CAST bag challenge: Telluride vs Aspen

CAST bag challenge: Telluride vs Aspen

[click “Play” to learn about Aspen’s involvement]

by Eileen Burns

IMG_7864 I recently spoke to Aspen representatives Katherine Dart, Special Projects Coordinator for CORE which stands for Community Office for Resource Efficiency and Ashley Cantrell, environmental health specialists for the city of Aspen about their involvement in the Colorado Association of Ski Towns (CAST) Challenge. 

CAST has been holding a plastic bag challenge since March 1st, with more than 30 ski towns participating including neighboring Aspen.  The concept is to reduce consumption of single-use, disposable shopping bags by using your own bag.  Participating stores keep a record of reusable bags being used between March 1st and September 1st and when the totals are in, the town with the highest per capita bag reuse rate will win a $10,000 grant from sponsors Alpine Bank and PCL Construction to install a solar panel system at a public school for the winning community.


CAST_Challenge_Poster Independent Power Systems will install the system for free.  The multi town CAST Challenge is a big step up from last year’s two-town Aspen-Telluride Challenge where Telluride ended up winning the challenge.  According to a recent post on CORE’s web site shopping with reusable bags promotes a number of positive environmental practices, including:

    1.    Reducing oil consumption
    2.    Reducing energy use (manufacturing, transportation and disposal)
    3.    Reducing public trash pollution
    4.    Reducing waste disposal costs
    5.    Reducing trees cut down for use in paper bags
    6.    Reducing your personal carbon footprint (CO2 emissions)
    7.    Promoting wildlife, particularly marine, welfare
    8.    Supporting a green industry
    9.    Supporting sustainable business practices

For more information on CORE and Aspen’s participation in the CAST Challenge go to or call 970.920.0064. For information on sustainability issues in Telluride, see the TNCC website.    

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