How to Keep Colorado Beautiful

Colorado is known for its natural beauty. In fact, its stunning beauty is a top reason that individuals choose to live here! From alpine mountains to sandstone cliffs and deep lakes to arid plains, the landscape is one of breathtaking diversity. It is also a landscape susceptible to environmental challenges. We need to help conserve Colorado’s natural beauty, whether it’s a solo quest or a community effort to protect our beautiful state’s legacy. Here are some great ways you can help!

Show Support for Licensed Colorado Sportsmen

Licensed sportsmen give back to the environment through annual licensing fees and population management practices, which help keep species from exceeding their resources. The revenue generated from hunting and fishing licenses helps Colorado improve the health of its lands, waters and wildlife. In addition, native and species reintroduction are often made possible through the revenue of the hunting and fishing industry. The next time you see a hunter or angler, show your support by thanking them for keeping Colorado beautiful.

Establish a Recycling Program

Recycling has a significant positive impact on the environment. The most immediately noticeable impact is reduced garbage — in a landfill, urban areas, along streets and even in natural areas. Sadly, wherever humans go, garbage often follows. Have you ever heard phrases like “pack it in, pack it out” and “leave no trace”? They’re designed to help you avoid harming landscapes and local flora and fauna, while you enjoy Colorado’s public lands. Following these rules when you’re out in the state’s finest spots can help keep them beautiful, not to mention healthy, for future generations.

That’s akin to what recycling can do. Instead of giving a product just one life, recycling can help extend the ways in which products or their components are used. It leads to less post-consumer garbage, less energy consumption and less pollution clogging our rivers, air and landscape.

What can you do to help? Plenty! At home, request your recycling bins from the town in which you live, and set up your containers for plastics, glass, aluminum and paper. You can also recycle hazardous products, used tires, electronics and other products at approved locations.

If you’re in an apartment building, talk to your landlord about starting a recycling bin service for your community. You can also reach out to building managers and school administrators to start the conversation about recycling in your area.

Organize a Cleanup Program

Community cleanups are a great way to help local wildlife and the environment and to meet your neighbors at the same time. Established environmental organizations like Keep Colorado Springs Beautiful and West Denver Trout Unlimited in addition to more independent volunteer events demonstrate that there are many ways that Coloradans just like you are ready to lend a hand.

If you don’t see an event in the near future, organize it yourself. Here is a great resource about the basics of organizing cleanups, which you can easily apply to your local community. Cleanups are ideal for various landscapes and environments, including in wooded areas, along highways or in streams or other water bodies.

Plant Native Trees

Apart from their stately grace, trees have immense capabilities in storing and sequestering carbon, reducing soil erosion, providing natural cooling and acting as a home for wildlife.

By planting trees, you can help improve the local environment and set up good stewardship practices in the community. Of course, not any tree will do. Native trees — trees that grow and thrive naturally throughout Colorado — are most suitable for tree-planting programs, but naturalized trees are equally acceptable. Here is a fantastic resource from the Colorado State Forest Service about the best tree species and the top planting tips for maximum success.

As a land of extremes, Colorado’s beauty extends from high alpine mountain tops to deep, pristine rivers. Let’s all do our part to keep it beautiful and healthy.