Aspen, Colorado — June 20, 2007 — The City of Aspen’s Canary Initiative and Rocky Mountain Nordic (RMN) are teaming up with Ride the Rockies to make the event carbon neutral. RMN will purchase carbon offsets for each participant’s travel to and from the start of the event and for the support vehicles used during the event to help bring awareness to global warming. Ride the Rockies will generate about 383 tons of CO2 that will be offset. The offsets purchased for this event are unlike any other in the US offset market and will be the first in a pilot run of the City of Aspen’s new local offset program. Purchasers of the offsets will help fund a number of local renewable energy and energy efficiency projects as well as other carbon offsets initiatives including coal mine methane.
The idea behind Ride the Rockies going carbon neutral is to encourage participants to become involved in the solution to global warming and to express the importance of climate change and how it will effect Colorado. RMN is the umbrella organization overseeing all junior and masters Nordic skiing in Colorado. RMN is committed to ensuring winter stays white and by supporting carbon offsets it contributes to this goal. â€œRMN felt it was a prime opportunity to draw attention to climate change and how it will affect the mountain communities in Colorado. Ride the Rockies has participants from across the nation and they are all on bikes! By making Ride the Rockies a carbon neutral event, we would like to ensure future generations are able to continue their outdoor sports heritage,â€ said RMN President Ruth Brown.
The Thursday night dinner event is also zero-waste, meaning plates and forks from the meal along with food waste will be composted and biodegradable. In addition, participants can receive educational materials about global warming and RMN will also ask inspired bikers to pledge to reduce their own emissions at home. Facilitator for the Canary Initiative, Calla Ostrander will be available at the Ride the Rockies Recreation Center Headquarters. â€œThis event is a perfect example of what’s at stake in terms of how quickly the community begins to aggressively reduce our global warming pollution,â€ she said. â€œThe Canary Initiative in concert with RNM is offsetting the emissions from this event, but our real hope is that participants go home inspired to act now.â€
Source: Rocky Mountain Nordic & Nathan Schultz