GreenCO Certification for Water Conservation and Protection on Feb. 28

On Monday, Feb. 28, 2011 the City of Colorado Springs will host a local green industry best management practices (BMP) training for the conservation and protection of water resources in Colorado: Moving Toward Sustainability ? a GreenCO BMP Training and Exam. Best Management Practices (BMPs) are guidelines on how to reduce water consumption and protect water quality while producing, designing, installing and maintaining healthy, beautiful landscapes. This local training (typically held in Denver) is open to all industry businesses and their employees at a reduced rate of $90 (normally $150 for non-members) or $75 with a membership to one of the GreenCO alliance organizations: Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC), Colorado Association of Lawn Care Professionals (CALCP), American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association (CNGA), Garden Centers of Colorado (GCC), or the Rocky Mountain Sod Growers Association (RMSGA). Click here for registration information. Thanks to a Pikes Peak Workforce Center green jobs grant, some City employees will also attend the training. As a result, City staff  intend to create a more water efficient organization (with lower utility expenses) and enhance environmental stewardship of our waterways. 

What to Know for Home Energy Audits
Last month, City staff hosted a panel discussion on home energy audits. What we learned is that you can start with a do-it-yourself home energy assessment. With a simple, yet diligent, walk-through, you can spot most obvious problems. Click here for Department of Energy information on what to look for. For help with this process, a local organization of University of Colorado at Colorado Springs students, CoPIRG Energy Service Corps, will do free, local assessments and can even help with basic retrofits to homes or buildings. You can also create an on-line free home energy profile from the Colorado Springs Utilities Web site to show you which habits are costing you the most money. For greater detail, a professional energy audit performed by a BPI or RESNET-certified energy auditor should include a review of past utility bills, blower door test, thermographic scan and target safety and comfort considerations such as cold/hot spots and sufficient air flow. An unaffiliated energy audit professional will be able to provide an impartial assessment on how various improvement measures will improve comfort and reduce utility consumption. The Governor?s Energy Office has residential energy audit rebates available to help with the cost ? which can generally run $200 to $500 depending on the house size and other details. Once you know how your particular home can best be improved, you can check out the retrofit rebates offered by Colorado Springs Utilities and the Governor?s Energy Office to determine the greatest bang for your buck!
?Green? Bag Lunch-n-Learn Feb. 15: 2010 Unintended Consequences on People, Planet and Profit

On Tuesday, Feb. 15, City Team Leader Nick Kittle will share the unintended consequences of just a few well publicized 2010 budget cuts when seen through the sustainability lenses of people, planet and profit. The presentation, first given during the 2010 Southern Colorado Sustainability Conference, takes a challenging look at the balance between financial savings, community impacts and environmental stewardship after budget cuts to transit services, parks maintenance and streetlights. The lunch-n-learn runs over the noon lunch hour, from 12:11 to 12:49 p.m., at the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada, in Suite 102. Attendees are encouraged to bring and enjoy their lunches during the presentation. The "Triple Bottom Line" of economic, social and environmental success, also commonly referred to as the 3Ps of people, planet and profit, are often used to describe the components of sustainability. Sustainability was defined by Pikes Peak regional leaders in 2010 as acting in a manner that improves our quality of life by balancing economic vitality, a health vibrant community and mindful stewardship of the natural resources and environment for current and future generations. Click here for more information.

USGBC Wintergreen Event Rescheduled to Feb. 15
After a snow delay, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Colorado Chapter Southern Branch?s 4th annual Wintergreen Event is at the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center at Colorado College on Tues. Feb. 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. Attendance is free and open to the public. The event features a local bluegrass band, appetizers and drinks (local and organic) and a brief presentation by Sean Smith, host of HGTV?s Professional Grade. This is a relaxed and fun opportunity to directly connect to those in the local green building industry. (Click here to RSVP.) The City has been a member USGBC since 2008. The third-party verification portion of the USGBC includes building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accreditation. The City has participated in the construction of two LEED certified building projects and has more underway.
Non-profit Reuse Supply Stop Thurs. Feb. 24
The City is cleaning its supply closets. Before throwing items away or recycling them, City staff is trying to find the used supplies a second home first. Occasionally, supplies become outdated for a specific work group, yet may still be usable by another City division. For the last several years, the City has held an internal supply-swap to address this issue. It helps reduce office supply costs, brings awareness to making prudent office supply purchases, promotes inter-departmental teamwork and shows respect for the earth?s limited resources. Last year (pictured), following the internal event, the City allowed local non-profit organizations to rescue any remaining items. The City will do the same this year. On Thursday, Feb. 24, local non-profit organizations (with proof of non-profit status) may visit the City Administration Building, Room 102, from 3 to 4 p.m. to take what they can make use from the remaining office supplies. Click here for more information.
Up-coming Eco Events:
Sat. Feb. 12 ? Pikes Peak Urban Gardening February Gardening Class
Thurs. Feb. 24 ? Non-Profit Supply Stop

Environmental Sustainability E-Newsletter from the City of Colorado Springs

Question? (719) 385-CSGN (2746) or cmccausland@springsgov.com. 
This e-newsletter funded by the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs and City of Colorado Springs.