ARCHIVED  April 9, 2010

Happy birthday, Earth Day

April 22 is the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and the calendar is full of events to mark the occasion.

Underlying the wealth of festivals, expos, forums, summits, dedication of community gardens and musical celebrations for all ages is the fact that the “green movement” has grown up since 1970. Living and doing business in an environmentally sensitive manner is no longer some far-out hippie philosophy. Green is now mainstream.

And Northern Colorado – in fact, the whole state and its New Energy Economy – is right in the middle of it all.

Colorado recently enacted some of the most far-reaching clean-energy legislation in the country, requiring 30 percent of large utilities’ electricity to come from renewable energy resources by 2020. And 3 percent of this standard must be met by local solar power, leading to the construction and installation of thousands of solar rooftops, panels and turbines. More than 200 solar companies already operate in Colorado and this increase should create additional job opportunities.

Not to mention the hundreds of primary jobs already coming online in the manufacturing sector with companies like the homegrown Abound Solar and the multinational Vestas Wind Systems.

And not all the clean energy jobs are in construction and manufacturing. When the San Francisco-based Center for Resource Solutions wanted to launch its “Buy Clean Energy 2010” campaign, it hired Linden, a Fort Collins-based marketing firm, to build its website. The online campaign encourages individuals and organizations to buy renewable energy in support of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, with an ultimate goal of gaining 1 billion unique kilowatt-hours purchased through the site.

The website, www.buycleanenergy.org, gives users tools to research local utility green-power programs, or buy renewable energy certificates immediatley, then routes them back to the site to share personal testimonials about the importance of purchasing clean energy. Participants can also share their actions with friends and contacts through social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.

The center hopes the streamlined, three-step approach will help convert many households and businesses who are pro-renewable energy into active consumers by demystifying the sign-up process.

Supporters of the campaign include organizations and businesses such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sterling Planet, EcoElectrons, the American Council on Renewable Energy, Earth Day Network – and Xcel Energy, which supplies electricity to 70 percent of Colorado households.

Can’t get much more mainstream than that.

April 22 is the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and the calendar is full of events to mark the occasion.

Underlying the wealth of festivals, expos, forums, summits, dedication of community gardens and musical celebrations for all ages is the fact that the “green movement” has grown up since 1970. Living and doing business in an environmentally sensitive manner is no longer some far-out hippie philosophy. Green is now mainstream.

And Northern Colorado – in fact, the whole state and its New Energy Economy – is right in the middle of it all.

Colorado recently enacted some…

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