Owners, guests, and BGVers are all invited to participate in this annual event. Bring your friends and family! We will start cleanup promptly at 9 a.m., so meet us at the Blue River Plaza by the Welcome Center a few minutes before. Cleanup supplies will be provided (gloves, bags, vests, pickers), as will coffee and […]

We had a very successful turnout for our Sustainable Picnic Challenge! There were 98 different groups or families who brought their own items, with 229 reusable items total! This number includes plates, bowls, knives and forks, cloth napkins, frisbees, Tupperware, bare hands, chopsticks, etc. Everyone got creative!

The winners of our Sustainable Picnic Challenge raffle were:

Robin Dew – Nalgene, bamboo cutlery set, Stasher bag
Marina Carpio – Blue Planet sunglasses, Luci solar inflatable and phone charger, thermos
Gabrielle Abell – thermos, succulent garden
Clair Anicito – Eco mess kit and thermos
Andy Carver – Blue Planet sunglasses and succulent garden
Julianna Nopson – plastic free, organic soap, shampoo and conditioner set, snake plant

Big shoutout to everyone who participated! You’re helping us reach our company wide goal of 80% waste diversion by 2030!

Speaking of waste diversion goals, thanks to everyone’s participation, check out our diversion rates from the picnic and the RAM Walk…(the animal weights are based on an average)

Picnic Diversion – 91%

– 37.5 pounds of compost (weight of a gazelle)
– 90 pounds of glass (weight of a chimpanzee)
– 44.2 pounds of recycling (aluminum cans, plastic bottles) (weight of a lynx)
– 21.1 pounds of trash (weight of a spider monkey)
– 54.8 pounds of teracycle (plates, cups, knives and forks) (weight of a female gray wolf)

RAM Diversion – 79%

– 75 pounds of compost (weight of striped hyena)
– 30 pounds of glass (weight of a wolverine)
– 780 pounds of recycling (weight of a moose)
– 250 pounds of trash (weight of a lowland gorilla)
– 57 pounds of teracycle (plates, cups, knives and forks) (weight of a Western Grey kangaroo)
– 4 pounds of scrap metal (wire hangers) (weight of a possum)
– 2 pounds of plastic bag waste (ice bags, shrink wrap, etc.) (weight of an armadillo)

A big thank you to everyone who worked the Zero Waste Stations. These amazing diversion rates would not be possible without you keeping us all in check with our waste! We look forward to challenging you all to another Sustainable Picnic Challenge next year!

Ahh, the holidays! A time for family, friends, shopping, and feasting. Some would argue it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but what’s not so wonderful is the increased waste and energy use. From packaging and containers to shipping, as well as the gifts themselves, our holiday celebrations have an impact on our environment. Below, BGV’s Sustainability team shares their top 5 tips to help you reduce your footprint this holiday season!

  1. Purchase local. Every dollar you spend at a local shop instead of online goes directly back into your community. When you shop local, you also cut back on all the packaging and carbon emissions from shipping an item. A 2018 study shared that out of the 80,000 tons of containers in the US a year, only about 30,000 tons of that gets put in the recycling bin – that’s less than half! If you decide to support your favorite e-commerce site, be sure to properly recycle any cardboard and packaging at the end of its life.  
  2. Get creative when it comes to wrapping your gifts. Old newspapers or paper grocery bags are simple and sustainable ways to wrap a gift, and both are recyclable. You can also draw on paper grocery bags, which is a great way for kids to create for family and friends. If you choose to use wrapping paper, opt for a brand that is made from recycled content. Earth Hero, an eco-friendly online marketplace, has multiple recycled gift paper options. While most wrapping paper is recyclable, avoid sparkly or foil-like paper because those must go in the trash. Don’t forget to collect all your wrapping paper after opening all your gifts and put it in your single stream or paper recycling bin.  
  3. Buy meaningful or useful gifts. Most purchases made for holiday gifts (especially electronics) are thrown away within one year. Do you have an unused item in your home that might make a good gift? Consider gifting that, too! You can also gift an experience or to donate to a loved one’s favorite non-profit. These gifts can’t be thrown away and are often much more meaningful.  
  4. Be mindful with your decorations! If you have the space for it, consider storing your decorations year after year to reduce spending money and waste. If you want to revamp your collection, think about donating old decorations to local non-profits or thrift stores. Sometimes, even schools will take them for props. One easy way to save energy on decorations is to purchase LED string lights for their energy efficiency and to put them on timers, making sure lights aren’t on during the day when nobody can see them. Lowes has a string light recycling program, so keep that in mind when it’s time to retire your old tree lights.  
  5. Finally, compost! We are spoiled with the most delicious food around the holidays, but often, we make too much. One way you can prevent food waste is by sending your family and friends home with delicious leftovers. You can have everyone bring their own Tupperware container to fill at the end of the meal! If you’re at your wits end with leftovers, you can compost them. Food waste is the biggest emitter of methane when sent to the landfill. By keeping your leftovers out of the landfill and composting instead, you are significantly reducing your carbon footprint. Summit County offers free food scrap recycling through High Country Conservation Center – sign up today to receive a free compost bin to use in your home.

Do you have other tips and tricks you use to make your holidays sustainable or any sustainability questions? We’d love to hear from you! Shoot our Sustainability and Recycling Manager, Emily Kimmel, an email at ekimmel@breckgv.com.

It’s no secret that people struggle with recycling correctly. As responsible consumers, we find ourselves trying to do the right thing but sometimes, this leads to “wish-cycling.” Unfortunately, wish-cycling can contaminate entire recycling loads that are otherwise clean. It’s very important that you check local regulations any time you travel and wish to recycle or compost. Each town has a unique set of requirements and items that are accepted in certain waste streams. Here in Summit County and in many tourist destinations, recycling and composting loads become contaminated more easily. Think about it – you have people from all over the world with different waste diversion efforts and requirements coming to a place with a totally different set of rules. It’s extremely important to make sure our signage and other education efforts are up to date and locals are staying informed on changes. Recently, our list of accepted items in the single stream recycling has changed. You are no longer able to put cartons in the single stream.  

This does not mean egg cartons, but instead, juice and milk cartons. These items are made with paper but have a unique plastic lining inside. Some even contain a layer of aluminum. Because of these two linings, it raises unique challenges for traditional recycling. However, these are still recyclable! These cartons are collected separately at our recycling drop sites around the county. Be sure to look for the “Cartons” sign on the dumpster! They are then sold to businesses that are able to properly give them a new life. In fact, once these cartons are sold and pressed together in a machine similar to a large panini press, they become ceiling tiles or a drywall alternative. The High Country Conservation Center reports that 30 cartons can make a 2 foot square ceiling tile.  

When recycling cartons, it’s important to know exactly which types of cartons can be recycled. Cartons with slanted tops like milk, creamers or egg substitutes are recyclable. Also, cartons that have a flat top like broths, soups or wine are recyclable. These cartons typically have a straw or plastic cap. Cartons that are not recyclable are oatmeal containers, ice cream tubs or coffee cups. Before disposing of cartons into the proper dumpster, be sure to take off all caps and remove straws as these can get tangled in the recycling equipment. You should also be sure to rinse cartons before recycling.  

Should you have any questions on what is and is not accepted in the Single Stream at our properties or at the drop sites around the county, you can visit HighCountryConservation.org or shoot our team an email at Sustainability@breckgv.com