organic farmland makes up less than one percent of all farmland nationally.

Millet: 285,000

Sorghum: 415,000

Corn: 1.17 million

Hay: 1.38 million

Statewide Crops in harvested acres

Wheat: 2.2 million

65

SUSAN FRANCE

l50

THE NUMBER of vendors that now comprise the Boulder County Farmers Markets, which have the longest market seasons in the state.

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Buying Local?

Consider your “foodprint” and make your food dollars count

by Emma Murray

YOU EAT. THEY EAT. We all eat — we

are only human, after all. And at the end of the day, our bodies need a certain amount of calories, some ratio of nutrients, minerals and amino acids, not to mention water, in order to keep on living. All of this we pick, extract or cultivate from the earth. This takes its toll on the planet, like just about anything else we do in life these days. It’s no secret humans have wreaked havoc on the planet; agriculture and food transportation have played no small part in contributing to climate change and environmental degradation. But still, we must eat, and so must billions of people around the globe. Our hope lies in the fact that, at least here in Colorado, we have an abundance of food choices. “We make decisions on what to eat everyday,” says Peter Newton, an assistant environmental studies professor at University of Colorado Boulder. This affords all of us a surprising amount of input in changing the tides of climate change. There is power in choosing what foods you buy and consume. Newton believes if all individuals step up to the plate and choose food wisely, our negative “foodprint,” as he calls it, will undoubtedly shrink. We must eat, he argues, and so why not eat something that will minimize its impact on the planet? The average American household spends between 11 and 15 percent of their annual income on food. Typically that ranges from $7,000 to $12,000 per year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Imagine if those funds, compounded by every American household, were diverted to healthy, sustainable food options. Deliberately directing our dollars to particular businesses makes a statement: Buying more local products supports the local economy while encouraging more local growing and production;

buying more sustainable products supports sustainability efforts. Knowing how to make these decisions isn’t simple. At the grocery store, for example, you go to buy an avocado. You have choices: an avocado from Heritage Belle Farms in Calhan, a town northeast of Colorado Springs, or one grown north of Los Angeles and shipped a thousand miles up and over the mountains onto our shelves. Which do you choose? Newton argues energy efficiency should be our first priority when buying food. Because avocados grow naturally in California, he would posit it’s more efficient to grow them in the golden, West Coast sunlight, then bulk ship them to Colorado. Sure, that requires more energy on the transportation front, but the energy it takes to grow an avocado in Colorado (where they do not naturally grow, thus requiring supplemental resources) can outweigh the transportation energy expended. Not everyone agrees with this logic, however. Some would say we simply shouldn’t eat avocados in Colorado and cut all the unnecessary growing and transportation energy expenditures. Others, like Wendy White from the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), might say go for the Coloradan avocado. She emphasizes buying local matters for reasons that certainly include, but ultimately extend, beyond the environment. In her opinion, the economy, sense of community and culinary satisfaction tips the scale in favor of buying Colorado-grown produce and products whenever possible. Walk through the aisles in Lucky’s Market in South Boulder or Longmont’s King Soopers — or, really, any given grocery store in the state — and you might notice a yellow and purple sticker slapped on the shelf signs of select products: streaks of sunshine wash over purple, jagged mountains with the text “Colorado Proud.” The CDA created the Colorado Proud program in

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1999 in order to prioritize food products that are grown, produced or processed in the state. Currently more than 2,400 growers, restaurants and retailers across the state participate in the program. Anytime the Colorado Proud sticker flags a product, it means it came from one of the 34,200 farms or ranches in Colorado. It means it was grown or cultivated on a portion of the 32 million acres the state dedicates to agriculture. It means your neighbor might have grown or made it. This is good news for at least 85 percent of us — the portion of Coloradans who prioritize buying, or trying to buy, Colorado-grown or -made products when dining or shopping, according to a survey released in July, conducted by the CDA in partnership with Colorado State University. The data “reveals that preference [for local products] has moved beyond a trend to a lifestyle for Coloradans.” “This is especially true in Boulder County,” White says. People want a tight connection with producers. We can tell this by the popularity of Colorado Proud products.” Perhaps most importantly, buying local has proved its positive impact on the state’s economy. Much like dollars spent on sustainable foods support sustainability, dollars spent locally support local economies. Plus, helping keep local farms and ranches profitable maintains the open space and wildlife habitat that we love so dearly, all while minimizing transportation expenditures. So here’s what we recommend: buy local, in-season food as native as you can get. Corn, onions, cabbage and potatoes, for example, naturally thrive in Colorado. The Rocky Mountain’s warm days and cool nights create the perfect environment for growing sweet fruit crops like apples, peaches, watermelons, grapes and cantaloupe. At the end of the day, White and Newton both agree: Consumers can make a difference. What will you say with your dollars today?

