Our View: Kudos for cleaner Eagle County | VailDaily.com

Our View: Kudos for cleaner Eagle County

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

Eagle County got some flak for buying hybrids and some taxpayers will see ulterior motives ” or wasted money ” in everything government does.

But the county administration deserves credit for a host of green initiatives that, while not the answer to global warming, are steps in the right direction.

In the short-term, the county will install more energy-efficient light bulbs and “xeriscape” its grounds. The latter means replacing water-guzzling grass with native plants that use less of that most precious of resources. The county also plans a “transfer station” at the landfill that will enable recycling of a wider variety of products at a higher volume.

The long-term plans are even more interesting. County Manager Bruce Baumgartner says he’s looking into building a “photovoltaic farm” to power the airport with solar energy and geothermal heating for the renovated Justice Center.

These methods are expensive. Baumgartner says they should pay for themselves in energy savings in a decade or so, but even if they don’t, he argues, this is simply the right thing to do in a community that is highly vulnerable to the whims of climate change.

Critics will say that, no matter what Eagle County does, our efforts will just be a drop in the bucket compared to the smog pouring into the air from the homeland, China and elsewhere.

But Eagle County’s skiing economy is hugely dependent on cold weather and snow, and to ignore the environment would be a disgrace.

We hope the county will ignore the critics and continue to come up with bolder and bolder plans to keep our mountains beautiful and covered with snow.

” Matt Zalaznick for the Editorial Board

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