Greening Up in the Green Mountain State

There are many reasons why Vermont is known as the “Green Mountain State”, and Green Up Day is certainly one of them. Green Up Day is a 51-year-old tradition set on the first Saturday in May to help keep Vermont clean. Volunteers across the state spend a couple hours of their time to give back to their communities by cleaning up litter.

Green Up is also an annual tradition at Sugarbush Resort. Over the last couple of weeks, teams of Sugarbush employees from all departments combed the resort and neighboring roads and brooks for litter. Green up has become an unofficial marker of the transition from the winter season to summer, and it is a great way to cultivate camaraderie among staff.  

More than 60 staff members rolled up their sleeves and collected 83 trash and 21 recycling bags this spring. Plus, there were some larger items that could not fit in a trash bag. Our friends at the Sugarbush Health and Recreation Center and the Day School went to extra lengths to rescue all of the lost tennis balls around the tennis courts and Rice Brook. To the Day School kids, finding tennis balls was like an Easter Egg hunt and they cheerlead the efforts on! The most exciting find was a bowling ball. Curious, as a the nearest bowling alley is over 30 miles away!

There were some common themes in this year’s litter. Any ideas as to one of the most common items found this year? Yup, you guessed it, masks. Next, was the noticeable increase in local and craft beer cans. Thanks for supporting local breweries, but please, please, please recycle those cans! The third common theme was how many trash bags were removed from trash cans or dumptsters by bears. It is always exciting to see black bears, but it is a reminder that everyone in the community needs to take a few extra precautions to keep humans and wildlife safe.

Here are some tips on “bear-proofing” your garbage:

  • Use locking metal containers
  • Store containers in a locked, sturdy shed or building
  • Mask odor with ammonia
  • Freeze food scraps until they can be taken to a compst facility
  • Take trash, recycling, and food scraps to the transfer station often
  • Take your garbage outside for curbside pickup the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Request “bear proof” dumpsters with metal doors and lids and locking mechanisms for your workplace or residential area.
  • The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department has additional helpful resources on living with black bears.

Many thanks to everyone who greened up here at Sugarbush and throughout Vermont. It is encouraging to see so many people head outside to keep this place beautiful.