The City of Golden defines sustainability as living or acting in a manner that balances improving our quality of life, a healthy vibrant community, and mindful stewardship of the natural resources and environment.
The City established the Sustainability Awards program in 2009 to recognize members of the Golden community who are leading the way to a more sustainable future. The Awards honor and publicize residents, businesses, community groups, and nonprofits who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the City’s sustainability goals.
Now Accepting Golden Sustainability Award Nominations for 2023
Do you know someone, or possibly a business, in our community that strives to create a greener Golden? Now’s your chance to recognize these individuals by nominating them a Golden Sustainability Award. The City of Golden’s Community Sustainability Advisory Board (CSAB) is looking for nominations for the following categories:
Any nominations received after the closing date for the 2023 Awards will be held for the 2024 Awards. City Council annually presents the awards in celebration of Earth Day in April.
To nominate someone or a group for a Sustainability Award, fill out and submit the online nomination form. Nominations are open year round.
Recognizing students of all ages, from elementary to college-age, who provide positive and sustainable contributions to their community
Exceptional leaders who embody the spirit of sustainability and go above and beyond others in their field.
Companies who demonstrate a commitment to the environmental, social, and economic principles of sustainability and can show measurable savings in the areas of energy conservation, building efficiency, or recycling.
Partners in leadership, who work to ensure the vitality and continued prosperity of the community.
2022 Sustainability Award Winners
Janet Johnson – Individual
Janet Johnson is a champion of the City’s sustainability initiatives, particularly in the areas of water conservation and waste diversion. She leads by example through her excellent demonstration of the benefits and beauty of xeric plantings in her own yard. She has been a longtime participant in the City’s compost collection program and regularly distributes information to educate her neighbors on acceptable organic materials and collection practices. She is known for her potlucks where she would encourage her neighbors to participate in sustainability programs and efforts. We thank Janet for being a sustainability champion with this award and appreciate her considerable effort to educate her peers and neighbors in sustainability initiatives.
Shiela Deforest – Individual
Shiela Deforest is a founding member of Golden Resident Eco Action Team (Team GREAT!) a grassroots community organization whose vision is for neighbors in Golden to be unified in making more responsible choices for the community and the planet, and their mission is to engage the community into more environmental awareness and concrete action in a fun and educational way. She is the 2019 Mrs. Eco-International and continues to advocate for greater sustainability knowledge in the Golden community. She has helped promote trash & recycling educational materials, organized Friday for the Future demonstrations, organized several Clear Creek and highway clean up events and more recently hosted Eco talks around Earth Day at the Eddy Taproom. Thank you Shiela, for your dedication and commitment to sustainability in Golden.
Thomas Schweich – Individual
For many years, Tom has extensively catalogued native flora and indigenous plants growing in and around the Golden area. Frequently, Tom provides informational tours for Colorado Native Plant Society as well as local garden tours. Tom has been an invaluable resource for Golden residents and others seeking to transform their yards and outdoor areas into sustainable native habitats. Through his writings, his talks, his tours, and his endless patience, Tom has taught so many nonexperts to really “see” the beauty, complexity and importance of the botanical world all around us and led us to engage in efforts to ensure their protection and preservation. Mindful stewardship only happens with awareness and understanding and Tom has done much to advance all our individual and community understanding. With this award, we give Tom our appreciation for his stewardship of the plants that are such an integral component of our local natural world.
Spinster Sisters – Business
Spinster Sisters products are made locally in Golden, at their “microsoapery” located in the Corporate Center off of Colfax Avenue and which is 100% wind and solar powered. Spinster Sisters is a Certified B Corporation, confirming that Spinster Sisters meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and accountability to balance profit and purpose. Spinster Sisters has been on a mission to reduce plastic consumption with a focus on sustainable packaging and consumer education. As of March 2022, the company has eliminated 48,492 plastic containers from landfills and oceans and saved 2,628 gallons of water. Spinster Sisters is leading by example and we appreciate your sustainable business practices and efforts to demonstrate how businesses can be both profitable and sustainable.
Trout Unlimited – Community Group
In 2020 and 2021, the West Denver Trout Unlimited spearheaded a Clear Creek-wide integrated planning effort to develop projects to enhance environmental resources and to promote sustainable watershed health practices. The project brought many stakeholders together to build consensus around stewardship and recreational opportunities on the river in close collaboration with agricultural users, cities, counties, water districts, community groups, and other Clear Creek users. WDTU has participated in many conservation projects and educational programs in the Clear Creek basin including the Clear Creek Golden Mile Restoration project in the City of Golden which provides quality fishing opportunities to urban residents. This is a group of folks who truly care about the longevity of the creek and they also clean up trash several times each year. Golden appreciates the West Denver chapter’s continued efforts to help keep Clear Creek a sustainable ecosystem for our future generations.
Jim Dale – Legacy
Jim served on City Council for four years, in addition to serving four years on the Community Sustainability Advisory Board. His advocacy for the community’s goals extended to his private life – he was an early adopter of solar at home, he participated in most all of the City’s sustainability programs and was a strong advocate for when Council voted to add the organics services as a standard service in the City’s Pay-As-You-Throw program. His real life anecdotes about how easy it was to choose the sustainable option made sense to people and resonated with Golden residents. We sincerely appreciate Jim’s contributions to making Golden a more sustainable place to live and honor him with the City’s first Legacy award for an individual.
