Steamboat Springs The first Earth Day was observed April 22, 1970, and 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums in celebration of the planet.
Today, the 46th Earth Day will be celebrated in 182 countries, according to Earth Day Network.
In Steamboat Springs however, “Every Day is Earth Day.”
Every Day is Earth Day 2016 events
April 22: YVSC Reusable Shopping Bag Giveaway
City Market and Safeway, noon to 1 p.m.
April 25: Community Agriculture Alliance Water Forum
5:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall
April 26: YVSC Talking Green: How Green is Your Sweater?
5:30 to 7 p.m. at Aurum Food and Wine,
April 29: National Arbor Day
April 30: YVSC Residential Electronics and CFL Recycling Collection
9 a.m. to noon at Alpine Bank
April 30: April Stools Day
noon at Pet Kare Clinic
May 1 through 31: National Historic Preservation Month
May 2 through 6: YVSC Second annual School Waste-Free Lunch Challenge
May 5: YVSC Recycling Guidelines published in Spanish
May 6: First Friday Open House - Sequoyah Club Nonprofits
5 to 8 p.m. at Sequoyah Club Building (141 Ninth St.)
May 9 through 13: Routt County Cattlewomen Ranch Days
May 11: YVSC Zero Hero Volunteer Training
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at YVSC office (141 Ninth St.)
May 11: The Messenger Documentary Film
6:30 p.m. at Bud Werner Memorial Library, Library Hall
May 13: YVSC Food Recovery Kick-Off: Information session
2 to 3:30 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College
May 13: ReTree Steamboat Planting
North Routt Community Charter School
May 14: National Give Your Stuff Away Day
May 14: International Migratory Bird Day Celebration
Location and details TBA
May 14: MainStreet Steamboat’s Down and Dirty Parking Lot Sale
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Eighth Street parking lot
May 16 and May 19: Master Gardeners Gardening 101
6:30 p.m. at Bud Werner Memorial Library
May 18: ReTree Steamboat Planting
Steamboat Springs High School
May 18: United Way Day of Caring
8 a.m. at Olympian Hall
May 19: Global Youth Service Day
May 21: Routt County Clean-Up Day
8 a.m. at Olympian Hall
May 21: Steamboat Springs High School Maker Faire
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Steamboat Springs High School
May 24: Alpine Bank Community Shred Day
Noon to 3 p.m. at Alpine Bank
May 24: YVSC Talking Green: Tiny Houses
5:30 to 7 p.m. at Steamboat Springs High School
From a reusable shopping bag giveaway to a used clothing fashion show, an electronic recycling collection and a water forum, the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, with local businesses and organizations, has helped organize a variety of Earth Day events that follow this year’s theme, “Every Day is Earth Day.”
“There’s only one day designated to Earth Day, but in reality, we should be thinking about the way we are impacting the Earth every day,” said Cameron Hawkins, YVSC administrative assistant. “This year, that’s what we are really trying to promote. It’s great to have one day to celebrate, but it should go beyond that one day, and we should translate these practices into every day life.”
The festivities will get underway from noon to 1 p.m. today with the Reusable Shopping Bag Giveaway at City Market and Safeway.
To emphasize the importance of the Yampa River and its impact on the surrounding valley, the Community Agriculture Alliance will host a Water Forum with Colorado Commissioner of Water, John Stulp, who will lead a discussion on Colorado and Yampa water issues beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday in Centennial Hall.
“For people in agriculture, every day is Earth Day,” said Marsha Daughenbaugh, executive director at the Community Agriculture Alliance. “We have to use natural resources to take care of the land, animals and our own personal livelihood. I think it’s really good to have a month-long awareness of what environmental conservation is and what it can be for our valley.”
Sustainability within the clothing industry will be highlighted at the “YVSC Talking Green: How Green is Your Sweater?” event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26 at Aurum Food and Wine. Anne Duane, Quality Assurance Manager for SmartWool, will lead a discussion about SmarWool’s approach to corporate social responsibly and sustainability practice and will walk attendees through the supply chain from farm to finished goods.
“I think it’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of the environment,” Duane said. “It’s time to start caring for it, because if we want to prolong life on the Earth, we have to be aware of our impacts. I don’t think anyone can say they don’t have to think or be aware of it. Even companies and businesses are being more conscious of their impacts.”
Other events continuing through the month of May include an April Stools Day clean up, YVSC’s Second annual School Waste-Free Lunch Challenge, YVSC Zero Hero Volunteer Training, the Steamboat Springs High School Maker Fair, ReTree Steamboat planting, the annual United Way Day of Caring, Global Youth Service Day and Routt County Clean-Up Day.
“Like any healthy habit — eating well or exercising — it’s easy to slip back into old behaviors,” said Anne Mudgett, YVSC program and development director. “It’s good to have a reminder about living every day as sustainably as we can — no judgment, just a gentle reminder to do the best we can for this one planet we have. Maybe that’s walking or riding your bike instead of driving, replacing your incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs or remembering your cloth shopping bags when you go to the store. All those little actions add up and make a big impact.”
This year, YVSC will launch a new community-wide food recovery initiative. The initiative, said Mudgett, will include collecting uneaten food from restaurants and distributing it to food insecure residents to reduce food waste.
Locally, Mudgett said, there has been more awareness of climate change and the need to reduce impacts on the climate in recent years. Sustainability practices that have changed locally include a greater awareness of energy efficiency with an increase in renewable energy; more fuel-efficient cars and an electric vehicle charging station; more people growing their own food and eating local foods; and Zero Waste efforts underway at local schools.
“Perhaps because of the Yampa Valley’s long agricultural tradition, people in Steamboat have always been in tune with the environment and how they fit into the local ecosystem,” Mudgett said. “It’s inspiring to see so many people striving for sustainability and community resilience.”
To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@ExploreSteamboat.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1