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JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT!

KEEP IT

LOCAL

Buying local, native food whenever possible is one easy way to greatly reduce your carbon “foodprint.”

1. ALIGN YOUR CROP calen-

dar. Buy in-season products, especially ones that grow naturally in Colorado’s climate. These foods will taste better, generally contain higherquality nutrients and, energy-wise, are most efficient to grow. If you want something that isn’t naturally grown here, look for the next-best options. First ask: do I need it? If yes, then where does it grow most naturally? Can I source it from there?

2. BUY LOCAL. This will cut

down on transportation, inject money into the local economy and fortify healthy food relationships. Colorado has more than 100 farmers markets sprinkled around the state, some of which are held year-round. While you’re at it, celebrate your food and thank Mother Earth for providing our sustenance; throughout the year, there are 70 food and farm festivals in Colorado, not including the 50 seasonal pumpkin patches and corn mazes.

3. AVOID CREATING trash. Whenever possible, avoid receiving unnecessary materials. Life throws them at you left and right, so start practicing your deflection skills. That starts to look like this: Decline plastic utensils, straws or containers. Bring your own instead. Resist small promotional products or items with unnecessary packaging. Buy in bulk. Bring your own grocery bags and don’t bag individual veggies. Stop your junk mail.

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BOULDER’S INDEPENDENT THRIFT STORE Over 1000 Items Added Daily!

Open For Sales and Donations 10am-7pm Mon-Sat 11am-5pm Sun

Front Range ECO-SOCIAL SOLUTIONS: A Bioneers Network Event

FEBRUARY 9-10, 2018 Keynotes, workshops, and expo for restoring our relations with each other and the planet.

Open 7 Days a Week for Sales & Donations

2536 Spruce Street, Boulder • 303-444-8088 wwwBoulderThriftStore.com Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ARES.Thrift.Boulder

colorado.edu/ecenter/bioneers

Colorado Green Chili Sauce & Salsa TURN UP THE FLAVOR! Vegan & Gluten Free

LOCALLY SOURCED Hand Crafted By

Available At

www.cosdiner.com • B O U L D E R G A N I C

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JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT! JUST DO IT!

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

R

17%

WHAT IS MY DOLLAR SAYING? Where you put your money matters. Buy goods with minimalist packaging. Look for products made locally and consider shopping in bulk — all of this supports and enables more sustainable products and practices.

REUSE

es to organizations that can repurpose or reallocate them. Buy used goods from thrift or second-hand stores. You’ll save money and reduce the demand for newly manufactured products.

CAN I FIX IT? The best way to keep objects out of landfills is to keep them in use. Fix broken appliances or give them to someone else who will. Sew split cloth. Get creative. Repurpose or recycle objects that can’t be fixed.

RECYCLE

COMPOST

LANDFILL

DO I REALLY NEED THAT? In your kitchen, for example, look for applianc-

es that can multi-task.

COULD SOMEONE ELSE USE THIS? Donate used goods and applianc-

20%

61%

that are infrequently used, such as construction tools, outdoor gear and seasonal equipment.

your reusable food containers out to dine with you. Carry bamboo utensils. Use cloth napkins. It’s not that hard.

?

RECYCLING

WHY OWN WHEN YOU CAN RENT? Borrow or rent tools and objects

WHAT’S MY PLAN FOR THE DAY? Keep a to-go mug in your car. Bring

BOULDER’S W S E AS O D TE E GO

WH E

BOULDER: WE SEND 61 PERCENT OF OUR WASTE TO LANDFILLS. NINETY PERCENT OF THAT IS RECYCLABLE OR COMPOSTABLE. LET’S CHANGE THAT.

REDUCE

CAN I EAT IT? If yes, then you can also compost it. Do it. Ninety percent of what goes into Boulder’s landfill is either recyclable or compostable.

2% REUSE

HOW WOULD THE EARTH FEEL? Put yourself in Earth’s shoes. Would you like to be injected with battery juice or refrigeration chemicals? No? Didn’t think so. Properly dispose of hazardous waste at Boulder’s Center for Hard-toRecycle Materials — keep them out of the soil. WHERE AM I? You’re in Boulder. We have a multitude of waste receptacles at nearly every street corner downtown. Under city law, landlords are required to provide compost bins and most businesses opt to provide recycling, compost and waste bins. Just do it. (And if you feel like there aren’t sufficient signs or bins, then report a lack of service at Inquire Boulder, the government outreach website.)