2021 Sustainability Awards
The 2021 Sustainability Awards are prints by local artist, Jesse Crock. Jesse is known for his acrylic masterpieces that use vibrant and rich colors. His Colorado landscapes are well known in Golden and are featured in several large installations, including the mural at the Mountain Toad brewery on 9th & Washington.
2019 Sustainability Award Winners
Alpine Waste & Recycling – Business Award
The Business Award was given to Alpine Waste & Recycling for being a true leader within the recycling and compost industry. Alpine recently completed a $2.5 million investment in the recycling plant, which resulted in a 33 percent increase in the plant’s recycling speed – more than 17,000 tons per month. Their large operation includes optical sorters, the only ballistic separator in Colorado, a Styrofoam condenser, and a lightning fast robot that sorts juice cartons and coffee cups. In addition, Alpine has welcomed Golden citizens to tour the facilities each year and regularly hosts students and curious recyclers from around the Front Range.
Erin Howe – Individual Award
This year’s Individual Award was presented to Erin Howe. Erin is a community leader with a longstanding commitment to furthering sustainability initiatives, including rallying neighbors to sign up for the City’s curbside organic service and advocating for Pay As You Throw programs at Villages at Mountain Ridge.
GoFarm – Community Award
GoFarm received this year’s Community Group Award for their ongoing leadership for supporting local farms and local food. GoFarm also strives to be environmentally conscious in their no-waste distribution of local food shares. In 2018, the organization eliminated single-use plastic bags and worked with shareholders to provide opportunities to purchase locally-handmade reusable produce bags.
2019 Sustainability Award Trophies
This year’s Sustainability Award Trophies were created by local photographer, Andew Terrill. Andrew is known for his outdoor photography of iconic areas in Golden. His goal is to reveal his passion for both the outdoors and Colorado through his photography. For more information about Andrew’s art, visit www.andrewterrillphotography.com
2018 Sustainability Award Winners
MillerCoors, MolsonCoors, and Ball Corporation – Business Award
2009 Sustainability Award Winners
2009 Sustainability Award – Student
Jacques Moreau is a sixth grader at Shelton Elementary where he is a dedicated recycler. Ms. Susan DeCamp, Shelton’s art teacher, nominated Jacques because he consistently shows up on time every week to help with the school’s recyclable material. Jacques arrives early to school in the morning to help with the recycling, but in a remarkable act of dedication, Jacques even showed up on a snow day to fulfill his responsibilities.
2009 Sustainability Award – Individual
Dr. Charles Courtad
Dr. Courtad co-founded the Renewable Energy Demostration Center (REDC), a nonprofit organization that encourages the use of wind and solar energy, as well as other renewable resources. Dr. Courtad also built the first private wind turbine in Golden in 2006 and is currently planning to expand the Center’s demonstration examples, so that students from CSM and other schools may learn how renewable energy works and be able to take apart and view different renewable technologies.
Mr. Stevens has made significant energy efficiency improvements to his now net-zero home, which is listed on the annual CRES solar home tour. He has done a considerable amount of insulating, weatherization, lighting upgrades including solar tubes and LED lighting, upgraded to high-efficiency appliances, added almost 10 kilowatts of photovoltaic panels on his roof, and converted his hybrid Prius to an electric vehicle. Mr. Stevens is also a staunch advocate of bicycling and welcomes visitors to his home, not only to see the energy efficiency improvements in action, but also to tour his historic bike museum.
2009 Sustainability Award – Golden Business
Ace Hi Tavern Company, Sidney Stillman
Foss Liquors, Dave Shuey
Blue Canyon Bar and Grill, Tedd & Jolynn Johnson
This effort began 10 years ago when the beer distributors for the Ace High tavern discontinued taking returnable bottles for reuse. Mr. Stillman’s waste hauler, EDS, recommended a local gentleman who now provides glass recycling for his use. Subsequently, Dave Shuey of Foss Liquors joined the Ace High program and offers to take back all glass beer and liquor bottles from his customers, as well as gives a 5% discount for new purchases when customers bring in bottles for recycling. Jolynn Johnson also joined the partnership and brings the glass recyclables to Mr. Stillman’s container for weekly pickup.
The glass is taken directly to Rocky Mountain bottling company, which reduces VMT and fuel consumption by eliminating the need to bring the material to a sorting facility prior to re-use. This partnership of downtown businesses is a prime example of how sustainable business decisions can be mutually beneficial, as well as conserve our natural resources.
2009 Sustainability Award – Community Group
The Community Garden Volunteers
In January 2009, a small group of motivated residents met to discuss how a community garden could benefit the Golden Community. The group’s goals were to promote local food sources, strengthen community ties, and to provide education on how gardening can foster sustainable behavior. This group of residents included Matt Burde, Bob Weber, David Braden, David Ward, Kemp Gillis, Brenda Porter, Linda Sorenson, Gary Leak, and Susan Saarinen. In a short amount of time, this group, led by Matt Burde, found a site, designed a layout, raised funds and secured permission by City Council to start the gardens in May 2009.