I had the pleasure to attend, and sample, a very fun beer fest in Grand Lake, CO. It was part of the Spirit of the Lake Regatta and Grand Lake Brewfest, Aug 13, 2016. Finding a beer fest during a vacation is good enough. Then I saw that it was a fundraiser for youth outdoor environmental education programs. It also claimed to be the worlds’ first fully solar-powered beer fest. Even the live band was powered by solar panels. Hosted by Infinite West, it was a net-zero, zero waste event that was the perfect example of the environment of beer! Continue reading
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) are liquids or gases that are most commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning. Break it down and it’s a compound made of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. They were developed for and are used as a less ozone-depleting substance (ODS) than chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). You’ve probably heard of CFCs, the ODS that were phased out years ago. HCFCs are considered Class II ODS, which means they have less potential to destroy the ozone layer than Class I ODS, such as CFCs. HCFCs are being incrementally phased out, leading to a complete HCFC phase out by 2030.
HCFCs are a problem when they leak into the atmosphere during manufacturing, use, or disposal. They are a very powerful greenhouse gas, which contribute to climate change. Continue reading
Warning: this article might test your knowledge of environmental, health and safety training abbreviations and acronyms!
As professionals in the environmental field, we may be exposed to hazardous work conditions, possibly radiological, chemical and/or physical. For some of us it’s a routine part of our jobs. If you are working around hazardous conditions, there is most likely a required environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) training course you’ll need to complete. Unfortunately, people often get inadequate information or misinterpret the course(s) they need. Depending on your job, the required course could be from a federal regulation, state regulation, a requirement of a client, and even individual job locations may require a specific course or more. Continue reading
Filmmaker Ken Burns called the National Parks, “America’s Best Idea.” I don’t know if I’d go that far. See: cheeseburgers and basketball. They’re still a wonderful idea. In honor of the National Parks 100th birthday on August 25, 2016, here are some of my favorite photos and locations from exploring the parks. They have shaped who I am as a person and environmental professional. Growing up and going to school in the eastern U.S., I was in awe of the photos of the majestic National Parks in the western U.S. I wanted to see these huge landscapes and get lost in the mountains and deserts. I’ve been able to do just that over the past 20 years. Continue reading
This is part of a series where I explore interesting pieces of environmental art.
Cold War Horse is a creepy, powerful, thought-provoking statue in the expanding suburbs of western Arvada, CO, northwest of Denver. It’s a beautiful part of the Denver metro area at the base of the Front Range Mountains. The setting and expanding suburbs is part of the reason it is displayed here. If you were driving along and only paying casual attention, you’d think it was merely a red horse statue, and probably wonder, “Why is there a red horse statue out here?” and go on with your day. If you look closer, or better yet stop and get out, it’s chilling. Continue reading
Casper, Wyoming is an energy resource-driven town and people are worried about their local economy. I was in town for work and felt the shadow of a down energy economy hovering over the town. Even though I wasn’t in town for energy-related work people wanted to bend the ear of the “environmental guy”. The topics included jobs lost due to a slow natural gas market, cutting coal mine jobs, and the impact of the new methane regulations. Continue reading
There are running races held each weekend around the country from early spring through Thanksgiving. Very few, if any of them have 50,000 runners, 70,000 spectators, and run through an environmentally conscious town. The Bolder Boulder 10K is that race. Most races are small and don’t have to consider their environmental impact. Bringing 100,000 people into a town of 100,000 people for a running race will certainly have an environmental impact. What is that impact? What is the environment of the Bolder Boulder? Continue reading