Author Archives: Richard McKissock

The Hazards of Deicing Chemicals – Is it really OK to breathe?

The plane is being deiced prior to take off, you smell a somewhat sweet odor, and then the pilot makes an announcement that the odor from the deicing chemical is nothing to worry about. Really? What is that deicing chemical being sprayed on the plane? Is it really OK to breathe in those vapors for a few minutes? Here’s a breakdown of the health, environmental, and hazards of deicing chemicals. Continue reading

Environment of Snowbird: A Deep Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

Most ski resorts promote some level of environmental conservation. They typically promote the basics – water and energy conservation and climate change. But they might not be going that deep or wide with their environmental commitment. Not Snowbird. Snowbird’s commitment goes way beyond the basic talking points. For starters, they have an impressive Director of Sustainability & Water Resources, Hilary Arens. I met with Hilary Arens at the iconic Cliff Lodge at the base of Snowbird Resort in the Wasatch Mountains outside of Salt Lake City, UT to talk about Snowbird’s environmental commitment and projects. Continue reading

Environment of Big Sky Resort: Water, Snow Making and Land Use

Big Sky Resort in Montana is aptly named. The views from the top of Lone Mountain are breathtaking. Stepping off the tram onto the top of Lone Mountain, soaking in the view, and then skiing down the mountain is an experience I’d recommend to every skier or boarder. The combination of a beautiful location in the mountains, a semi-arid climate, and a growing town within the greater Yellowstone ecosystem presents several environmental challenges. Two that immediately came to mind for me are water use and land use and development. Sure enough, I came across interesting things happening in both areas. Let’s take a look at the environment of Big Sky. Continue reading

Contamination, Where Are You?

Uranium, asbestos, PCBs, mercury, and more inside this Superfund site containment in Weldon Spring, MO.

One of the themes I convey through my work is that environmental compliance isn’t only for tree huggers and protecting the environment. It’s about protecting yourself from hazardous exposures. First from direct exposure while working with and around hazardous materials. Second from exposures to contaminated air, water, and land. When the conversation turns to people’s own health and safety or the contamination of their favorite fishing hole, their interest picks up. Then they want to know, “How do I find out where all the contamination is located?” So, contamination, where are you? Continue reading

GABF Media Experience: The Good, The Bad and The D’Oh!

The 2018 Great American Beer Festival was the first time I attended the GABF as part of the beer media. I wrote a series of articles for the fest on the “environment of beer.” Throughout it all I had good experiences, found a couple of things that didn’t work, and made an audio mistake that ruined my video. Here’s my breakdown of the GABF media experience: the good, the bad and the D’Oh!. Continue reading

A New Return to the Great American Beer Festival

Photo © Brewers Association

I’m going back to the Great American Beer Festival for the first time in 10 years. This time I have more on my agenda than celebrating good beer. The beer is still the star, but I’ll be scouting for a certain undertone…an environmental undertone. I’ll be exploring the “environment of beer” by talking to the brewers, attendees, and viewing the fest with my eyes on the environmental world of beer. It’s my new return to the Great American Beer Festival.  Continue reading

Environment and Sustainability of the Great American Beer Fest and Colorado Convention Center

Photo © Brewers Association

Every fall, hundreds of brewers, thousands of beers, and thousands of attendees visit the Colorado Convention Center in Denver for a 3-day competition and celebration of beer. It’s the Great American Beer Fest. What you might not know is the connection between brewing quality beer and taking care of the environment. For example, you can’t drink good beer without good water. As part of my Environment of Beer series, here’s a look at the environmental initiatives of the Festival and the host convention center. If you’re attending the Fest and see a guy asking and writing about the environment of beer, stop and say, Hi. It’s probably me. Cheers. Continue reading