Author Archives: Matthew Hamilton

About Matthew Hamilton

Matthew Hamilton is Aspen Skiing Company’s (ASC) Sustainability Director. He is also the Executive Director of the Environment Foundation, which has donated more than $2 million over the past 15 years. Matthew oversees ASC's community philanthropy, and runs ASC's day-to-day environmental programs, including the monthly Greenletter, and GREENTRACK, ASC's ISO 14001 certified environmental management system. Matthew is also consultant with Aspen Sustainability Associates, and has lectured nationally and internationally on ASC's work. He currently serves as President of the Roaring Fork School District Board of Education, and on the boards of the Carbondale Tourism Council, Colorado Youth Corps Association and Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado. Previously, Matthew was a Research Officer at The Piton Foundation, working with low income neighborhoods on issues of education reform, affordable housing and economic development. Prior to that, he worked for Share Our Strength, a national anti-hunger anti-poverty group; the Independent Sector, a national association of nonprofits and foundations, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (on a project called Enterprise for the Environment), for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, and for Middlebury College. Matthew has a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Middlebury College and a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University where he focused on nonprofit management. During his free time he can be found on his bike spending time enjoying many of the local trails and back roads. He lives in Carbondale, Colorado with his wife Jen, and their children Boden and Beck.

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Next Wednesday, November 26th, is the first event of the Aspen U Speaker Series at the Limelight Hotel. Come hear from Lou Helmuth of Our Children’s Trust about an effort to have the U.S. Supreme Court consider a case seeking to reduce the impacts of climate change. Join your fellow employees and like-minded locals for stimulating speakers presenting cutting edge issues on climate and sustainability. These events are open to the public and fall perfectly into the Limelight’s happy hour from 3pm-7pm. Come early or stay later for dinner – ASC employees don’t forget your ski pass to get your employee discount after 7pm. $4 draught beers, $10 cheese or pepperoni pizzas, networking, and powerful speakers – you can’t lose.

November 26 – Do Kids Have a Legal Right to a Stable Climate? Children, Public Trust Doctrine, and the U.S. Supreme Court 
Lou Helmuth, Esq., Program Advisor with Our Children’s Trust

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Lou Helmuth

It’s the most important legal effort you’ve probably never heard of; but American kids have taken it all the way to the Supreme Court. Lou will discuss how youth are using the unique, and very old, concept of the Public Trust Doctrine at the local, state and international levels. Our Children’s Trust is a non-profit that elevates the voice of kids around the country who want to really DO something about climate change. The group supports youth advocates seeking climate action through civic engagement and public education.

December 10 - The Life You Can Save: Poverty, Ethics, and Effective Philanthropy
Charlie Bresler, Executive Director of the nonprofit “The Life You Can Save,” and former CEO of Men’s Warehouse.

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Charlie Bresler

If a child were drowning in a puddle, would you save her, even if it ruined your shoes? If the answer is yes, then why don’t more people donate $50 for anti-malaria bed nets in Africa, which just as surely save a life? Charlie will explore the organization’s founding ideas, based in the thinking of Princeton Philosopher and ethicist Peter Singer. Can you save a life? Why should you? How do you do so most effectively? What are our obligations as Aspenites? What does it mean to live a good life?

January 7 – Sustainability, Climate Change and YOU
Dr. James White, Director and Fellow of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Professor of Geological Sciences, and a Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado Boulder.

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Dr. James White

Jim White is a noted climate scientist working on abrupt climate change, sea ice and sea-level changes, and carbon cycles. His research has been instrumental in showing that large climate changes tend to occur as abrupt shifts rather than slow drifts. Shifts of more than 10˚C in mean temperature in less than a human lifetime are common in the paleoclimate record, and serve as a warning that adaptation to future climate changes may not be easy. White is one of the top 0.5% most highly cited authors in his field, but more important, his talk is fascinating, jarring, and critically important.

 February 11 – Impact Finance: Investing Your Money for Good and Profit
Stephanie Gripne, PhD. Founder and Director, the Impact Finance Center at the University of Denver, and Research Fellow, University of Denver Daniels College of Business.

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Stephanie Gripne, PhD

Forget government: there’s enough private money in the world to solve climate change and the rest of the world’s problems, usually at a profit. But we need a lot. To have an 80 percent chance of keeping global warming to just 2 degrees centigrade, the International Energy Agency estimates an additional $36 trillion in clean energy investment is needed through 2050—or an average of $1 trillion more per year compared to a“business as usual” scenario over the next 36 years. The problem is the investors don’t know about the investments that make money and do good. Stephanie’s job is to connect the two. She founded the Impact Finance Center in 2012 at DU, and formed a partnership between University of Denver Daniels College of Business and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors – Sustainable Endowment Institute. The Impact Finance Center’s mission is to catalyze investments that produce enduring value for the investor, society, and environment.

