Earth Month

 SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 29th, Colorado Springs Auditorium

SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 29th, Colorado Springs Auditorium

This Year's Greenie Nominees



The ReStore, operated by Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity, is a building materials recycling center in Colorado Springs.  This fun and innovative business provides a valuable service to multiple members of our community.  Homeowners, Builders, remodelers, hotels and other business can donate their surplus materials to the ReStore, which then provides for their resale and reuse to its own customers.  This novel approach diverts materials from the landfills, offers vintage, one-of a kind items to buyers looking for something different or specific, employs people, and offers a treasure-hunting experience and a walk back in time.  TheRestore supports a greater mission of Habitat for Humanity, providing housing for people in need and connecting citizens in a collaborative community building enterprise

Food Not Bombs

Food not Bombs is a humanitarian organization with a mission to share food and a message of peace. All throughout the US and the world, Food not Bombs can be found with radical literature and healthy vegan and vegetarian food. In Colorado Springs, Food not Bombs serves a rescued meal every Sunday in front of Penrose Library. In the spirit of mutual aid, they encourage community participation through weekly cook-parties and dinners at the Concrete Couch homebase on Saturdays.

RAW Tools

RAWtools repurposes weapons into hand tools to be used in the creation of something new, preventing the weapon’s use for violence and creating a cycle of peace. RAWtools partners with communities in an effort to repurpose weapons for productive lifelong purpose. The materials from the weapon are forged into media suitable for fabrication into new tools. Each weapon is connected to its new purpose, creating a narrative that will travel with the new tool. This narrative takes on a tangible form in the packaging of the tool, traveling to its new destination and purpose. An online interactive story is formed for each tool where the new owner of the tool will be able to “show and tell” how the tool is being used, thus preventing a cycle of violence and creating a cycle of peace.

One Nation Walking Together

One Nation Walking Together started in 1995 in the back of a trunk with the goal of being a positive force dealing with the poverty on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations.  In 2007 Urban Turzi became the Executive Director and served without a salary until 2016 when he retired.  The organization grew and today loads 53-foot semi-trucks that deliver up to $2 million worth of donated goods to reservations annually, ONWT provides hope and services to between 30,000 to 40,000 Native Americans in Colorado and six other surrounding states.    95 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to support ONWT’s programs.  One Nation has also developed a food sustainability program. This program provides Native families on and off the reservations with chickens, coops, feed and direct support to create a continued source of food and potential income.   Native Americans were the first stewards of Mother Earth and ONWT adheres as closely as possible to those tenants of recycling, repurposing and reducing in any way they can.

Wild Connections

Wild Connections was started in 1995 with an objective of identifying and protecting designated wildlands in Colorado. 

In 2016 more than 40 volunteers worked with the Forest Service on a multi day project organized by Wild Connections and its conservation partners to successfully close and restore an illegal trail in beautiful Selkirk Valley above South Park. This spring we are guiding lots of hikers and holding meetings to intimately involve folks in helping the Bureau of Land Management create a new land use plan for public lands in eastern Colorado.

2001 to 2009: Wrote the Wild Connections Conservation Plan, submitted it to USFS which resulted in 103,600 acres being added to the Pike San Isabel national forest inventory.

2009 to 2015: Restored habitat in Trout Eagle Creeks, Green Mountain, Geneva Basin, and Farnum Peak wild habitats. Held monthly guided wilderness hikes for many of these 31 years.

2013 to 2015: Hosted interns and worked with the BLM to inventory 24 BLM areas organized citizen meetings, and submitted detailed management comments to the BLM.    

They offer public outreach in the form of newsletters, social media, and slide shows in an effort to communicate with the public about the state of the wild lands we all own.

Energy Resource Center

Founded in 1979 with the mission of helping low income people reduce their energy costs and live in a more comfortable home. Nearly 10,000 homes have reduced their energy bills approximately 20% because of these services. Because of the demand and the successes ERC has added offices in Denver and Pueblo. In 2014 they received the Regional Business Alliance’s Outstanding Non Profit award.  There are Free evaluations in the low income assistance program which begin with an on sight audit which is fed into a computer program which elaborates on the most economically efficient way to decrease energy cost and simultaneously increase the comfort of the home. This typically results in a $20 per month reduction in the utility bill.  There also pay for programs which follow a similar path. ERC also works with homebuilders to make homes more efficient during the design and construction stages.  They have anA+  BBB rating.


