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The Next Generation of Water Stewardship

Since 2011, we have been collaborating with the Grand County Water Information Network to help get kids out in the wilderness studying the human impacts on watersheds and the environment.This is the spirit behind the Spirit of the Lake Regatta,  a non-motorized paddling and rowing regatta held on Grand Lake, Colorado. Together we hope to educate today’s youth, and tomorrow’s stewards of our precious watersheds, especially the illustrious Upper Colorado River. But what is the Grand County Water Information Network? In this month’s Green Corner, Thomas Harris* finds out more:

“This month we are spotlighting another great non-profit here in Grand County and what it does for our community. GCWIN’s mission is : To coordinate, manage and consolidate the comprehensive water quality monitoring, information and educational programs in Grand County, Colorado.

The Grand County Water Information Network (GCWIN) is a non-profit organization that gathers data on the waters of Grand County, Colorado. GCWIN was established in 2004 as a collaborative effort to enable better decision-making through science-based water quality monitoring, information-sharing, and educational programming. GCWIN’s water monitoring programs have since expanded to include”…. (read more at Sky-Hi Daily News)

*Thomas Harris currently serves as President of the Infinite West board of directors. Follow our blog to get updates on all of the Green Corner articles!

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Autumn Housecleaning – the Green Way

Winter is around the corner and it’s always good to clean up the house and property before the snow hides everything. With that in mind, it’s good to know where one can get rid of stuff in a green way.

Read more of Thomas Harris’ green solutions in his latest Green Corner article at Sky-Hi Daily News here.

Preparing for Winter – Green Tips!

Fall is here and there are numerous ways to get prepared for winter and be green doing so.

Let’s start with one’s car: Tire pressure drops with cooler temperatures and low tire pressure is less efficient on your miles per gallon. So, plan on increasing the psi in your tires by 3-5 psi, after the weather has cooled down dramatically…

Read more of Thomas Harris’ green solutions in his latest Green Corner article at Sky-Hi Daily News here.

Back To [green] School!

It’s getting back to school time and there are numerous ways for both parents and kids to practice the 3 r’s at work or school. Teaching our children good habits now, and leading by example helps them carry it into their adult lives.

First thing we can do is talk to kids about electricity and turning out the lights…

Read more of Thomas Harris’ green solutions in his latest Green Corner article at Sky-Hi Daily News here.

Clean & Green

These days with the rise of allergies, illnesses, and the cost of chemical products, why would anyone still want to use harsh chemicals when they could potentially be the cause of some of these issues? Plus, we all know none of them are good for the environment.

Instead of using expensive and toxic chemical products, try using…

Read more of Thomas Harris’ green solutions in his latest Green Corner article at Sky-Hi Daily News here.

Safe Pest Control

It’s that time of the year again when the bugs like to come out and play and move into our homes. Instead of buying expensive poisons that could potential be gotten into by children, pets, or get sucked up into your vegetables, try some of these natural deterrents.

There are numerous pests that make their way in once spring has sprung. The biggest problem I have found in Grand County…

Read more of Thomas Harris’ green solutions in his latest Green Corner article at Sky-Hi Daily News here

Current Recycling Options 2015

Welcome to The Green Corner. This is a new column offered by Infinite West that will be addressing Green ideas and facts that affect Grand County.

To start off, let me introduce Infinite West to you. We are 501c3 that has been around for over five years now. Our mission is to promote, encourage and support sustainability in Grand County through education and action.

Having introduced ourselves, welcome to spring! I want to start this column letting you know what we have already here in Grand County in the way of sustainability. Let’s start with recycling…

 Read more of Thomas Harris’ green solutions in his latest Green Corner article at Sky-Hi Daily News here.

Grand & Jackson County Energy Strategy

GRAND & JACKSON COUNTY ENERGY STRATEGY

On June 10, 2010, twelve team members from Jackson and Grand County began the process of developing an Energy Strategy for the region. The questions on the cover of this Strategy are those that they asked about energy use in our region at the first meeting.

While the planning process has been a local effort, the impetus and funding came from the federal level. In 2007 President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act which established the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG). The program supports the “deployment of the cheapest, cleanest, and most reliable energy technologies we have—energy efficiency and conservation—across the country”

In 2009, the EECBG program was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Grand County Business and Economic Development Association applied for and was awarded grant funding for non-entitled2 EECBG communities through the Governor’s Energy Office to support the development of a regional Energy Strategy for Grand and Jackson Counties. Read More

Plastic Bags Fatal for Marine Mammals

According to a recent autopsy on a number of stranded dead whales in the Mediterranean, scientists from the American Cetacean Society determined that plastic bags and debris most likely caused their deaths.

While examining stomach contents of stranded sperm whales in Greece, we found plastic debris in four out of eight whales. For some of them this is a fatal mistake. The most dramatic and extreme case so far was that of a male calf only 5.3m long. This poor whale was found floating dead very close to the coasts of the famous Mykonos Island in the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. When we saw the carcass it was obvious that something had gone wrong with that whale because it was very emaciated. However, it was difficult even to imagine what we were about to discover while performing the necropsy. Reaching the stomach of a sperm whale is not an easy task, even for a young whale. However, in that particular case the stomach was pretty visible and almost came out by itself, just after the first cuts on the whale’s body. It was disproportionately big and full for such a young whale. We started imagining that we might be in front of the first record of a giant squid in the Mediterranean Sea… What else could be such a big prey item in the stomach of a sperm whale? The reality was truly disappointing, and above all very shameful for our own “wise” species: the Homo supposed to be “sapiens” (i.e.with wisdom).

All our “civilization” was in the stomach of this whale. Tens of big compacted plastic bags used for garbage or construction materials, all kinds of plastic cover for anything we can buy in a supermarket, plastic ropes, pieces of nets, even a plastic bag with full address and telephone number of a souvlaki restaurant in the town of Thessaloniki (located some 500 km further north). Unfortunately, the whale could not call them to complain about the damage caused by their product.” – The Difficult Art of Coexisting With Humans in a Crowded Sea; by Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Alexandros Frantzis, Luke Rendel.

The full article can be found in the  JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CETACEAN SOCIETY Spring 2012 Volume 41, Number ; page 30.

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