Vail’s summer will be greener |

Vail’s summer will be greener

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” This summer in Vail, Colorado, you may be encouraged to ride your bike or take the bus to the Teva Mountain Games. Or you might be served a grilled rib on an eco-friendly paper plate made of recycled materials at the Lamb Cook Off.

The town of Vail, as part of it’s environmental sustainability program, is requiring that event organizers meet certain green requirements this summer.

The program aims to lessen the events’ impact on the environment as well as educate those who come to the events, said Kristen Bertuglia, the town of Vail’s environmental sustainability coordinator.

“These events can have such a major impact in such a short period of time,” she said, pointing to the massive amounts of trash created during a weekend event, particularly the many bottles and plastic cups left from beverages.

The requirements include providing recycling containers in all areas of the event, disposing of waste water into a sewer system, eliminating the use of Styrofoam, using eco-friendly utensils and discouraging the use of plastic cups and bottles, and enforcing a no-idling policy for vehicles at the event.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

People attending the events should also be encouraged to bike, walk, carpool or take public transportation.

The organizers must meet the requirements to receive their event permit.

Many events are already taking their own steps to be more eco-friendly. Taste of Vail used all compostable serving utensils, plates and cup. The Lamb Cook Off turned all their plastic event banners into reusable shopping bags.

The upcoming Teva Mountain Games is also working on some green improvements, including a possible plan to offset the event’s carbon footprint, said event spokeswoman Shelley Woodworth.

The town also offers a two-page checklist of suggested green improvements to event organizers, including using vendors and companies with environmental policies, not using plastic bags, and using linens instead of paper products.

This is the first year the green policies have been enacted, but Bertuglia said next year the town may require even more of organizers.

“We are tracking participation, and will reevaluate the checklist this summer so we can improve upon it, and make it more stringent next year,” she said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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