Chaffee Green, a citizen action group concerned with sustainability practices and green living in Chaffee County, met at the Buena Vista Public Library on December 5 to review its various projects, including an initiative to supply reusable shopping bags for businesses in Buena Vista. Chaffee Green is in the strategic planning stages and some 30 individuals were in attendance from all over Chaffee County; primarily from Salida and Buena Vista.

Chaffee Green grew from the joining of members from the Sustainable Salida and the Ark Valley Environment Huddle through the collective mission of Envision Chaffee County. Chaffee Green began with just a few members targeting single-use plastics in Chaffee County.

The size of the group has ballooned; it remains passionate about the importance of recycling and phasing out single-use plastics, but also has task forces addressing concerns in multiple sustainability areas. These include energy efficiency and carbon emissions; consumption of non-recyclables; the life of the county landfill and diversion rates; composting; and a comprehensive plan for weaving sustainability into the fabric of Chaffee County.

Currently, Chaffee Green is spearheading an initiative to supply reusable shopping bags for businesses in Buena Vista. These bags can replace single-use plastic or paper bags.

The bags will feature advertisements for Businesses wishing to advertise with Chaffee Green.

For large tote bags, the first 10 businesses to contribute $250.00 each will have their business name and address printed on the reusable bags. These bags will be given away in small batches at City Market in Buena Vista on a weekly basis.

Chaffee Green will also gift 25 bags to each participating business to give away at their discretion, as well as a window sticker, reading “We support Sustainable Buena Vista”. Finally, the name of your business will be listed on the Chaffee Green website as a supporter of Chaffee Green and of sustainability in Chaffee county.

The same benefits could apply to businesses that wish to sponsor the small tote bags for $225.00.

Jacy Doumas, an involved member and point of contact for Chaffee Green, points to the groups desire to be informed and determine the best courses of action for improving sustainability in Chaffee County

“As we grow, we are looking toward groups such as Walking Mountains Science Center and studying comprehensive plans that have successfully implemented actionable sustainability measures as models.” Doumas wrote to the Ark Valley Voice in an email.

Doumas encourages the public to come support Chaffee Green and Sustainability Wednesday, January 16, from 5:00 pm-9:00pm, at Soulcraft brewery. Soulcraft has pledged 20 percent of its proceeds during this time to Chaffee Green.

Chaffee Green is in its early planning stages and organizers say those interested in being a part of Chaffee Green, are welcome to attend future meetings, or sponsor the manufacturing of reusable shopping bags. Those interested can stay informed by subscribing to email notifications regarding upcoming meetings and volunteer opportunities. To do so, contact Jacy Doumas via email: jacy@bvremax.com.