AUGUST 5, 2017 BY 

Adapted from Steamboat Today

Are bottle caps recyclable? Should I throw away the milk if the date on the carton has passed? How do I use fewer chemicals to keep bugs off my plants or clean my house?

We all want to do our part to reduce waste and put fewer chemicals in our environment, right? But it’s hard to know where to start. That’s where Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and our Waste Reduction Round-Up can help.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 YVSC will host the Waste Reduction Round-Up at the Farmer’s Market. Join YVSC for 10- to 15-minute presentations that will highlight these waste diversion questions and many others. Topics will include the following.

  • What do best-by dates really mean? Heather Savalox, of Routt County Environmental Health will clarify the true meaning of food date labels and how to know if an expired item can be safely consumed. 
  • Food demonstration: Alicia McLeod, of Natural Grocers, will offer tips to waste less food in your kitchen. There will be delicious baked chips made from potato, carrot and apple peels. 
  • Common recycling contaminants: Luke Teller, of Aces High, will highlight common contaminants and go through what items can be recycled. If the recycle bin is contaminated, it is highly likely it will end up in the trash. 
  • Alternatives to household hazardous waste: Cameron Hawkins, of YVSC, will explain how common household items, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries and pesticides, can contain hazardous material. Not only are these items bad for the environment, but they are also bad for our health. Discover green alternatives. 
  • Buy local: Michele Meyer, of the Community Agriculture Alliance, will discuss how the transportation of food leaves a large carbon footprint and how this problems can be mitigated by buying locally through the Community Ag Alliance Marketplace. Meyer and a local producer will talk about the marketplace and sustainable ranching practices in the Yampa Valley. 
  • From trash to treasure: Sarah Jones, of YVSC, will talk about how to turn trash into recycled art and toys during this hands-on session. All supplies will be provided. Bring the kids to this one. 
  • How to make a plastic-free, zero-waste kit: Reusable, zero-waste kits are essential at concerts, while hiking or at any event with food. Hawkins will discuss the essentials you need to be zero waste on-the-go.

For more information, visit In addition to the presentations, YVSC will have information to help you reduce your waste at home and at work. Feel free to stop by, ask questions and pick up a 2017 recycle guide.

Are you interested in reducing your food waste at home? YVSC will be offering our “Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge” again during the fall. Get tips, resources and recipe ideas to waste less food and save on your grocery bill. For more information or to participate in the Challenge, email Hawkins at

YVSC is also recruiting community members for a new organics recycling task force. We welcome voices from all around the community. Email to get involved.