In 2002, the Town adopted the Breckenridge Vision Plan, describing the preferred future of the Town and charting its steps toward that future. The Vision Plan was created through citizen input. The plan emphasizes the importance of sustainability and our natural resources. In that spirit, the Town of Breckenridge has looked at all projects and issues through this lens. Here is a general overview of some of the green initiatives at the Town of Breckenridge.
The SustainableBreck plan is a community driven effort adopted by the Town in 2011 to further the goals of the Town Vision Plan through developing recommendations for environmental, economic and social sustainability. Each year, the Town undertakes various sustainability initiatives to further implement the SustainableBreck Plan. Key 2013 initiatives include reduction of single use bags, the SustainableBreck Business Certification Program and community solar gardens. The Town measures its success and progress annually - see the Annual Report. Stay involved and connect with us on our homepage, Facebook and Twitter!
The Town aggressively purchases open space to preserve it for future generations. Find out more about our Open Space and Trails Division. This program is under the guidance of the Town of Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Commission (BOSAC). Please find out more about BOSAC here.
The Town has been working on Blue River restoration since the early 1990's. The Blue River was largely made up of dredge rock piles through Town until restoration began. Now the Town has restored the Blue River to a natural river environment which makes its way through the center of Town.
Electric and Hybrid Vehicles and Biodiesel:
The Town has continued to purchase transit and transit support vehicles that operate on alternative/nontraditional fuel. Also, the Town is committed to getting single occupancy vehicles off the road by offering a free and convenient transit system year-round. Find out more about our transit fleet and free transit system.
In 2008, a group of Town of Breckenridge employees formed the Green Team to address opportunities to be more green within Town government and within the Town as a whole. The Green Team's mission statement is to reduce the ecologic footprint of the Town by promoting and demonstrating commitment to responsible stewardship of our resources and encouraging a culture of sustainability within the community. The Green Team has tackled numerous issues around sustainability, education and conservation, and many of the efforts listed below were spurred by this group's initiative.
During March 2008, The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), announced its support for the sustainability efforts of the Town of Breckenridge through the sale of BEF Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), or Green Tags. The Town of Breckenridge purchased 6,511 renewable energy certificates to offset the electrical energy consumption of their infrastructure. These carbon offsets replace traditional polluting sources of electricity with clean and sustainable wind energy. The certificates offset a total of 4,557.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide that otherwise would have been released into the atmosphere to accelerate climate change.
The Town also encourages citizens to reduce their carbon footprint through the purchase of green tags wind credits to offset their personal energy consumption. Purchase green tags here. An important reason for selecting BEF’s renewable energy certificates is because a percentage of these Green Tag purchases, through a custom-designed Breckenridge landing page, will be applied to the BEF-sponsored “Solar 4R Schools” program being piloted at Breckenridge Elementary. This program educates teachers and students on the benefits of solar energy through an installed solar-power system and curriculum package.
In the fall of 2008, the Town of Breckenridge received the results from a Technical Audit. The Technical Audit (TA) developed for the Town of Breckenridge determined that a comprehensive energy savings program could reduce energy and utility costs by approximately $152,850, or about 17 percent of the projected annual future utility costs. This audit created a map for the Town to reduce its consumption of energy and the Town will continue to work on this project.
Recycling and Reducing Waste through Conservation:
During the summer of 2008, the Town created and placed recycling containers for plastic, glass and cans around Town. The goal is to greatly improve and widen the Town's recycling efforts. In an effort to reduce waste even more, the Town of Breckenridge partnered with the Town of Frisco, the Town of Dillon, Keystone and Summit County to purchase 40 recycling tents that can be used at events. These tents make it possible to quickly set up stations which accept recyclables as well as compost waste. The tents are shared by the partners so as to be able to accommodate larger events.
Plastic single-use shopping bags have been particularly targeted by the Town. Plastic bags are a significant component of litter in the environment primarily due to their durability and lightweight. Even when disposed of properly, plastic bags are often blown out of trash receptacles and are easily carried by wind and water to become entangled in vegetation, clog storm drains and contribute to free floating plastic debris in the marine environment. Plastic bags never biodegrade. They photodegrade, meaning they simply break into smaller pieces of plastic.
2009 CAST Reusable Bag Challenge:
During the summer of 2008, the Green Team handed out over 1,000 reusable Town of Breckenridge shopping bags to replace single-use plastic bags. And in 2009 the Town took part in a friendly competition between other Colorado Association of Ski Town (CAST) members (including Communities in Idaho and Utah) through the B.Y.O.B- Bring Your Own Bag, challenge. The duration of the Challenge was from March 1 through September 1, 2009. The winner was determined by which community tallied the most uses of reusable bags on a per capita basis. Grocery stores and other retailers tracked a community's progress. Summit County took 3rd place in the challenge saving 411,680 plastic bags from the landfill over the course of six months. Find out more about the challenge here.
This list highlights some of the green efforts launched by the Town. Please call Kim DiLallo at 970-547-3110 or email at email@example.com for more information or to make further suggestions. It takes the whole Town to go green.
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