Who Gives A Scrap

Who Gives a SCRAP Creative Reuse Center has found a home for the next year within the walls of Ivywild School, and a second location has opened in Old Colorado City at 2518 W. Colorado Ave.  All kinds of treasures donated by local individuals and businesses – from tiles and tape, to paper and picture frames, to fabric and beads and more - are available as the perfect low-cost option for the classroom teacher, artist or hobbyist.  Items can be utilized for home decorating projects, theater and art projects, Halloween costumes, Solstice floats, party decorations, garden art, school science fair projects and other creative endeavors.  Our inventory is based on individual and business donations, so it changes every day.  The reuse center to date, has diverted more than 12 thousand pounds of clean, reusable materials from ending up in the El Paso County landfill since collection began in July 2015.

Energy Resource Center

Founded in 1979 with the mission of helping low income people reduce their energy costs and live in a more comfortable home. Nearly 10,000 homes have reduced their energy bills approximately 20% because of these services. Because of the demand and the successes ERC has added offices in Denver and Pueblo. In 2014 they received the Regional Business Alliance’s Outstanding Non Profit award.  There are Free evaluations in the low income assistance program which begin with an on sight audit which is fed into a computer program which elaborates on the most economically efficient way to decrease energy cost and simultaneously increase the comfort of the home. This typically results in a $20 per month reduction in the utility bill.  There also pay for programs which follow a similar path. ERC also works with homebuilders to make homes more efficient during the design and construction stages.  They have anA+   BBB rating.

Bestway Disposal

Bestway Disposal provides complete waste/recycling services throughout the Colorado Springs community. From pickup at the curbside to managing the final disposition, we are proud of our core values which include integrity and the highest quality service. 

Bestway Disposal, a locally owned and operated family business for over 50 years, diverts waste from landfills through our recycling and compost services. Bestway facilitates recycling in the Pikes Peak region through its investment, ownership and operation of the area’s only Material Recycling Facility, or MRF.  This facility creates local jobs, and reduces emissions through providing local recycling and recovery services in Southern Colorado.  Each month Bestway’s MRF sorts over 1200 tons of recyclables into separated commodities, while the disposal company hauls over 100 tons of compost, in partnership with our customers.

Venetucci Farms

This historic 190-acre urban farm, known as the “Pumpkin Farm”, was established by the Venetucci Family in 1936. In later years, Nick and Bambi Venetucci were known for giving away thousands of pumpkins each fall to area school children. Today, the Pikes Peak Community Foundation honors the legacy of Nick and Bambi Venetucci, and their spirit of generosity. “We use our head, heart, and hands to grow and distribute healthy food for our community in a way that conserves, protects, and restores the natural environment. We provide meaningful educational and volunteer work experiences to re-connect people with the source of their food, to foster community awareness of food issues, and to enhance community health.” PPCF is currently engaged in a process of exploring options for the long-term health and vitality of the farm and taking the time to fully study, reflect, and develop a vision and strategy that best positions the farm to perpetuate the legacy of its donors and serve the community for years to come.

Williamette Market & Deli

Willamette Market and Deli: Opened in 2016, Willamette Market and Deli brought a new concept to a an old location. The Market and Deli’s mission is to bring organic, sustainable, and regional products to the Middle Shooks Run neighborhood. The deli counter features hot dogs (meat, vegetarian, and vegan), but the commitment to bringing the best foods from as close as possible to the neighborhood, as well as the commitment to preserving the iconic neighborhood landmark, is the reason co-owners Co-owned by Amy Emerson and Natalie Peck are nominated for a Greenie Award.


The City Sustaina-Center

City of Colorado Springs Sustaina-center: In 2016, the City of Colorado Springs repurposed two unused Victorian homes on East Boulder Street to create the Sustaina-center, a space that houses the City’s Sustainability Office, as well as several local nonprofits focused on sustainability. The vision of the Sustaina-center is to be a regional sustainability hub where people come to learn, collaborate, and engage in sustainable practices. 

