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Archive for the ‘ Natural Resources & Sustainability ’ Category

 

This Saturday: New Colorado Holiday to Celebrate Value of Public Lands!

May 16th, 2017

There is a great respect and appreciation for the public land here in Colorado, and the majority of Colorado voters in 2016 “opposed efforts to turn national public lands over to the state.” (Conservation Colorado 2016). With this sentiment in mind, Colorado made itself the first state to create a holiday focused on appreciating the benefits received from public land. Be one of the first to celebrate this holiday on this coming Saturday, the 20th of May, as it will be the one of the first celebrations ever of Colorado’s New Public Lands Day! Colorado’s public land holds great value and... Read More

A Sustainable Future for Coffee

January 27th, 2016

One of the major issues in the coffee industry is sustainability. In every aspect and area of the business—from the farm to cup—there is room for growth when it comes to energy and waste management. The future of coffee (like any commodity dealing with climate change) depends on the ability of farmers, roasters, baristas, and customers to make smart decisions that favor long term sustainability goals. As consumers, we can choose to buy coffee from roasteries that participate in direct trade with farmers and cooperatives invested in environmentally sound growing practices. We can also make the... Read More

New Renewable Energy Goals Grow Across Country

October 8th, 2015

This past year, states all across the nation have been significantly increasing the percentage of renewable energy that they are aiming to achieve. On this past Wednesday, the 7th of October, new renewable energy goals for California were signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. The San Francisco Gate reported on the event. This bill requires that “by the end of 2030, half of California’s electricity will come from the wind, the sun and other renewable sources under a new law that sets one of the country’s most ambitious clean-energy targets”. Some other states that have done so already this... Read More

Coffee4Change: A New Way to Support Coffee Farmers

October 7th, 2015

Last week in celebration of the inaugural International Coffee Day, the charitable organization Oxfam, in partnership with the ICO, kicked off their new campaign to support coffee farmers throughout various countries. Coffee4Change aims to raise funds to aid local workers in Haiti, Honduras, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda. The money raised will help ensure that coffee farmers are utilizing the most effective business models and environmentally efficient techniques to grow and sell their crops. It sounds like an excellent way to support the prosperous future of ethical and sustainable... Read More

Contaminated Colorado Water Now Safe, But Larger Issue Becomes Apparent

September 17th, 2015

A little over a month ago, CNN reported that, “More than 3 million of gallons of wastewater from the Gold King Mine spilled into the nearby Animas River.” According to the Denver Post the river has been safe for recreational use since a little more than a week after the spill, and even the fish in the river are now safe to eat. However, this contamination caused quite a commotion for good reason, and there are reasons to be exceedingly cautious of this sort of event happening in the future. CNN reported that “Leading toxicologists say there could be health effects for many years... Read More

Pretty Evil: Purple Loosestrife

August 13th, 2015

I love our parks. The open spaces in and around Boulder are part of what makes it such a special place. We live in a beautiful bubble; open forested foothills to our west, gradual open slopes to our north, and thriving farms and grasslands to our south and east. Many Boulderites know that the open space doesn’t just benefit the citizenry, but a huge array of life. In fact, Boulder County has the highest number of unique species of birds, plants, and mammals in Colorado. Unfortunately, this is all threatened by invasive species. One such weed is purple loosestrife, both pretty and evil. About... Read More

Two Sides to Every Story: “Pixán” Brings Us Coffee’s Other Half

June 16th, 2015

 “There’s a lot more to coffee than beans” – Pixán founders, Louisa Lombera and Gates Gooding   I’ll take a short break from featuring businesses explicitly endurance-athlete related to focus on a product that embodies other important ideals for Boulder businesses: organically grown, sustainable, environmental management, social responsibility, improving markets for Latin American farmers and something many of us enjoy daily: COFFEE. Were your first thoughts while sipping this morning’s coffee, “I wonder if the entire coffee plant is being used to... Read More

Coffee for Your Garden & Your Skin

April 22nd, 2015

When I was a barista in Brooklyn, I remember a customer asking for the café’s unwanted coffee grounds for his home composting. We had tons of it—leftover from the espresso grinder and from making drip coffee—filling up our trashcans so we were happy to pass some on to him. Recycling coffee grounds into your compost or fertilizer is a fantastic way to cut down on coffee waste. It’s also a great way to add valuable nutrients to your garden, since coffee is full of nitrogen and antioxidants. Another fun use for coffee, which I also learned while working at that shop in Brooklyn, is for skincare.... Read More

Love Thy Neighbor, Don’t Fight Him On GMOs

April 1st, 2015

Boulder is a famously health-conscious place—it’s consistently ranked as one of the fittest cities in America, and the abundance of beautiful trails and natural foods stores certainly makes it easy to be healthy and active. Unfortunately where interest lies, misinformation usually follows, and that’s the case with GMOs. Around here, you’ve probably seen labels on all kinds of food proudly trumpeting “Contains No GMOs!” but that little label is much more loaded than with just information. It’s a deeply emotional issue, one that forms unbreakable opinions on both sides and discussion... Read More

Beepocalypse: How You Can Meet the Bees’ Needs

March 25th, 2015

About 10 years ago, bees all over the US started dying off in droves and no one could figure out why. The blight kept spreading and the mystery deepened, getting lots of media attention and an apocalyptic-sounding name: Colony Collapse Disorder. Farmers, understandably, panicked. Without bees to pollinate their crops, production would be decimated—from blueberries to oranges to carrots, almost everything in the produce aisle would disappear. Now, symptoms of Colony Collapse Disorder aren’t as common as they used to be but bees are still dying off at an alarming rate. Beekeepers and researchers... Read More