HOW MUCH WASTE DOES BOULDER RECYCLE, COMPOST AND REUSE? HOUSES

APARTMENTS & TOWNHOMES

BUSINESSES

54%

21%

37%

DIVERTED 46% TO LANDFILL

DIVERTED 79% TO LANDFILL

DIVERTED 63% TO LANDFILL

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Boulder County Open Space

WITH OVER 100,000

acres of designated open space, there is plenty of room to play in Boulder County. For this, we are thankful. Not only because spending time outside has proven beneficial for physical health, but also because data tells us nature plays a vital role in improving mental health as well. Walking in nature for 90 minutes, according to the National Academy of Sciences, decreases activity in the region of the brain associated with depression. In the same vein, PLOS ONE, a science-based journal, reports creativity and attention stores can be replenished after spending time outside. So, as soon as you finish this page, go get out there.

TYPES OF OPEN SPACE IN BOULDER COUNTY: CITY PARKS AND OPEN SPACE — Most of the trails in this space can be used by hikers, runners, bikers, horseback-riders and dogwalkers. Don’t forget to check for any trail closures at osmpprojects.org. BLM AND USFS LAND — Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service Land. Camp generally anywhere, anytime on this land, as long as you’re at least 200 feet from any roads, trails or water sources. STATE PARKS — Eldorado State Park is one of the country’s premier preserved recreation areas. Find a picnic table by the creek after your hike and don’t miss the live-entertain-

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key: n n n n

Black lines are roads. The light green area is Roosevelt National Forest. Dark green is Rocky Mountain National Park. Yellow is BLM land.

ment: climbers scaling the numerous cliff faces all around you. INDIAN PEAKS WILDERNESS — Enjoy the dozens of trails in this forested and alpine space by foot, snowshoe, ski or bike. Most of the year you’ll need a camping permit and fires are generally not allowed, but feel free to bring the pup along (on a leash) during your adventure. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK — Home to some of the most iconic mountain features in the state, this highly-protected area ensures the beauty will remain for generations to come. Dogs are not allowed, and if you are planning to camp, be sure to plan in advance and secure a permit.

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SOURCES: PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES PLOS ONE BOULDER COUNTY PARKS & OPEN SPACE

THIS MAP WAS ALTERED FROM AN ORIGINAL CREATED BY DAVID BENBENNICK/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS


date night with planet

WITH INTENSE VISUAL imagery and

earth Films listed in order from most family-friendly to least family-friendly

sharp storytelling, documentaries about climate change can be powerful, to say the least. In today’s world, there’s a lot to learn about the planet’s ever-evolving environmental state. Get your popcorn ready, and a notebook, and cozy up for a series of films that will make you rethink the future of the planet and how you can do your part to sustain it.

FILM #1 A BEAUTIFUL PLANET moving-picture portrait of Planet Earth, most of the footage in this film was shot by astronauts on month-long space missions aboard and around the International Space Station. The New York Times writes the movie “delivers an environmental message that is strong and serious while remaining encouraging and optimistic. That’s important to hear. The rest is just amazing to watch.” Bonus: It’s narrated by Jennifer Lawrence.

A

FILM #2 CHASING CORAL hotographers, divers and scientists journey into the ocean to answer the big question: why are coral reefs vanishing at an unprecedented rate? The film was shot over the course of three years, curated from more than 500 hours of underwater footage from more than 30 countries. Pair this with the documentary’s predecessor, Chasing Ice (2012), also directed by Boulder-based Jeff Orlowski, for a glimpse into the disappearing act of glacial ice around the globe.

P

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FILM #3 BEFORE THE FLOOD eonardo DiCaprio takes on the role of U.N. Messenger of Peace as he travels to five continents and the Arctic Circle, documenting the effects of climate change first-hand. Along the way, he consults with scientists, politicians and climate change specialists about what individuals can do to prevent the climate-induced disruption of life on our planet. The film is directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens (The Cove, 2010) and presented by National Geographic. “This documentary shows how interconnected the fate of all humanity is — but also the power we all possess as individuals to build a better future for our planet,” says DiCaprio.

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FILM #4 TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH he people to you’ll meet the ends throughout the of the film all have one earth thing in common: they’re living at the frontier of extreme oil and gas extraction. The mayor of an Inuit village in Canada’s high Arctic, for example, is worried that the seismic testing for oil is blowing the eardrums of the animals that the Inuit rely on for food. Or the river conservationist in Utah fighting to protect the Colorado River from oil shale projects. This film brings to center the voices of those directly affected by the oil- and gas-driven economy, and their call for help.

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WINNER

Best International Environmental Film

DOC LA FILM FESTIVAL

2016

Hollywood

The rise of extreme energy The end of economic growth A new way forward

Narrated by Emma Thompson

a david lavallée film

www.endsofearthfilm.com

FILM #5 THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES nything but simple, this film lays bare how climate change stressors amplify social tensions and can spark violent conflict around the world. Told through the lens of U.S. national security and global stability, the film “unpacks how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather, and sea-level rise function as ‘accelerants of instability’ and ‘catalysts for conflict’ in volatile regions of the world.”

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