Mountainfilm in Telluride is such an incredibly important event. It kicks off our very full summer season here in Telluride, but more than that, through its programs we get to experience intellectual and artistic stimulation that makes us realize how blessed we are. Blessed to live in a place of extreme beauty. Blessed to have a strong, vibrant and engaged community. Blessed to have the opportunity to view, discuss – and ACT.

From the EcoAction Partners standpoint, Mountainfilm continues to be a huge success. I am talking about a proactive group with a willingness to embrace Zero Waste, which makes it a pure joy to work with them. Much like last year, the amount of trash produced is extremely low for an event of this size. The little trash we do see, however, makes us stop and think. And thinking about what’s required to get even closer to Zero Waste.

Not everyone quite got – or heard – the injunction to bring your own plates, cups and utensils. Getting used to that might take a few more years. But from what I could see, the idea is beginning to sink in. At the closing picnic, folks who were visiting town searched rented condos for something non-breakable to use as a platform for their food: frisbees, even lids to plastic storage containers were re-purposed. But still there is room for improvement. Standard procedure (probably for health reasons) requires wrapping racks of wine and beer glasses in plastic. Fortune cookies were individually wrapped. There were other cookies in a non-recyclable wrappers.

At Friday’s Symposium on Population, panel member Richard Heinberg emphasized the importance of local actions to create stronger, more resilient communities. That is the work EcoActions Partners has been doing and continues to do in our region.

EcoAction Partners is focused on energy efficiency and renewables, using waste as a resource and localizing our food supply. We’re not looking to become isolated by any means. We’re hoping to enhance the local economy by doing, getting, building, growing, and exchanging as much as possible, as many times as possible within our regional community. Will we be giving up coffee or other things we can’t grow or make here? Absolutely not! But by creating strong, more self-reliant communities we believe we can operate more fully within “Life’s Operating Manual.” (Thank you Tom Shadyac.)

I want to make the time to go through some of the ideas, talks, inspiring words and images and start my own personal “Mountainfilm Blueprint for Action,” an album of my thoughts and pathways to action. I think if everyone did the same, we would wind up with great resource for moving forward into a greener, more sustainable future.

The messages that come out of Mountainfilm, the examples that suggest we can make a difference, do not need to end when Memorial Weekend comes to a close. Nor should they. We should pay them forward. Intelligent action and generosity of spirit does not have a sell-by date.

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