GREENLIGHTS is Coming to a Farmers Market Near You

EcoAction Partners is pleased to announce the launch of the 2019 GREENLIGHTS program, an LED light bulb rebate program sponsored by the San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) and local municipalities. The program will launch June 1 and will run through June 29, 2019.

New to the program: the extremely discounted LED light bulbs will be available at your local Farmers Market, so when you go to pick up your fresh produce, you can also purchase LED light bulbs – many for just $1! Participating regional Farmers Markets include Telluride, Mountain Village, Norwood, and Nucla.

“We are thrilled to offer GREENLIGHTS again to the local community and now through local Farmers Markets,” says Heather Knox, Executive Director of EcoAction Partners. “Our mission is to encourage regional residents and businesses to switch over to LED light bulbs to save money, reduce energy, and ultimately reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions,” says Knox.

Funding for GREENLIGHTS comes from SMPA, local governments, and the Telluride Foundation. Purchasers will need to bring their SMPA bill or have the SMPA Smart Hub app on their phone to verify their service address and SMPA account number.

“There are many perks that come with switching over to LED light bulbs,” says Knox. “It has been reported that each LED light bulb can save you between $30 and $80 in electricity costs over the lifetime of the bulb. To put this into perspective, think about how many light bulbs your home or business currently uses, and then think about how much you could save if you switched over to LED light bulbs,” says Knox.

SMPA supports the GREENLIGHTS special promotional program by allowing the SMPA light bulb rebates to be assessed at the time of purchase. Further, local municipalities are matching 50 percent of the SMPA rebate. A special thank you the Town of Telluride, Mountain Village, Ridgway, and Ouray, as well as San Miguel and Ouray Counties for supporting this funding match. Also a special thank you to the Telluride Foundation that provides funding for west-end residents in Paradox, Nucla and Naturita in lieu of Montrose County funding.

For more information about the program, dates of regional Farmers Markets, LED light bulb selection and pricing, and what to bring to verify your SMPA account number click here.

New Grant Program Supports Local Businesses and Residents In Reducing Carbon Footprint

The Town of Telluride is pleased to announce Telluride Green Grants, an exciting new grant program that supports local residents and businesses alike in reducing their carbon footprint.

Funded by the Town of Telluride and administered by EcoAction Partners, Telluride Green Grants is available for non-profit, commercial, and residential capital projects that deliver measurable greenhouse gas reduction for the Town of Telluride. Grants of $500 to $40,000 are available, and applications open March 15 and are due by May 17, 2019.

Funding for the grants comes directly from the Telluride Energy Mitigation Program (TEMP), a program that requires mitigation of energy used by exterior energy systems installed on new construction projects such as driveway snowmelt systems, heated garages, and exterior pools and spas. If energy used by these systems is not mitigated through on-site renewable energy, then a fee in-lieu of mitigation is required to allow the Town to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of the project.  

“We are thrilled that Telluride is taking the initiative to implement this grant program for the community,” says Heather Knox, Executive Director of EcoAction Partners. “We are hopeful that it will encourage and reenergize locals to think of new and creative ways to reduce their carbon footprint.”

The Town of Telluride government has been tracking and mitigating its greenhouse gas emissions since 2003. In 2009, Town officials adopted the Colorado Climate Action Plan 2020 Goal of reducing GHG emissions 20 percent from 2005 levels for the Town government, and achieved this goal in 2012. Through the assistance of RECs purchased from the Ridgway Hydro Dam, the Town government has also been carbon neutral since 2014.

“After the Town of Telluride government reached its goal of becoming carbon neutral in 2014, we saw this grant program as a great opportunity to help the community as a whole to become carbon neutral,” says Council member Todd Brown. “If you have been thinking of a project to help offset the community’s greenhouse gas emissions, we encourage you to apply,” says Brown. 

Telluride community’s total estimated GHG emissions are at approximately 59,600 mtCO2e annually. In 2017, Town officials agreed to update the community’s goal to become “carbon neutral”. In efforts to reach this goal, the Telluride community has been steadily making progress in decreasing emissions through increasing renewable electricity use, improving building energy efficiency for new construction and remodels, and through programs administered by EcoAction Partners, San Miguel Power Association, Black Hills Energy, and other community organizations.  

Telluride Green Grants is modeled after the successful San Miguel County Green Grants program that was offered in 2014, and resulted in the implementation of 19 projects that cumulatively reduce GHG emissions by more than 350 mtCO2e annually. Suggested project application ideas include: net-zero building construction, existing building insulation and weatherization actions, boiler and furnace replacements, renewable energy installations, waste reduction projects, and transportation-related fuel reduction efforts.  Other creative projects are encouraged to apply! 

For more information click here.

Ophir Composting Program Has Diverted Over 3,000 Pounds of Food and Waste From The Landfill

Telluride, CO (September 28, 2018) – After receiving a State of Colorado Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) mini-grant on January 29, 2018, two Earth Cube composting units were ordered and delivered to Ophir, CO in early April. At the end of August, it was reported that over 3,000 pounds of food and waste were diverted from the landfill, and an additional 600 pounds was diverted in September.

“Ophir residents have really embraced composting!” says Heather Knox, Executive Director of EcoAction Partners who wrote and submitted the grant. “The RREO grant provided funding for the purchase of the two Earth Cubes, additional equipment such as a scale and a drill to mix the compost, and educational materials for residents. Each Earth Cube accepts up to 50 pounds of food waste per day,” says Knox.

Preliminary results are in and the 3,000 pounds of food and waste diverted from the landfill through August has offset approximately three metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MTCO2e).

Jacey Depriest, a local Ophir resident who sits on the Ophir Self Reliance Committee, has been a key contributor, as well as other community members, to the ongoing education and upkeep of the Ophir composting program. After the success she has seen in such a short amount of time, she encourages satellite towns to explore this grant to bring composting to their communities.

“The Town of Ophir has put in a lot of effort to make our government carbon neutral. We wanted to find a way to become more sustainable to further reduce our carbon footprint as a community,” says Depriest. “With the composting program we have not only been able to significantly reduce Ophir’s overall landfill waste, but we will use the soil resulting from the compost to feed our community gardens. We are excited to see our post-consumer waste support the growth of healthy, organic food.”

The Ophir composting program has received a lot of interest from the local community; multiple tours have been given, and are available to those interested.

“The next RREO Grant cycle will open in October and will be due a month later; the exact dates will be announced. We encourage towns to apply to bring composting to their communities,” says Knox. “Composting food waste significantly decreases methane that is produced from food decomposing anaerobically in the landfill. This is beneficial, because methane is approximately 25 times more dangerous as a Greenhouse Gas than Carbon Dioxide.”

A special thanks to the Ophir Self Reliance Committee, and Jacey Depriest, who generously assisted in the design and creation of all educational materials; Ophir Mayor, Corinne Platt; Ophir Town Manager, Randy Barnes for managing the facility to make room for the units and assisting with the day-to-day operations; Tyler Schultz, owner of Arborist Services, for supplying the bulking agent (wood chips); Kris Holstrom for supplying buckets for the community, and to the many others who helped this project come to fruition.

For more information about the RREO Grant visit: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/recycling-grants.