Daily Carbon Card
What is a Carbon Footprinting?
Think of it: When you want to lose weight, you count calories. When you want to save money, you count cents. Want to improve the atmosphere? Count Carbon.
The Sopris Foundation's carbon footprint card, currently available for download here.
Want one? Please tell us your name, phone, mailing address and how many you could use!
To read supporting calculations, performed by Richard Heede of Climate Mitigation Services, download here.
• The Carbon Footprint Counter: What's Your Count? (PDF 220kb)
• "Carbon in Our Daily Lives": Carbon Calculations (PDF 920kb)
• "Carbon In Our Daily Lives": Supporting Calculations (PDF 60kb)
Tiered Rate Electricity Pricing
Tiered rate pricing structures are proving a powerful incentive to turn off the lights and save energy. Currently, the more energy a consumer uses, the cheaper the next chunk, or block, of energy costs, on a per kWh basis (called "declining blocks"). Tiered rates charge the consumer more, per kWh, the more the consumer uses, within "blocks" of use. This structure, called inclining blocks, is common to water utility pricing. This new structure will reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, send a pricing signal that alerts consumers to reduce their energy demand, show how some customers' electricity bills may decline, and reference other towns and electric coops across the country who have transitioned to tiered rates.
• Energy Efficiency by Rate Design by Dr. Ahmad Faruqui (PDF 225kb)
• Demand Pricing Study: New evidence on residential demand response (PDF 190kb)
• "Inclining Toward Efficiency: Electricity Elastic Enough for Rates to Matter?" (PDF 400kb)
Innovative Ideas Catalogue
Gathering and disseminating the newest and sharpest projects, policies and products applicable to small towns of the West is a core purpose for The Sopris Foundation. Contact us to share an idea or inquire about a fix.
• "Innovative Ideas for a New West" Workbook (PDF 5.0 MB)
• Colorado College State of the Rockies Report Card (www.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/reportcard.html)
• Headwaters News (www.headwatersnews.org)
• Sonoran Institute (www.sonoran.org)
Estate Tax Reform
Given the high value of real estate particularly ranches in the amenity regions of the West, the 45% estate tax leveraged against many working landscapes force the operator to sell his land to fund the tax bill. The Sopris Foundation, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (www.edf.org), is working to educate elected officials about the needed reforms within the estate tax. We need to remove yet another roadblock to ranchers' profitability, and thus preserve Western agriculture.
• John McBride's letter to the Colorado Cattlemen's Association, November 2007 (PDF 16 kb)
• Piper S. Foster High Country News essay (Coming Soon)
Documentary: "Nobody's Home"
In Spring 2007 The Sopris Foundation produced the documentary "Nobody's Home." This 15-minute film describes the loss of local vitality in resort towns as a result of rapid real estate appreciation and conversion of locals' housing to second homes. The DVD also includes 4 case studies from Switzerland, Crested Butte, Basalt, and Aspen.
Energy Research On Second Homes
Eliminating waste and attention to the carbon footprint of one's home is important to us. In partnership with Rick Heede at Climate Mitigation Services, we assessed the carbon emissions from primary and second homes in the Aspen area in a report titled "Anybody Home?: Energy Consumption and Carbon Emissions from Second Homes in Aspen". This study and related press revealed that of the residential emissions in our area, >60% are attributable to largely vacant second homes.
Download the "Anybody Home?" report (PDF 1.2 MB)
Download the Executive Summary of "Anybody Home?" (PDF 130 kb)