Not wasted at the GoPro Mountain Games

Not wasted at the GoPro Mountain Games

Posted by: Tom Boyd

We need YOUR help to become a zero waste event

Take a moment and wonder: what is it that makes the GoPro Mountain Games such a fantastic event? Is it the action in all directions? Is it the everyday people competing alongside pros? Is it the stories that surprise us, like when 12-year-old Alyana Zuch got third place overall in the 10K last year? Or perhaps it’s the thrill of the crowd when the lights come up on the free concerts at night?

There’s one thing that ties all of this together, and it’s the Rocky Mountain environment where it all takes place. It’s the rivers and streams that flow through the venues, the healthy aspens that seem to breathe in unison with the Yogis at Ford Park, and the clear air that lets the stars shine so bright on The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater when the headliner acts hit the stage at night.

All these things are at the foundation of what we’re celebrating when we celebrate arts, athletes, music and mountains at the GoPro Mountain Games each year.

So it makes sense that we do everything we can to take care of this incredible natural environment that hosts us.

At the Vail Valley Foundation, we take seriously our role in hosting the GoPro Mountain Games each year. That’s why we’re stepping up our commitment to our environment in 2017 by aiming to become a zero waste event.

To do it, we need your help. Whether you’re an athlete, a spectator, a sponsor or a vendor, we need YOU to step up your game and to keep our town, our rivers, and our surrounding mountains just as healthy on day four as they were on day one of the event.

We’ve enlisted the best of the best in this arena: our friends down the road at Walking Mountain Science Center, who will be helping us reduce our event waste, and do the right things with the waste we create.

“It’s important to start at the beginning when you’re planning the event, that’s where a lot of people forget about waste,” said Walking Mountains’ Melissa Kirr, who is leading the effort to reach zero waste at the GoPro Mountain Games. “Organizers know they’ve got to get trash cans out there, but a lot of people don’t think beyond that. Fortunately the Vail Valley Foundation is part of our Actively Green campaign and they’ve shown they’re aiming for excellence when it comes to environmental stewardship.”

To get there, the Vail Valley Foundation and Walking Mountains are encouraging everyone who plays any part in the Mountain Games to reduce waste.

The waste that IS produced will then be properly sorted into compost, recycle, and trash … with the goal to send less than 10 percent of the waste to the landfill. Volunteers in light-blue shirts work the waste stations and help participants, vendors and spectators properly sort the material they toss. Cups, plates, utensils and other items provided by vendors are all recyclable or compostable. Guests are encouraged to bring their own water bottle and minimize their waste.

It’s a big effort. Anyone can take part in this effort by volunteering. To do so, contact Melissa Kirr by emailing Melissak at walkingmountains dot org or calling 970.827.9725.

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