Women & Coffee

March 11th, 2015

Women in various countries, from different backgrounds, are working to sustain the global coffee industry. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, female coffee farmers and retailers face the same gender inequality and wage gap that exists in every workforce. From farm to shop, the commodity of the bean too often trumps the livelihood of the employees, especially the female ones. Poor or working class women of color, who live in coffee producing countries, are the most vulnerable to being undervalued in the business. But even in the predominately white and middle class world of Western retail coffee,... Read More

A Documentary Film for All Coffee Lovers

February 25th, 2015

Part love letter, part visual treatise, A Film About Coffee is a beautiful documentary that explores the growing field of specialty coffee. It’s a short but comprehensive film that ebbs and flows from roastery to farm to café. With interviews from industry professionals around the world—including company owners, champion baristas, seasoned growers, and dedicated buyers—this food doc covers many bases to prove the importance of ethically sourced and skillfully crafted coffee. By showing the hard work and passion it takes to make a great cup of coffee, A Film About Coffee asks viewers to... Read More

Coyote-Wolf Hybrids Flourishing Across United States

January 19th, 2015

  Throughout the ages as human society has developed our planet and conquered new frontiers, people brought with them all sorts of things.  Including other species. Anthropogenic development has allowed other species to inhabit places once not accessible to them by riding on the metaphorical coattails of humanity.  In fact white-nose syndrome, which continues to devastate bat populations across North America, arrived in North America on the actual bottom of someone’s shoe that the person had worn spelunking.  Invasive species can cause no major issue for their new environments but can... Read More

The Victories of Boulder County Sustainability

January 12th, 2015

2015 is a new year, full of potential. While there is a collective hope for a more sustainable future not just locally but across the world, it is important to not forget sustainability’s local victories that have already happened.   Boulder county is a region where there has already been notable successful sustainable reform.  According to Boulder county’s website, sustainability means “The use, development and protection of resources in a way that enables Boulder county residents to meet their needs and maintain a high quality of life, without compromising the ability of future... Read More

New Uses for Colorado Beetle Kill are Cheap and Eco-Friendly

January 5th, 2015

The Mountain Pine Beetles have been a prevalent issue for forests across North America for roughly a decade; however, new uses for the large number of trees that Beetles have killed have proven an affordable raw material for producing a variety of goods.   “Only [seven] years ago, industry believed little could be done with it apart from artistic or cosmetic uses for wood, which was being marketed as ‘denim pine.’ Traditional uses of pine, in construction and elsewhere, were considered impossible for beetle-kill wood”. – The Sustainable Lumber Company While builders... Read More

The Real Facts of the Keystone Pipeline

December 28th, 2014

Recently there has been a lot of discussion pertaining to the Keystone XL Pipeline, and whether or not to allow for the construction of it has become an even hotter debate.  Many people have taken sides and it can be difficult to find the objective truths on the matter.  The following is the truth that can be distilled out of what both sides of this controversial pipeline claim. According to TransCanada, the makers of the Keystone XL Pipeline, “[The Keystone XL Pipeline] will not only bring essential infrastructure to North American oil producers, but it will also provide jobs, long-term... Read More

New Water Shortages Means More Expensive Food on the Horizon

December 21st, 2014

One of the largest agricultural producing regions of the United States is under grave danger from water shortages.  According to Mercury News, “The Central Valley, home to the world’s largest swath of ultra-fertile Class 1 soil, is the backbone of California’s $36.9 billion a year, high-tech agricultural industry. Its 6.3 million acres of farmland produce more 350 crops, from fruits and vegetables to nuts and cotton, representing 25 percent of the food on the nation’s table”.  This modern day bread basket of the United States produces a quarter of the food that... Read More

Ski Resorts Drastically Boosting Sustainability

December 14th, 2014

Most of the ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains have environmental protection policies because the mountains they are built upon are considered National Parks. These ski resorts are required to include a certain level of eco-friendliness, commitment to environmental stewardship, and commitment to environmental restoration. Resorts are often a part of the community they are in, especially in a ski town.  Resorts offer many jobs and include shops, restaurants and residences.  Because the resorts are at the heart of the local economies in these ski towns, when a ski resort uses less energy from... Read More

Protect Our Country From Fracking’s Unchecked Environmental Crimes

December 8th, 2014

The oil and gas industry in the United States is exponentially growing due to the use of a relatively new technology called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. In fact, the United States is on its way to becoming the number one exporter of oil in the world.  While fracking in the United States has allowed for increased oil and gas production, it is far from benefitting the United States in other important sectors. Fracking is done by injecting a mixture of dangerous chemicals, water and sand into shale deposits at high temperatures.  This mixture is then pulled back to the surface... Read More

A Chance For An Energy Independent Future: Solar Roads

November 30th, 2014

On Wednesday November 12th in the Netherlands, Earth’s first road that generates electricity from sunlight was opened in the town of Krommenie according to CNN’s website. Officials from SolaRoad, the company that developed this solar roadway said that while this is currently only a test route the electricity generated can be used to power parts of the transportation system such as traffic lights and stops, but also homes. The Solar Roads can also be programmed for a vast amount of extra utility, and according to SolarRoadways.com there are vast benefits for using solar roadways in contrast... Read More