Editorial: Healthy competition | VailDaily.com

Editorial: Healthy competition

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

There are plenty of rivalries between Colorado’s big ski resorts, and some of these spats, having nothing to do with actual skiing, are pretty nasty ” such as the debate over which resort’s the snobbiest and which one has the worst parking or housing problems.

But there’s a very healthy battle brewing between Aspen and Telluride, and it’s a competition the Vail Valley should join.

Aspen and Telluride are having a cloth grocery bag contest. The town that uses fewer plastic bags to carry home its groceries gets solar panels for one of its schools paid for by the other resort.

The contest was organized by two environmental groups, and we hope one of the valley’s eco-friendly organizations will throw down the green gauntlet and enter us in the contest.

There’s no question that ski country, so deeply dependent on pristine environments and cold weather, should be the leader when it comes to green living. And some cities are leading.

Most towns and resorts have bought wind-power credits. Many are filling all their light fixtures with compact-fluorescent light bulbs. Those are just first steps.

The city of Aspen is considering what could be the country’s first outright ban on plastic bags, and we hope they go through with it and that Vail, Avon and Eagle County ” and Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte, and others ” follow suit.

Colorado’s resort towns should be pushing the environmental envelope ” not waiting for cities in California to do all the pioneering. We should be experimenting with biomass plants and wind turbines and other sorts of alternative energy. We, as taxpayers, should be willing to help fund the best recycling programs.

We should embrace the attitude that not every idea will work and that not every environmental effort will come with a satisfying return-on-investment.

Vail, and its fellow resorts, should be a model that year-round residents can be proud and from which second-home owners and tourists can borrow ideas to take back to their hometowns.

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