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August 25th, 2008
01:51 PM ET

Greening of the convention

Environmental activist and producer Laurie David before Green Sunday at the Red Rocks Democratic National Convention welcome concert.

Environmental activist and producer Laurie David before Green Sunday at the Red Rocks Democratic National Convention welcome concert.

Laurie David
Global Warming Activist/Producer/Author

As soon as Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper learned that his city had been chosen for the 2008 Democratic Convention, he became giddy with the possibility of hosting the first green political convention ever. You see the results of his efforts the moment you arrive at the Denver airport and are greeted by smiling DNC volunteers standing by brand new Chevy HYBRID Tahoe’s (with the added bonus of that great new car smell). As you leave the airport, glance to your left and you will see acres of newly installed solar panels to offset the electrical use at the airport.

One of my favorite green touches that Denver came up with is the thousand bicycles sitting curbside around the city available for all to use, free of charge, for carbon neutral transportation. All bikes are equipped with an odometer to measure the green miles logged. Virtually every aspect of this convention was rethought from what kind of paper products the food is served on to briefing the hundreds of restaurants in the community on how to reduce waste. And how about the fact that 1,300 tons of plastic were saved from a landfill by switching to biodegradable wood key cards for the local hotels. Now that’s sweating the details!

It is not an exaggeration to say that a huge shift in consciousness went into the greening of this event. And long after the convention is over, the city of Denver and it’s beloved Mayor will have set a new standard by which all other large-scale events should be measured.

To learn more about what Denver accomplished go to the 2008 DNC website.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    More cities should take notes from Denver and do what they did. Coping with climate change so far seems to be a grassroots effort because the Congress in DC can't get it together to really hammer out some solutions that will work.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 25, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  2. Julie San Diego, CA

    Laurie,

    Thanks for a perspective on the convention that gives us a break from the polito-drama.

    Here in California, Governor Arnold Scharzengger recently announced the construction of a 250 Megawatt rooftop solar project in partnership with a private firm that manages industrial/warehouse space.

    To give you an idea of how big that is, that's enough clean electric power for over 160,000 homes.

    Damn, if Arnold wasn't constantly sucking on those stinky air-polluting cigars of his, I'd suspect he was a Democrat in Republican clothes...

    Is T. Boone Pickens (the Founding Father of US Wind Farms) attending the convention?

    Thanks again for an interesting angle/perspective. You've inadvertantly hit on a topic that should be addressed at this convention: energy independence.

    August 25, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  3. Ed

    Terrific! Wonderful that the City of Denver has this two megawatt solar power system at Denver International Airport. Magnificent! Well done, Denver! Well done, project parters – MMA Renewable Ventures, Sharp and WorldWater!

    August 25, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  4. Horatio Johnson

    I would like to know from Debra Bartoshevich view point, Obama is not fit to lead our country but she would have supported him if Hilary was on the ticket, does it not put him (Obama) in the same position with Biden as it would have with hilary? I don't see where her reaction to his vp pick changes the direction he wants to take this country unless she (Debra) just needs to come out and say she's mad because Obama did not pick Hilary, who would have been the first woman vp. If that is the case Mrs. Bartoshevich is not fit the be a delegate if this is how she is making her decisions for her state.

    August 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  5. Jennifer

    Yes, this magnificent new solar array (covering 7.5 acres) is owned, operated, and was financed by, MMA Renewable Ventures. It's comprised of 9,200 Sharp solar panels. Seen by the 50 million visitors that go through Denver International Airport each year, it's the most visible solar array in the U.S.

    August 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  6. JC- Los Angeles

    With Biden, Ted Kennedy and the Clintons, the greenest element of the convention with be the Obamas.

    August 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm |