PARK CITY MOUNTAIN RESORT AWARDED TOP ENVIRONMENTAL HONORS IN 2008
Park City Mountain Resort ends 2008 being recognized by numerous green advocate groups for its environmental initiatives. Most recently, the Resort received an Energy Star Business Certification for its Team Building as well as an “A” ranking from the Ski Area Citizens Coalition (SACC), and the Clif Bar Silver Eagle Award for Excellence in Energy Conservation and Clean Energy. Park City Mountain Resort shares the honor of the 2008 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with its parent company, Powdr Corp.
“Park City Mountain Resort is overjoyed to be recognized with such prestigious awards for our work towards environmental sustainability,” said Brent Giles, director of environmental affairs for Park City Mountain Resort. “Everyone from our team members to our guests has contributed to the success of the resort’s environmental stewardship. The acknowledgement from these green leaders is a great indicator that the environmental work we do is a true step towards becoming more carbon neutral and we hope to continue to lead by example.”
Park City Mountain Resort’s Team Building, located at 1310 Lowell Avenue, was awarded the Energy Star for Business Certification. Energy Star is the mark of superior energy performance and identifies a building as one the most efficient in the nation. Park City Mountain Resort’s Team Building is the only building in Park City that is currently listed under this prestigious designation.
Park City Mountain Resort once again scored an “A” ranking from the Ski Area Citizens Coalition (SACC). The SACC gives grades to western U.S. ski resorts based on their environmental policies and practices. The scorecard was created to allow skiers to choose a resort based on its genuine positive environmental stewardship records. This is the second year in a row that Park City Mountain Resort received an “A” ranking.
Park City Mountain Resort received one of the nation’s top environmental awards, the Silver Eagle Award for Excellence in Energy Conservation and Clean Energy. After Park City Mountain Resort completed the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of global warming’s effect on a resort and the greater Utah snow sports industry, it began an on-going effort to reduce its electricity use, which accounts for 86 percent of its carbon footprint. Through initiatives that include the purchase of more energy-efficient snowmaking equipment, lighting retrofits, and bio-diesel use in its snowcat fleet, the resort reduced its energy consumption by 23 percent.
Following the win of the Silver Eagle Award, Park City Mountain Resort in conjunction with Powdr Corp, furthered its commitment to being a conservation leader with the purchase of renewable energy credits to offset power consumption by 100 percent. The Resort’s purchase of 13.9 million kWh of renewable energy credits (RECs) avoids nearly 19 million pounds of CO2 emissions annually, which is equal to removing 1,853 passenger vehicles from the road or powering 1,100 average American homes for a year.
As a result, Powdr Corp was one of only nine organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award in the Green Power Purchasing category by the U.S. EPA. This award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves through purchases of green power from a utility green-pricing program, a competitive green marketer, or a renewable energy credit (REC) supplier.
“The annual energy consumption of a ski resort is substantial, and we have a responsibility to reduce the carbon footprint of our resorts to help preserve their pristine settings for generations to come,” said Giles. “While this switch to renewable energy will be invisible to the guest, skiers and riders can enjoy peace of mind knowing that all of Park City Mountain Resort’s electricity is now coming from 100 percent renewable sources.”
Since 2005, Park City Mountain Resort’s environmental initiatives have reduced and offset 30 million pounds of CO2 emissions, reducing its carbon footprint by 97 percent. To learn more about all of Park City Mountain Resort’s environmental initiatives, visit www.saveoursnow.net.
From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine
Dear EarthTalk: I want to convince my high school to go green. What would it cost for a school to switch to all recycled paper products and all energy efficient lighting? -- Danel Berman, via e-mail
Greening your school is a great idea. It will not only benefit the environment but the student body as well. According to the “Greening America’s Schools” report, sponsored in part by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), green buildings provide a better study and learning environment for students. Improved lighting, air quality and acoustics are estimated to improve learning abilities and test scores by as much as five percent. And what better way to teach young people about the importance of environmental stewardship than starting right in the schools where they spend the majority of every weekday?
Since every school is different, there is no universal formula for calculating how much money going green will cost. Switching over to recycled paper, for instance, will not necessarily be cheap. A recent spot-check at a national office supply chain showed that the price for a ream (500 sheets) of 30 percent recycled copy paper was 20 percent higher than a ream with no recycled content. If you chose 100 percent recycled content, you would pay 35 percent more per ream. But prices can vary widely depending upon where you buy paper, and bulk purchasers like schools may be able to negotiate much better prices.
The best way to offset the added costs of switching to recycled paper is to cut paper usage at the same time. Start a program to educate students about how they can reduce paper waste by printing on both sides of a sheet and by not printing as many drafts, for example. You can also encourage your school to switch to e-newsletters instead of paper ones and find other ways to reduce administrative paper use.
