Sustainability

Marci Krivonen

A second groundbreaking in Basalt this week marked the start of construction on Rocky Mountain Institute’s “Innovation Center.” The non profit is building a $15 million highly energy efficient building near the Roaring Fork River in Old Town. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

The Roaring Fork Valley has some great sushi restaurants – Matsuhista, Takah Sushi, Kenichi – and those restaurants buy a lot of fish. In 2012, the seafood industry generated $141 billion to the US economy. It also supported 1.3 million jobs, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. But not everyone is happy with how seafood is sold. Dorothy Atkins has the story.

Sustainable Agriculture - it's one of the new frontiers ACES, or Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, is taking on. Rock Bottom Ranch is one of the properties ACES manages - of the 113 acres, 40 acres are in agriculture production, the rest is kept as wildlands. Jason Smith is the Director of Rock Bottom Ranch and shares the summer programs, kids camps, vegetable gardens, livestock, and restoration projects happening at the ranch.

Mountain Valley Developmental Services sets itself apart from similar organizations with their two major projects: Art on 8th and their greenhouse. Art on 8th is a gallery on 8th street in Glenwood Springs that sells woven goods made by weavers with developmental disabilities (who also receive services from Mountain Valley) and proceeds go back into Mountain Valley programs. The greenhouse project is a collaborative effort with neighboring Sopris Elementary School, where students and adults with developmental disabilities work together in the greenhouse; growing fresh food and learning sustainable horticultural techniques. Bruce Christensen, Executive Director, and Dana Peterson, Director of Human Resources, of Mountain Valley, discuss these two projects. 

Rocky Mountain Institute

A new report on non-profit organizations shows charities in the Mountain West have the among the lowest pay for high level staff among nonprofits across the country.   The survey by Charity Navigator found one standout here.  The top official at the environmental non-profit, Rocky Mountain Institute, was recently paid much more than counterparts at other non-profits, in fact, many times more.  (You can read the entire Charity Navigator report here.)

Elise Thatcher

The City of Aspen wants to know what “environmental sustainability” means to people here. Does it mean cleaner air or making sure there’s enough water to go around? Or maybe there’s another description It’s part of Aspen’s new effort to find out exactly how well the city is meeting its own sustainability goals.  Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher filed this report.