Sustainability Tip: Lessons from Eagle County icons, sustainability champions Andy Jessen, Adam Palmer and Seth Bossung
Walking Mountains Science Center
If you’ve ever stood staring in front of a vibrantly colored, wildflower covered, seemingly undiscovered mountain landscape long enough to catch a bug in your mouth, you know.
If you’ve ever found it impossible to stop smiling as the sun sets on your after-work mini adventure successfully squeezed into a long day, you know.
If you’ve ever seen, heard of, or been impacted by the work of three Eagle County icons, influencers and outdoor enthusiasts — who were also friends, fathers, husbands, goofballs, and fun-seekers — you know.
You know the sense of responsibility you feel to protect the beauty of the natural environment we are so lucky to admire and enjoy right from our backyards; the environment in which many supported Eagle Valley residents live, work and play; the uniquely awe-inspiring environment attracting visitors and guests around the world.
You know that being drawn into the outdoors is not a choice, but an “innate affinity for the natural world; a biologically based need,” as one Harvard scientist described.
You know, having made a connection with nature, the level of importance behind taking action to protect, preserve and sustain our earthly home, and find yourself driven to make sustainable choices to contribute.
You may know of a University of British Columbia study, which found that if you “want to protect nature, curb pollution, and slow climate change, it is as easy as telling your children to go play outdoors.” One among many similar studies, it demonstrated connection to nature increases drive and responsibility for environmental protection. More precisely, 84% of those who spent time in nature as children prioritized taking care of the environment as adults.
No three people know these truths better, however, than three Eagle County leaders and change makers knew. Andy Jessen, Adam Palmer and Seth Bossung. As staff members of our county’s Sustainable Communities Department, position holders on our town councils, participants with our local Sustainable Business Certification Program, and contributors to our volunteer trail crews, those three Eagle County icons — whose work you may have seen, heard of, or been impacted by — practiced and lived by these truths. To cherish and perpetuate these truths — legacies our friends would want us to uphold and defend — we can only follow in their footsteps ourselves. In need of their guidance, we can go on a very mellow ski tour through treed slopes of the surrounding White River National Forest, find a new perspective from a hike-to-peak viewpoint, or submerge ourselves in the rapid pace of the Eagle River. We’ll be reminded just how this trio of sustainability champions left behind the legacies they did, and find one of their paths well-traveled leading us forward.
3 sustainability tips
- Take a tour through Eagle Valley’s sustainability progress since 2014 by visiting the Climate Action Collaborative website. You’ll begin to understand how Palmer left behind a legacy of not only hard work and dedication — given his integral part in developing the Climate Action Collaborative and Plan — but also humor, given the need for laughter while attempting to meet his otherwise very unfunny goals to help save the planet.
- Get a home energy assessment to honor Bossung’s memory and affinity for energy efficiency. Master of lasting friendships upon which the Eagle Valley’s small town camaraderie lives on, Bossung improved the livelihoods and comfort of Eagle County residents’ right from their very living rooms. He performed over 230 home energy assessments, and reduced emissions equivalent to the sequestration powers of nearly 4,000 trees (baby trees over a 10-year period, to be exact).
- Sip a Rope Drop, Firestarter or your own favorite and find yourself in awe of each glass full of Bonfire Brewing. Refer to the variety of news stories, craft brews and complimentary reviews highlighting Jessen’s sustainability efforts at Bonfire Brewing, including the solar panel installation atop their production facility, sustainability certification from Actively Green and Forbes feature for business resilience during coronavirus.