“Green Newport” article by Lauren Carson

According to the Discover Newport website, http://www.gonewport.com/green-newport

“Green Newport is not just historic and cultural treasures …we strive to preserve, its natural treasures as well. Surrounded by and dependent on its natural resources, ‘going green’ and reducing our environmental impact only makes sense, so we applaud area hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, businesses, boutiques attractions, restaurants, transportation modes and visitors who join our commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle. Taking a green approach is an easy and essential way to protect the places you love to visit, not just for yourself but for the travelers who come after you and for the people who will continue to live there long after you’ve gone home.”

The Newport Energy and Environment Commission (NEEC) agrees. That is why the NEEC has launched a campaign in 2012 to make Newport events sustainable. The campaign goals are embodied in their campaign mission’s statement. “To work as a community to implement sustainable practices during major events held in Newport to reduce the impact of huge numbers of visitors on our sensitive coastal community and model methods of behavior that will protect our island for decades to come. Define specifically a five year goal to require sustainable events that make Newport a desirable and exciting tourist destination, build a sustainable economy and reduce impact on our valuable island resources.”

The specific goals of the Sustainable Events Campaign are to reduce carbon emissions and increase transportations options; divert waste from the landfill, expand recycling efforts in conjunction with the City, State and private efforts; increased business recycling; educate visitors and the community about Newport’s sustainable best practices; engage the tourism and boating community in these efforts; utilize State and Municipal resources for sustainability; and involve Newport residents in the building of a sustainable economy resulting in a higher quality of life for all Newporters and our guests.

The NEEC has worked all summer to measure how sustainable Newport Events currently are, as they propose this policy. They have studied 8 events in the City and will be distributing a summary report on those activities prior to the meeting. The NEEC is also drafting voluntary sustainable protocols for Newport for 2013.

The Newport Energy and Environment (NEEC) invites ALN members and all Newporters to a Community Workshop on Thursday October 25, 2012 at the Newport Library at 6:00. The workshop will focus on the NEEC’s efforts to build sustainable event protocols for Newport events.

The October 25th meeting will include a presentation of several of the case studies, a proposal for voluntary standards, and a community discussion.

(photo courtesy of Discover Newport)

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