The Sustainability Commission typically meets monthly, the second Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. Unless otherwise indicated, meetings are held at the Jefferson County Administration and Courts facility.
2020 Meeting Agendas and Minutes
|March 5 (Special Mtg)||Agenda||Minutes|
PIE Jeffco Team Mtg
Foundation Team Mtg
PIE Jeffco Team Mtg
|November 4 (moved from November 11)||Agenda||Minutes|
2019 Meeting Agendas and Minutes
|February 13||Agenda||Minutes (unavailable)|
|March 13||Meeting canceled|
|April 10||Meeting canceled|
The purpose of the Sustainability Commission is to create an informational clearinghouse and an open compendium of sustainability best practices.
Duties include identifying and articulating sustainability goals, objectives and voluntary targets for county government and industrial, commercial, residential and recreational sectors county-wide.
The commission provides expertise, resources and promotes awareness in the area of sustainability. The work shall be advisory. Any citizen or business participation in any commission program or initiatives is strictly voluntary.
Year in Review:
The Commission consists of nine members, serving three-year terms. Members are chosen based on an area of expertise within sustainability.
- Cedar Blazek (Term expires: September 30, 2023)
- Conor Merrigan (Term expires: September 30, 2023)
- Frank Rukavina (Term expires: September 30, 2021)
- Jasmina Petrovic (Term expires: September 30, 2023)
- Jeffrey Wong (Term expires: September 30, 2021)
- Julia Patrick (Term expires: September 30, 2023)
- Kevin Morse (Term expires: September 30, 2023)
- Kimberly Pardue Welch (Term expires: September 30, 2021)
- Matt Mines (Term expires: September 30, 2021)
Celebrate America Recycles Day - November 15
While we celebrate America Recycles Day next month, it’s important to remember that source reduction is the most desirable form of sustainability. Pollution prevention or source reduction is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source. It’s the “ounce-of-prevention” approach to waste management. Reducing the amount of pollution produced means less waste to control, treat, or dispose of. Simple actions such as using reusable grocery bags (and not getting plastic bags for your produce - towels work great for storing and protecting veggies in the fridge), buying products in reusable containers, avoiding products in hard to recycle containers, use cloth napkins and dishtowels instead of paper, and minimize packaging from processed foods by buying bulk will all reduce your household waste and you won’t have to worry about the recycling bin or the landfill.
After that, we should focus on proper recycling and reducing contamination in our recycling stream so that recycled materials actually become new products and don’t end up in the landfill. Read about the challenges and opportunities for recycling.
Take the #BeRecycled Pledge to Learn, Act and Share. Learn what items can be recycled in your community, Act to reduce the amount of waste you produce and recycle more, and share and encourage at least one friend or family member to take the #BeRecycled pledge.
Take a virtual tour of a MRF (that’s a Materials Recovery Facility) to see how your curbside recyclables get sorted for reuse and check out JeffCo’s recycling resources page to find recycling centers and services.
Pollution Prevention Week: September 21-27
What is pollution prevention? The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) defines Pollution Prevention (P2) as any strategy that reduces or eliminates waste at the source by preventing it from occurring in the first place and negates the need for later management of waste through recycling, reuse, treatment, or disposal. It includes reducing the use of energy, water, and materials resulting in money savings for businesses. Read more here and get assistance or ask a specific question on how to reduce pollution in one of your business processes.
If you are a small business owner interested in what you can do to prevent pollution, talk to the pollution prevention team at CDPHE. They work with all types of businesses offering assessments to help identify pollution prevention opportunities. The Colorado Green Business Program is another great source for businesses. The Green Business Program is a coalition of city, county, and state technical assistance and environmental recognition programs that work with Colorado businesses to become more environmentally sustainable. You can find green businesses or sign-up to become a green business.
Junk mail getting you down?
Not only is it annoying and time consuming to sort and recycle your junk mail…its bad for the environment. Did you know that over 100 million trees are used each year to produce junk mail and about 40% of it goes to the landfill unopened? Taking action to reduce your junk mail can save you almost 8 hours a year and reduce your impact on the environment.
