We'd like to be sure readers of the Art’s last Up Bear Creek installment have up-to-date information on our EcoAction Initiative. We believe working together on shared goals is more productive (and fun) than working as individuals. Saving energy and reducing carbon footprints are goals that governments, communities, and many individuals share within the region. As your regional sustainability organization EcoAction Partners (formerly The New Community Coalition) we stand at the nexus of all three – governments, communities, and individuals – in order to maximize the potential of each working together towards a sustainable future.
Although the governments of the Town of Telluride, Mountain Village and San Miguel County largely fund EcoAction Partners – none of the programs that we run are “government programs.” We operate under 501c3 status independent of government like other nonprofit institutions in the region. Accordingly, any and all work that we do in the community, including our residential carbon footprint reduction program – the EcoAction Initiative – should by no means be affiliated with a government program looking to 'monitor' anyone's behavior.
What the EcoAction Initiative does represent is a community effort coming from a community organization that helps individuals, families, and businesses achieve a reduction in their resource use that ultimately saves money and may lead to more comfort in the home. Participants in the program work directly with a volunteer EcoAction Mentor who can assess the best opportunities for improvement and together they make a customized plan geared toward achieving identified goals. The program also establishes a baseline carbon footprint – and collects the same data over one year in order to track reductions in carbon footprints. Individual results are not shared with anyone except the participant, though overall numbers for the program as a whole are calculated. The result is a measurable reduction in the region’s carbon footprint and a community of people working together and sharing ideas on how to live more sustainably.
Some real progress has been made in the region by working together towards reducing the Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Within the EcoAction Initiative participants have reduced their overall carbon footprints by an average of 21 percent per household, and the program is expanding its participation base. Also, San Miguel Power Association has many programs, rebates, and initiatives for reducing one’s energy use. These range from San Miguel Power Partners to the Community Solar Farm being installed in Paradox Valley. These programs exist to help the community find the resources, inspiration, and knowledge to work together towards a sustainable future.
For more information on how to become a part of the EcoAction Initiative community or learn about SMPA’s initiatives including their exciting opportunity to own your own solar panels that don't have to be on your roof, please visit www.ecoactionpartners.org or call 970-729-5208. Also – EcoAction Partners along with the Wilkinson Public Library will be hosting an educational opportunity about how to become involved in SMPA's Community Solar Farm and separately, the Farm to School Initiative Friday July 13, at 8:30 a.m. in the Wilkinson Public Library Program Room. Breakfast will be provided. Please RSVP by July 12 at 3 p.m. by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kris Holstrom, Sustainability Coordinator, EcoAction Partners