Maroon Bells, Aspen, CO

Over 17 years the Environment Foundation has donated nearly $2.5 million to protect our mountain ecosystems (bye zebra mussels), promote responsible natural resource extraction (see ya methane), support youth environmental education and encourage responsible outdoor recreation (without any moose altercations).

  • In spring 2010 the Environment Foundation made a grant to the Ruedi Water and Power Authority to inspect boats for Zebra and Quagga Mussels before these pesky mollusks could wreak havoc on Ruedi Reservoir and the hydro power plant there.
  • In fall 2013 Conservation Colorado and Western Resource Advocates received $50,000 to educate the public about the benefits of proposed rules to reduce methane leakage during natural gas extraction.
  • On multiple occasions the Foundation has supported the US Forest Service Wilderness Intern program to ensure forest guests don’t abuse the forests and vistas we all treasure, while keeping you out of harm’s way when a moose decides to call Crater Lake home.

How does this affect you?ASC_EnviroFound_logo_HIRES

Apply for a Grant
If you are a nonprofit organization, private entity, government agency, or an individual with a project that protects or preserves our mountain ecosystem, raises awareness around regional environmental issues, promotes stewardship of our natural resources, or supports environmental education for our youth, remember the date November 1st.  That first Saturday of November is the fall deadline for submitting your grant proposal for funding from the Environment Foundation. For more information on guidelines check out our ‘How to Apply’ page.

Aspen Skiing Company Employees
Two dollars is all it takes per paycheck to become an Environment Foundation member and the new owner of EF SWAG. That $2 is matched in whole or in part by the Aspen Community Foundation, the Aspen Skiing Company Family Fund, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Swire Coca-Cola. None of these funds are used on overhead. Existing members, please consider increasingEF_Hat your donation. It’s your donations that allow the foundation to significantly impact the local environment, and you’ll get some SWAG too.  Join/increase your donation when you pick up your 14/15 season pass or by filling out this form and sending it to payroll at Highlands. When you donate you join close to half of your co-workers supporting the Environment Foundation.

Guests
If you’re just visiting but this sounds like a pretty good foundation to support, you’re welcome to add on a $1 or $2 contribution when you purchase your lift ticket/season pass. By virtue of staying at The Limelight Hotel or The Little Nell you are donating to the Foundation. Depending on the property $1 or $2 per night is added to your bill to support the Foundation (unless you request otherwise).

Support the Foundation from Afar
Not an employee and not able visiting the Roaring Fork valley this winter? Shop on Amazon and support the Environment Foundation through Amazon Smile. Log in at https://smile.amazon.com/ , select Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation as your charity and 0.5% of every eligible purchase will be donated on your behalf.

 

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LogoThe second annual Aspen TNT (Town -N- Trail) 10K Race is scheduled for Saturday, October 4, 2014.  The race showcases a unique route on a variety of trails, bike paths and sidewalks around the town of Aspen, Colorado and benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Colorado-Wyoming Chapter.  The TNT race will begin and end in Koch Park followed by a post-race party at the Limelight Hotel – not to be missed!  There will be live music, food & drinks, giveaways, and CASH prizes for the top male & female runners, and best costume!  For more information or to register to run or to volunteer see our website at www.aspentnt.com.

MS is chronic disease of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves – it is the leading cause of disability in young women and the second leading cause of disability in young men.  The National MS Society is an organization that wants to do something about MS NOW, and is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS.  100% of net proceeds from the race will be donated to the Colorado-Wyoming Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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On July 29th, 2014 Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) testified in support of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Between the 29th and August 1st hundreds of Americans, including Protect Our Winter’s Riders Alliance member Eric Larsen, will tell EPA why the Clean Power Plan is critical to their futures, livelihoods and lifestyles. Read our testimony, then join thousands of others and submit your commentsContinue reading

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The Environment Foundation released four grants totaling $55,000 to Wilderness Workshop, Thompson Divide Coalition, Western Environmental Law Center and High Country News. These grants represent a continued commitment of the foundation to support responsible oil/gas development. Wilderness Workshop will Continue reading

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If you live in the Roaring Fork Valley I am sure you’ve heard of the Thompson Divide.  This 220,000 acre region is the center of a pitched battle where natural gas leaseholders face off against a broad based coalition of hunters, anglers, bikers, hikers, backcountry skiers, ranchers and many other Roaring Fork Valley residents, no matter their political stripes. Continue reading