Monday, June 1, 2009

Lyons Outdoor Games to be 90% Zero Waste event

The Smith Optics Lyons Outdoor Games, sponsored by Oskar Blues, to be zero-waste event in 2009

Working with Boulder-based EcoCycle, Scott Young of Lyons-based Blue Sky Mortgage and the Lyons Outdoor Games organizers are running a zero-waste event in 2009.

These days, financial incentive causes individuals and businesses to begin to notice and take part in green efforts, but it is secondary to the critical need for all of us to make the paradigm shift to a green way of living,” Young explains. “My personal and business philosophy is to make as small a carbon footprint as possible, and sponsoring the zero-waste component of LOG ties in perfectly with that philosophy.”

According to Dan Bruckner, co-owner of the catering company A Spice of Life and the man who spearheaded the zero waste efforts at the Games in previous years, “Composting all the waste from events like these is just as important as recycling. When you put organic materials into landfills it’s creating not just carbon emissions but also methane emissions, which are even worse for the environment.”

After applying zero-waste efforts successfully at his own business (reducing the landfill waste he produced by 90 percent), Brucker approached Lyons Outdoor Games organizers with the idea. They started out with a successful zero-waste breakfast in 2007 and then a zero-waste BBQ and movie night in 2008, during which all cans and bottles were recycled, and all foodstuff (bones, meat included) and corn-based cups and potato starch based cutlery were gathered for composting. Local volunteers manned stations to ensure people discarded their items into the proper containers.

“Between all the beer cans we picked up, food waste, plates, forks, etc, we had a 98 percent diversion rate from landfills,” Bruckner stated. “That means out of all the waste generated by 250 people in Sandstone Park during the barbeque, only two percent went to landfills, and the rest was recycled.” Once collected by EcoCycle, the materials are turned into soil within three months and then sold.

Composting and recycling isn’t just good for the environment, Bruckner added. According to a ground breaking Wasting and Recycling in the United States report published in 2000, "On a per-ton basis, sorting and processing recyclables alone sustains ten times more jobs than landfilling or incineration." And according to EcoCycle, zero-waste events “herald fundamental change” in the way governments subsidize wasting, manufacturers design products and packaging, and people manage resources in general.

This year, landfill waste will be eliminated from 90 percent of the event.

“Really it’s all about creating as little landfill waste as possible,” added Bruckner. “If you can do that you’re really truly doing good for the earth.”

Adds Young, “If we strive for zero waste in our day-to-day consumptive activities, then we set our sights on perfection. If we set a high goal, then we will achieve a greater level of success. Wouldn't it be great if we could close the garbage dumps?”

The Lyons Outdoor Games are a multi-sport extreme sports competition held every summer in Lyons. Events include kayaking races and trick comps, mountain biking and BMX events, as well as skateboarding, fly fishing, chainsaw carving and other demos. The event also includes live music throughout the weekend, outdoor industry booths, BBQ, and plenty of beer.

For more information, please contact the Lyons Parks and Recreation at 303-823-8250 or

Scott Young’s Blue Sky Mortgage Group works with first time homebuyers and seasoned investors to develop sensible, intelligent mortgage solutions based on current needs, with a view to the future. Their goal is to play a part in guiding our clients along the road to financial success.

Dan Bruckner’s A Spice of Life Catering is a full-service event company providing ‘a fresh approach to a memorable event’ since 1987.  They combine exceptional cuisine, years of experience, and a dedication to details that will add the right spice to any occasion. 


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