Boulder County on the Path to Sustainability. ~ Cait Giraffe

Via elephant journal
on Sep 5, 2011
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Boulder County is truly a leader in Colorado’s sustainability efforts!

Boulder County recently received a 2011 National Association of Counties Achievement Award for excellence in eight different categories.  This award is given to counties that serve as outstanding models for others to follow.

Most notably, Boulder County received an award for environmental excellence for its participation in two different programs that promote sustainability and recycling in the region. The ‘Roofs to Roads Colorado’ program collects asphalt shingles from roofing demolition projects and uses them to pave roads. To date, this program has collected over 5,000 tons of asphalt shingles and has paved a road in Boulder County, which has kept those shingles out of landfills and formulated a way to make an industry substantially more sustainable.

Photo: Christoph Rupprecht

Boulder County also won an award for the ‘Food to Fuel Biodiesel Program.’ Boulder County fuels their municipal fleet with a biodiesel blend produced by local grease recycling center Sustainable Oil Service. This innovative company collects waste cooking oil from local restaurants and converts it into clean burning biodiesel.  Boulder County’s use of this biodiesel has diverted 210,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere since July of 2010.

The process of converting used cooking oil, or “yellow grease” as it is called, is reasonably inexpensive and can be done locally, making it a feasible option for any restaurant looking to reduce its carbon footprint. While biofuels have been criticized for diverting food resources to create fuel, using recycled cooking oil resolves that issue and instead eliminates a waste product while reducing our dependence on petroleum resources. This transforms the debate from one of “food versus fuel” to a situation of “food to fuel.”

Photo: Argonne National Laboratory

Through these two programs, Boulder County is actively demonstrating how counties can promote sustainability and economic growth simultaneously. Since almost every county has both roofing demolition projects and restaurants with fryers, both of these programs can be implemented in counties across the nation. We can only hope that other regions will follow Boulder County’s example and embrace sustainable practices.

For more information please contact Cait Giraffe at [email protected]


 Cait Giraffe (known to some as Kaitlyn Minich), is a graduate of Denison University and has her degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science. She grew up in Colorado Springs and currently resides in Boulder. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her free time rock climbing, skiing, hiking, or playing volleyball.


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elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of Questions? Send to [email protected]


8 Responses to “Boulder County on the Path to Sustainability. ~ Cait Giraffe”

  1. […] derail you. It’s the unexpected blindsiding that really guts us and leaves us at the side of the path, […]

  2. It's always nice to see my photographs in use, it would have been nicer if someone had asked permission to use a photo that is clearly marked "© Copyright, Julian Luckham, 2007, All rights reserved. This photo should not be used in any way without my explicit permission."

  3. Chad says:

    I am sure your ad space is not free, you should have the same respect for photographers when using their photos. Shame on you and do the right thing!

  4. Graeme says:

    Quick check and the first photo isn't even from Boulder Country, rather Ottawa…

  5. Phil says:

    Supporting the protest against SOPA but you steal photos without asking or even a link back to the source???

  6. Photo has been removed…clearly someone made an error there. We do use Flickr Creative Commons with attribution (as well as other photos we own the rights to.) Not sure why your photo was used, but all apologies and it has been replaced.

  7. Absolutely! We do have a large volunteer and intern staff…and will be reiterating our policy about what types of photos may be used. We have huge respect for photographers and all types of artists.

  8. Attribution was given in accordance with Flickr Creative Commons policy. However, whoever chose the photo missed the fact that although it came from Flickr, Mr. Luckingham's photo was copyrighted and all rights reserved rather than a "free with attribution" photo as we would generally use. Photo has been replaced.