Boulder was on the leading edge of Rotary’s Preserve Planet Earth movement.
Early activities of the group, championed by Norris Hermsmeyer, Bob Herrman, and Sam Pottinger, included a latex paint collection drive, a program on greenhouse gas-related climate change, a green business directory, and a massive “Rotatree” tree-planting effort in 1995 by all five Boulder County Rotary Clubs.
Rotary International began its PPE efforts in 1990, 20 years after the first Earth Day. In April 1999, a Rotarian magazine article featured Boulder Rotary as one of the pacesetters in environmental issues.
In April 1995, Rotarians from Boulder, Boulder Valley, Longmont Twin Peaks, Broomfield, and Coal Creek clubs planted thousands of seedling trees that lived at Rock Creek Farm for two years. When mature, they were distributed to churches, charitable organizations, and city and county governments for planting.
Boulder Rotary began producing the Environmental Green Pages in 1994, a resource guide for community recycling. In 1999, Boulder and Boulder Valley Rotary clubs teamed up with the Daily Camera, the city of Boulder, and the Boulder Energy Conservation Center to create an even more comprehensive guide, the Boulder County Conservation Guide, distributed to Camera subscribers on Earth Day.
Our Preserve Planet Earth committee now hosts speakers and mobilizes Rotary resources to promote ecological practices and environmental sustainability. A couple of successful projects include:
- Reusable water bottle filling stations in schools, bearing the Rotary logo. BRC worked with the Boulder Valley club and Interact clubs at Boulder and Fairview high schools. The project affected eight schools and 6,000 students, saving 50,000 single use water bottles a year.
- Establishing Blue Star Recyclers in Boulder as a signature project. Blue Star hires workers who are on the autism spectrum to recycle older computers.