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EAS+Y creates club to get greener

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Sustainability group embarks on fund-raising effort

By Stephanie DeCamp

Evergreen’s Alliance for Sustainability started the way many groups of its kind do: over dinner.

“A bunch of us saw that there wasn't a group that supported or championed sustainability in the Evergreen area,” said Tupper Briggs, EAS+Y’s treasurer. “So we thought, rather than being a fringe group of radical preservationists, we wanted to be a mainstream voice for doing things to promote sustainability.”

The group didn't qualify for the Colorado Gives campaign this December, he said, so members have decided to set up a Sustainers Club to support their work.

Colorado Gives is an annual program run by First Bank in which the bank matches all donations to nonprofits throughout December.

“To qualify for it, you have to have a minimum of $25,000 in assets,” Briggs said. “We're young enough that we don't have that. As it turns out, we have the community garden, and that will qualify us for next year, but not this year. So in order to make sure that people know they can give to us this year, we're going out on a campaign to ask people to support us.”

Members of the club can choose the level of contribution — $60, $100 or $150 a month. One-time donations also are welcome.

“Like catch-and-release fishing or leave-no-trace camping, sustainability means living without damaging our environment,” Briggs said. “We can live well without living recklessly or irresponsibly, if we'll just adopt those habits that allow our environment to recover from our being here.

“If we can remind people to take their own reusable bags to the grocery stores,” he said, “well, that's a simple habit that makes it easy to not use the plastic bags that go to landfills and take 1,000 years to biodegrade.

“It's the little things that make all the difference in the world.”

Members are also provided 12 pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes for those wanting to mail in checks.

“We're relying on people's interest in the work we do,” he said, “as opposed to providing specific gifts in return (for donations).”

EAS+Y secured two grants to build the community garden at Buchanan Park, but for other projects and day-to-day operations, it relies solely on donations, he said.

To join the club, visit www.EvergreenEasy.org and click on the “Donate” button in the upper right-hand corner.