Fountain Creek Nature Center

Fountain Creek Nature Center, located in Fountain Creek Regional Park, a facility of El Paso County Community Services, celebrates 25 years of nature and environmental programming in 2017!  The center partners with many community non-profits (CS Astronomical Society, Fountain Creek Flood Control & Greenway District, PPCC, CS Pioneers Museum, National Park Service, Air Force Academy, Eagle Scouts, Security Library, Friends of EPC Nature Centers, 4-H, City of Fountain, Kritter Karavan, Mile-High Bug Club. CO Parks & Wildlife) and businesses (KOHL’s, Bestway, Papa Murphy’s, Colorado Springs Utilities, Millberger Farms, Dinosaur Resource Center) to raise the bar of environmental literacy and education in the Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security and Widefield Communities.  The center reaches all ages from 2-92 in weekly public programs, spring and summer nature camps, twice-monthly children’s nature series, special events and school field trips, teen and adult volunteer programs to instill a love of nature and to inspire visitors and participants to become stewards of the parks and our environment.  A new “Say ‘No’ to Plastic Water Bottles” exhibit promotes recycling literacy and conservation to visitors.  Regular stewardship events involve a broad range of community members from middle and high school students to church and scout groups to improve the health of the Fountain Creek Regional Park habitats while educating about environmental issues, avian flyways and wildlife habitats.  The Fountain Creek Watershed Exhibit helps visitors learn about their community watershed--its function, challenges and how they can help.  The nature center specifically reaches out regularly to the military community through outreach programs, free admission for active military to special events, and special nature programs geared toward veterans and their families.  We build community connections and family nature traditions through seasonal events including annual Chocolate Bunny Hikes, Family Fun Day, Pumpkin Carving & Jack-o-Lantern Trail, Santa hikes & horse-drawn wagon rides.  Fountain Creek Nature Center is truly a community treasure.

Pikes Peak Environmental Forum

The Pikes Peak Environmental Forum, in existence for more than 25 years, gives our community an open, inclusive and inspiring outlet to provide information and education about our region’s natural spaces and resources and the people that care about them. Held in the fall, winter and spring at restaurant icon The Margarita at Pine Creek, speakers and attendees enjoy healthy local foods and learn about diverse environmental topics.   The PPEF is overseen by expert gardener and holistic health expert Michele Mukatis, who stewards a welcoming, collaborative atmosphere and supportive dialogue.  The PPEF enhances Colorado Springs by offering a free, safe venue that informs citizens about important sustainability efforts and invites them to participate.  This valuable learning platform connects our population and helps sustainability progress.

Bike Clinic TOO

Bike Clinic Too helps those in need to get bicycles in the Pikes Peak Region. We are the sister shop to the original Bike Clinic, founded in 1993 by Peter Sprunger-Froese and Brian Gravestock. We provided the unmatched utility of a bicycle to local homeless and others in need. Many are friendless and have nothing. The gift of a bicycle is not just a gift of transportation, it is a gift of hope that is unconditional. Skilled mechanics under Brian’s leadership labor to make donated used bicycles roadworthy again. The bikes are provided along with free ongoing repairs. Using our unique skills and a friendly approach, our clients receive a used but serviceable bicycle, which becomes a way to seek employment, get appointments, attend classes, and find independence. On the “green” front, we save bicycles that otherwise might end up in the landfill, though we’re best served by donars who give us bikes in good condition. Wanting to make a difference, we’ve found a way to bring tangible aid to our fellow human beings. 


Atlas Preparatory School

The Atlas Prep mission states that all Atlas students will embrace self-fulfillment through education, character and community so that they can pursue their best self. The “Atlas Way” is rooted in the three pillars: education, character, community. Atlas Prep students are positioned to succeed in an environment that goes beyond traditional teaching to emphasizing character and community involvement and nurturing/educating the whole child.

Queen Palmer Elementary School

Queen Palmer Elementary School’s YES (Young Environmental Stewards) Club for 4th and 5th graders has been active at the school for over 5 years. The club is lead by Richelle Gittens who has taught a Young Environmental Stewards club for 9 years. The Catamount Institute provides funding for the students to participate at a significantly lower cost. As a direct result of their sponsorship, students at Queen Palmer have been exposed to, able to participate in and partake in a variety of educational and environmental experiences and opportunities. 

Queen Palmer’s YES Club has studied impacts of feral cats, examined ocean trash and came up with a giant solar powered fish that would recycle the floating waste, invented ways for bird of prey to avoid being killed by wind turbines and reflective windows. They also helped repair trails and build trails at Garden of the Gods with Rocky Mountain Field Institute, toured the JD Phillips Water Treatment Plant and Mesa Conservation Center, and picked up trash at a local waterway.

Queen Palmer’s YES Club allows students the freedom and power to positively impact their environment through their new learning. It’s an awesome place where new thoughts and old thoughts merge and empower students to be responsible for what’s going on the world, and how they can change thinking adults and colleagues. They take on the personal responsibility of teaching others around them in their quest to make the world a better and lasting place for all.