Find additional information on how to stop junk mail here.
Your Food’s Carbon Footprint
It will soon be time to harvest all those gardens!
Have you ever wondered about the carbon footprint of the food you eat? Test your knowledge and check out the carbon dioxide equivalent of your favorite foods here. Learn more about the food system’s role in climate change here and consider implementing Meatless Mondays with your family and friends. Not only is it good for you, it’s good for the environment too!
Find great meatless recipes and explore additional ways you can reduce the food system’s impact on the environment.
Finding Energy Savings
If you are an Xcel Energy residential customer you can participate in a virtual home energy visit. This no-cost visit is conducted online to help you find low-cost energy-saving opportunities. In addition to this great opportunity, the Home Energy Squad will deliver a no-cost customized kit of energy-saving items for a DIY installation. By participating in a virtual home energy visit, customers will also receive the following:
- Direct interaction with a technician to identify potential improvements
- Virtual installation support
- Safe and reliable service from local experts
- Follow-up virtual visit to confirm installations and help you plan next steps
Got Power Drain?
Energy Vampires are all over your house…what’s an Energy Vampire, you say? It’s a device that continues to use energy and drain power, even when it is turned off. This might be your phone charger, laptop, monitor or even your coffee pot. You could be gaining significant savings by making a few small changes like unplugging electronics that are used once a day (or less often) and using a smart power strip to plug in all of your office or entertainment center electronics. Simply power down your devices and switch off the power strip to stop the vampire. Find additional resources here, including a cool energy vampire calculator where you can estimate how much you can save.
It’s Fix a Leak Week - March 16 - 22, 2020
Do you know that household leaks can waste almost 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide? Most common home leaks are easy to detect and fix. Take the 10-minute WaterSense Challenge to see if you have leaks in your home. Use the WaterSense calculator to estimate your savings by installing WaterSense labeled products and save water and money!
Save the Food
Do you know that food waste is the largest contribution to landfills in the United States? It is estimated that over 40% of landfill waste is food that could have been eaten, donated or composted.
The Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Agriculture estimated the average family of four waste $1500 a year on food. Throwing out food also waste valuable energy and water that was used to produce the food crop. SaveTheFood has tips on how to save money, food and help the environment. You can also find recipes for using up your leftovers. Check out the Extraordinary Life and Times of Strawberry to see a strawberry’s journey from farm to fridge. Find tips from the Environmental Protection Agency for reducing food waste at home, including how to shop, prep and store food more efficiently.
New Year’s Resolution (January 2020)
Happy New Year’s from the Jeffco Sustainability Commision - - want a New Year’s resoluiton you MIGHT be able to keep? Take the I’m for Water Pledge and learn how to search for WaterSense labeled fixtures, look for rebates, understand how to efficiently water your landscape and more! There’s even a nifty monthly list of specific steps you can take to save water. Find it here at the My 2020 Vision for Saving Water.
Holiday Energy Savings (December 2019)
- This time of year comes with lots of energy use from lighting your home and tree to cooking yummy food for family and friends. Make a New Year’s resolution and check out these energy saving tips for the holidays.
- Use the Energy Start Yardstick to assess your home’s efficiency and see how you measure up to your neighbors.
- Take the Pledge to save energy in your home.
- Look for rebates to help you save.
Recycling Options and Information
National Pollinator Week - June 17-23, 2019
Did you know that over 75% of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals such as birds, bees, bats and insects? Learn more and find fun pollinator activities and podcasts, click here. Read about activities you can do that are beneficial to pollinators here and take a look at a great publication on how to create a pollinator habitat by the Colorado State University Extension here.
Remember to Keep a Reusable Cup or Coffee Mug in Your Car or at Your Desk
Do you know most single-use coffee cups are not recyclable or compostable? The cups are often coated with a plastic or wax lining that limits the cups ability to be composted or recycled into something new. Using a reusable cup is a small action that collectively has a huge impact. Plus, major and local coffee shops offer a 10-cent discount for bringing your own mug. Read more here on how to successfully implement a BYOM habit.