Environmental Discipline in Denver
If you’re attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver, get ready to put your best green face on. The convention will certainly be sporting one.
Naturally (get it??), you’d expect that 70% of food items on all menus would be organic or locally grown. But with the slightly inexplicable mandate that “each meal should include at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white”, there’s the added bonus that your food will also be colorful. (The prohibition on fried foods is a little past me.)
And, of course, the convention has hired an
Official Carbon Adviser, who will measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed. The Democrats hope to pay penance for those emissions by investing in renewable energy projects.
If you’re a volunteer who was looking forward to sporting that fannypack or baseball cap made in the USA of organic cotton by unionized labor, however, you’re in for a disappointment – it was determined, after an exhaustive, country-wide search, that such an item does not exist.
[This would be a good place to quote Andrew: none of this is from The Onion] To end the suspense about the fannypacks and baseball caps, these items will be
made in the USA of undyed, organic fabric. [Official merchandiser Bob] DeMasse vows to get a union shop to print the logo, but he says the ink will be petroleum based. Unless, that is, he decides to get the logo embroidered — with biodegradable thread.
Petroleum based ink? With the advent years ago of soy based ink, this is inexcusable.
What about rubbish per se, you ask? Good question.
Perhaps [Director of Greening and longtime environmental activist Andrea] Robinson’s most audacious goal is to reuse, recycle or compost at least 85% of all waste generated during the convention.
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To police the four-day event Aug. 25-28, she’s assembling (via paperless online signup) a trash brigade. Decked out in green shirts, 900 volunteers will hover at waste-disposal stations to make sure delegates put each scrap of trash in the proper bin. Lest a fork slip into the wrong container unnoticed, volunteers will paw through every bag before it is hauled away.
“That’s the only way to make sure it’s pure,” Ms. Robinson says.
“Make sure”. Trust but verify seems to be Ms. Robinson’s motto. Not content to take the manufacturer’s word about the biodegradability of “celebratory balloons”,
Ms. Robinson buried samples in a steaming compost heap.
Initial results are not promising. But the convention is more than seven weeks away. A lot of decomposing can take place in that time. Ooo, seven whole weeks. That should be plenty of time to make the ultimate request for the sake of environmental purity: that all attendees travel to the convention without using fossil fuels.