Switching to recycled paper is definitely a big win for the environment. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that 40 cases of 30 percent recycled copy paper (400 reams) will save more than seven trees, 2,100 gallons of water, 1,230 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 18 pounds of air pollution.
You can calculate this impact for your school. Ask your school purchaser how much printer/copier paper is purchased, and calculate its weight in pounds or tons. Then go to the Environmental Defense Fund’s online Paper Calculator. Enter the weight and type of paper you use and you can determine the amount of wood, energy, water, solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions you’ll save by switching to recycled.
As for lighting, many schools already use a lot of fluorescent lighting. If your school still uses incandescent bulbs, consider that for every 60-watt incandescent bulb switched to a 13-watt compact fluorescent, the school could save 75 percent in energy use—an average of $45 over the life of each bulb.
Ambitious schools can also put in occupancy sensors that turn lights off when rooms are vacant, or install task lighting to further reduce energy usage. Such add-ons might seem like luxuries for already strapped schools, but it just may be worthwhile anyway given the energy that can be saved and the lessons learned.
CONTACTS: EnergyStar, www.energystar.gov; U.S. Green Building Council, www.usgbc.org; Natural Resources Defense Council, www.nrdc.org; Green Schools Initiative, www.greenschools.net; Environmental Defense Fund’s Paper Calculator, www.papercalculator.org.
GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: email@example.com. Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php.
From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine
Dear EarthTalk: With all the talk of desalinization of ocean water for drinking, what do we know about the impacts this might have on climate, ocean salinity and other natural processes?
-- Fred Kuepper, via e-mail
Due to its high cost, energy intensiveness and overall ecological footprint, most environmental advocates view desalinization (or desalination)—the conversion of salty ocean water into fresh water—as a last resort for providing fresh water to needy populations. Sourcing fresh water from streams, rivers, lakes and underground aquifers and adhering to strict water conservation measures are much more viable for both economic and environmental reasons in most situations, although some desert regions with thirsty and growing populations may not have many such options.
The relationship between desalinization and climate change is complex. Global warming has increased droughts around the world and turned formerly verdant landscapes into near deserts. Some long held fresh water sources are simply no longer reliably available to hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Meanwhile, expanding populations in desert areas are putting intense pressure on existing fresh water supplies, forcing communities to turn to desalinization as the most expedient way to satisfy their collective thirst. But the process of desalinization burns up many more fossil fuels than sourcing the equivalent amount of fresh water from fresh water bodies. As such, the very proliferation of desalinization plants around the world—some 13,000 already supply fresh water in 120 nations, primarily in the Middle East, North Africa and Caribbean—is both a reaction to and one of many contributors to global warming.
Beyond the links to climate problems, marine biologists warn that widespread desalinization could take a heavy toll on ocean biodiversity; as such facilities’ intake pipes essentially vacuum up and inadvertently kill millions of plankton, fish eggs, fish larvae and other microbial organisms that constitute the base layer of the marine food chain. And, according to Jeffrey Graham of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, the salty sludge leftover after desalinization—for every gallon of freshwater produced, another gallon of doubly concentrated salt water must be disposed of—can wreak havoc on marine ecosystems if dumped willy-nilly offshore. “For some desalinization operations,” says Graham, “it is thought that the disappearance of some organisms from discharge areas may be related to…the salty outflow.”
Of course, as supplies of fresh water dwindle, the economic cost of desalinization—especially in coastal areas with easy access to ocean water—begins to look competitive with traditional water sourcing. To date there are about 300 desalinization plants in the United States, with 120 in Florida and less than 40 each in Texas and California. Some 20 additional plants are planned for the coast of California in the coming years, unless environmentalists extolling the virtues of conservation and wielding low-flow shower heads and toilets prevail.
CONTACT: Scripps’ Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine, www.cmbb.ucsd.edu.
GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/thisweek/, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read past columns at: www.emagazine.com/earthtalk/archives.php
COUNTRY WALKERS CELEBRATES 30 YEARS AS AN
ADVENTURE TRAVEL INNOVATOR
Special Anniversary Trips to Egypt and Vermont, Plus Win a Trip to Venice!
Human beings may have several million years of walking experience under our collective ancestral belt, but only in the last 30 years has walking become such an incredible adventure. In 2009, Country Walkers – the world’s leading small-group walking tour provider – celebrates its 30th anniversary with two charitable “Giving Back Tours,” new destinations and itineraries, an innovative, new “Walking à la Carte" program and, most importantly, an unfaltering passion for adventure travel.
