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Keen on going green

Wind Crest volunteers spread the word about earth-friendly living

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October 26th, 2010

Patricia (Pat) Nottingham discovered the importance of being environmentally responsible long before going green became mainstream. Now Nottingham is sharing her knowledge of living green with her neighbors at Wind Crest in Highlands Ranch, Colo. During the 50s and 60s we lived in France where they were still recovering from the war and things were scarce, says Nottingham. We were used to returning jam jars and bottles. That s when I first became aware of how much we actually use and waste. When I heard they were forming an environmental committee here at Wind Crest, I thought, That s right up my alley, so I volunteered.

Team effort

Working hand-in-hand with the Wind Crest general services department, the Go Green Committee tries to educate and instill a sense of awareness and stewardship of the earth s resources amongst residents and staff. Their mantra: Reduce, recycle, reuse! The idea is to try to educate everyone about recycling and what can be done to conserve energy and conservation of all kinds, says Nottingham. We give handouts and post flyers on the message boards so residents are aware of upcoming events like Earth Day and Earth Hour, as well as ongoing efforts in the community, she says. The Go Green Committee also features a monthly posting in the Wind Crest Gazette community newspaper. Nicholas Clous, facilities manager at Wind Crest, says the community makes green initiatives a priority and that the volume of people who live at Wind Crest and recycle is quite significant. We pick up recyclables throughout the community every Tuesday, he says. To make it easier and encourage participation we utilize single stream recycling meaning all recyclables can be bagged or bundled together and no separating is necessary. We have a few recycling receptacles in the community where items can also be disposed of and we sponsor recycling events like Household Chemical Round-up Day and Electronic Recycle Day.

Eco-friendly eating

The Go Green Committee recently teamed up with dining management in an effort to reduce waste and replace Styrofoam cups and carry-out containers with recyclable substitutes. The kitchens currently use fresh herbs grown in residents gardens, and Nottingham soon hopes to develop a composting station. Another environmentally friendly perk Wind Crest residents enjoy is free shuttle service to local grocery stores, department stores, malls, libraries, and post offices. After living here a few months, a lot of people discover they don t drive as much as they did before they moved because there are so many things available right here in the community and the shuttle makes regular runs to places around town, says Nottingham. Moving from the Midwest to Colorado, Nottingham says it s evident that living green seems to go hand-in-hand with Denver s outdoor spirit and health-conscious lifestyle. Both the climate and the environment here in Denver promote a healthy lifestyle, she says. You re surrounded by the beautiful mountains, hiking trails are everywhere, and on any given sunny day which is most days of the year people are out and about enjoying the outdoors. And so recycling and being environmentally aware is just another part of that way of life.

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