Dems Aim to Leave Green Legacy in Denver

  • Published on May 20th, 2008

greening the democratic national convention, environmental legacy in Denver My colleague Jennifer Lance recently wrote that both of the major parties would be trying to “out-green” each other for this summer’s national conventions. Republicans and Democrats alike have made efforts to green (or appear to green) what is, for all intents and purposes, a very non-green affair. But Democrats want this August’s convention in Denver to serve as a blueprint for not only how to make a convention greener, but how to make the host city greener long after the convention has ended.

“We are hoping that everything we are doing for greening (the convention) has some legacy value,” said Parry Burnap, “greening” director for the host committee. The committee has launched plans for local river clean-ups, tree-planting and tree care events, and is sourcing its food from local and organic sources. Other programs aimed at leaving a legacy include (after the jump)…


Humana Inc. and Boulder-based Bikes Belong will provide 1,000 bikes for use by residents, visitors and delegates during the convention. Denver Host Committee President Elbra Wedgeworth, along with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., recently unveiled plans for the new city-wide bike-sharing program called Freewheelin. 70 of the bikes used for the convention will be donated to Denver as a start toward continuing the program. Mayor John Hickenlooper hailed the plan as a significant step towards creating an integrated transit system within the city.


The mother venue at the Democratic convention will be the Pepsi Center, and it is has been undertaking substantial projects that will leave a noticeable legacy. First, owners of the arena are is installing 52 solar panels on the arena’s Blue Sky Grill restaurant, providing electricity to the venue and saving 13,641 KWh annually, or 9.42 metric tons of CO2. The array will be operational before the Convention and for many years afterwards.

Giant downdraft fans have also been installed at Pepsi center — viewable from the arena’s seating areas — that re-circulate air trapped near the roof, reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the arena bowl.


The Host Committee has set a goal of diverting a minimum of 85 percent of convention- generated waste from the landfill. Organic materials will be collected and composted.

Also, installation of a cardboard recycling at Pepsi Center baler expected to package more than 100 tons of cardboard annually that had been going to landfill, saving 311.95 metric tons of CO2 each year (1).

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About the Author

is the founder of ecopolitology and the executive editor at LiveOAK Media, a media network about the politics of energy and the environment, green business, cleantech, and green living. When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics with anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing in Colorado's high country, hiking with his dog, and getting dirty in his vegetable garden.

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