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Country Walkers has launched several wide-reaching new adventures for 2009 – from Laos & Vietnam and Ecuador to Maine and Alaska. Several of these new tours offer the new “Walking à la Carte” program, allowing guests even more cultural options and a more relaxed pace. In addition, the company will donate 100% of its profits to community and environmental projects on two new 30th anniversary tours in Egypt and Vermont. Travelers who book a 2009 Country Walkers tour can submit their favorite travel memory for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to Italy on the new Venice à la Carte tour in September. More special anniversary offers and benefits are available on www.countrywalkers.com.
There’s no better way to explore the world than by foot. Low-impact and environmentally-friendly, walking immerses travelers in surroundings they could never experience from a tour bus, car, or even a bike. A healthful alternative to the usual travel grind, walking in groups inspires camaraderie and a sense of adventure that sets the tone for once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
The Vermont-based tour operator has come a long way since launching in 1979 with two tours through the Green Mountain wilderness. But even at a pace that now encompasses more than 70 international itineraries, Country Walkers’ success can’t be measured by the thickness of its trip catalog alone. Over the decades, the company has employed creative thinking; an attentive ear for client feedback; a global team of expert, local guides; and a knack for staying on top of travel trends.
“We’ve come a long way since 1979, but after 30 years in the business our passion for travel remains steadfast,” said Timo Shaw, President of Country Walkers. “We are continually inspired by the regions we explore and especially by our guests, whose input has fostered many of our innovative programs and itineraries.”
FEBRUARY IS HEART MONTH
Naked Juice Introduces Two New Acai Juices To Their Antioxidant Line to Help Consumers Maintain a Heart Healthy Diet
Consumers are taking the fight against heart disease, the number one killer of adults in the United States (affecting one in five Americans), to the grocery store aisles. According to statistics from the National Marketing Institute, eight out of ten shoppers are looking to prevent some sort of health condition with their food purchases, and heart disease tops the list.
Among these disease-fighting food purchases, super-premium juices, such as Naked® Juice, have sky-rocketed in popularity. Why: because fruit juice is known to promote elasticity of the arteries, better blood flow and healthy cholesterol levels. Naked Juice is ready to provide consumers with heart healthy beverages with their introduction of Rainforest Acai, Pomegranate Acai and the reformulated Red Machine™.
The FDA and prominent institutions such as Harvard University have also promoted increased fruit and vegetable consumption for heart health related benefits. One study has shown that those who consumed eight or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a lower risk of heart disease compared to those who ate fewer than three servings.
Health experts recommend consuming a variety of fruits throughout the week, and Naked Juice is the perfect, convenient way to benefit from the best nutrition and flavor combinations available – including seven varieties that boast special good-for-the-heart benefits. Every 15.2 oz bottle of Naked Juice packs a pound of all-natural fruit (equating to over two servings) with no added sugar and no preservatives.
Our Signature Supplements and Ayurvedic herbs provide for a healthy mind and body. In addition to our supplemental blends of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, we offer an array of rare Ayurvedic rejuvenating herbs including Rasayanas – Shatavari, Amalaki, and Ashwagandha – traditionally used for their nutritive and anti-aging properties.
A “Sweet Victory” for Stevia
FDA grants GRAS status to Stevia. Steviva Brands poised to take a place in the sweetener isle.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given the green light for stevia to be used in food and drink applications after agreeing that the ingredient poses no health risks. The agency has granted the all-natural sweetener status as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) after Cargill and Merisant Company achieved a process called “Self-Determination of GRAS Status”.
Stevia has been popular overseas for years, but until just recently, the various products containing it have been sequestered in the dietary supplement aisle of most American grocery stores. The FDA's reversal of the ban on stevia will open the floodgates to a new generation of products containing the all-natural sweetener, making them more readily accessible to the public. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have both confirmed plans to release products containing stevia in brands under their respective ownership such as Odwalla. Meanwhile, stevia-based sweeteners have been released for tabletop use in coffee shops and restaurants across America to sample public response.
Steviva Brands located in the Pacific Northwest, has offered an array of stevia-based products, for over a decade. The latest being Fructevia™ an all-natural proprietary blend of fructose (natural sugar), fruit fiber, Stevia Rebaudiana and Magnesium Carbonate, Fructevia boasts being the first and only “good for you” sweetener. Fructevia does not affect blood sugar levels in the same way as refined sugar (sucrose), making it safe for use by those facing type I and type II diabetes restrictions. Low-carb and low-glycemic dieters, as well as those suffering from hypoglycemia, will also be able to enjoy the many benefits of Fructevia with zero risks to their health.
The FDA's recent approval will grant Fructevia™ a place on the shelf next to alternative sweeteners such as Sweet and Low and Splenda . Other brands in the Steviva roster are an all-natural Stevia Powder and Steviva Blend, which is stevia blended with an all-natural fermented grain extract called Erythritol. Look for Steviva Brands online at www. steviva.com