Mountain Song

Our students learn every aspect of horticulture from composting, manure aging, soil health, seeding, wise-water use, cultivation, mulching, companion planting, pest management, harvesting, and food preparation. We have started a community seed saving library and a hoop house for seed starting. We are members of the Edible Schoolyard Project, The Whole Kids Foundation, Sloe Food, and The Green Education Foundation. By request, we hope to offer agricultural gardening courses all year and summer gardening “school”.

Colorado College

Colorado College has shown a commitment to environmental stewardship through a number of programs including an annual spring break program with RMFI, New Student Orientation service projects, and encouraging student groups to get involved with local nonprofits. They’re also doing a lot to make the campus more sustainable. They have a goal of reaching carbon neutrality on campus by 2020.

Air Force Academy

The US Air Force Academy has been undergoing a sustainability transformation for many years.  Under federal guidance for all installations, local leadership and expertise has led to multiple programs which save water and energy, save money, improve air quality, and support local habitat. They do this through programs that involve their staff, students, and the community. 


Bill Morris

Bill Morris co-founded Blue Star Recyclers in 2009 in Colorado Springs after discovering people with autism, a population with over 90% unemployment, possessed innate skills worthy of paid employment.  

Blue Star Recyclers is an e-Stewards certified, nonprofit social enterprise with a mission of ethically recycling electronics to create local jobs for people disabilities. The fulfillment of that mission to date has produced significant triple-bottom line impact; Including certified recycling of 12 million pounds of electronics – which has diverted 1.5 million pounds of toxic materials from landfills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17 million pounds, 34 jobs for people with disabilities employed Blue Star’s operations in Colorado Springs, Denver, and Boulder – which has reduced taxpayer burden by over $1 million.  In addition, Blue Star’s workforce of people with disabilities have posted industry- leading occupational statistics for worker productivity, along with industry-low rates of employee turnover, absenteeism, and lost time accidents.  As a nonprofit, Blue Star also finished 2016 at 95% financially self-sustainable.

Leslie Weise

Leslie is an intellectual property attorney and environmental activist with over 25 years of business, legal and technical experience in the cleantech, computer and networking industries. She has served as in-house counsel for several Silicon Valley technology companies, and as a volunteer for many Boards of Directors for Environmental and Sustainability focused non-profits. For the past 15 years, she has directed her focus specifically to the cleantech industry to assist finding solutions to displace harmful fossil fuels. She has a Master of Law degree from the University of Denver in Natural Resource and Environmental Law and Policy. Weise manages a business consulting firm, Weise Consulting, advising tech companies, startups and not-for-profit businesses.

Lyn Harwell

A childhood spent on a farm in northeast Ohio shaped Lyn Harwell’s views on community and how neighbors can help and support one another through sharing food and resources. Thirty-plus years spent as a chef in world-class restaurants taught him the importance of creating beautiful food for people to enjoy and gather together to share. In recent years, he spent time helping others open community cafes and supporting local sustainability. This led Harwell to open Seeds Community Café in September 2013. Seeds is based on a “pay it forward, pay-as-you-can” model that serves healthy, locally-sourced meals to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. “I believe that food truly has the power to transform lives!”

Chris Aaby

Chris Aaby is Executive Director of Catamount Institute. He developed his love of the environment as a young boy in Norway, where he hiked and explo dedication to sustainability was solidified when, as a marketing director and sales manager for a coffee company, he traveled to Peru and witnessed first-hand the positive difference fair trade certification made in the lives of farmers, their families, and the land. Now Chris leads the effort to develop ecological stewards through education and adventure.Chris also serves on the Peak Alliance for a Sustainable Future as well as the steering committee for Leading Edge, a program of Leadership Pikes Peak. In his free time he loves to bake cupcakes, hike, and perfect his photography skills.red with his brothers. 

Allen Beauchamps

Allen Beauchamp has been working to make Colorado Springs a more cycling-friendly city for over 15 years. Through his efforts to communicate the value of bicycling to our many roadway and trail user groups, Allen has become one of the most recognized and respected voices for cycling-related issues in the City.

He began his community involvement after moving here in 2001 with Intel Corp, by becoming involved in the Colorado Springs Cycling Club (CSCC), the largest and longest-running recreational cycling club in Colorado Springs. He served as club President from 2004 to 2008, fostering a spirit of inclusiveness and year-round riding for people of all ages and abilities. He was a key committee member of the Buena Vista Bike Fest, the club’s yearly century ride that raised and distributed thousands of dollars to other non-profit organizations, like the Trails and Open Space Coalition, Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, and Kids on Bikes. Allen remains a board member for CSCC, focusing on advocacy, education and leading their winter social rides.