Top environmental supporters recognized
Ryan Summerlin November 20, 2012
Recycle Utah presented community members with awards on Nov. 6 for their commitment to the environment and community.
"We gave them a very personal creation which reflects what they have done for us," Recycle Utah Executive Director Insa Riepen said.
Councilmember Sally Elliot, who won the Summit County award, said her award was hysterical.
"They have taken a soccer trophy, lopped the girl off, put her on her back and put two pies on her feet," Elliott said. "And they cut a barbie doll’s hair and pasted in on for my scraggly hair. It’s the funniest thing you ever saw."
For the last few years, Elliott has baked pies with the Rotary Club for Recycle Utah to sell at the Harvest Festival. Last year, the club made and sold 25 pies.
Elliott helped to found Recycle Utah 20 years ago, and has been serving as a Summit County Council liason to the Recycle Utah board.
"Recycle Utah has always been near and dear to my heart," Elliott said. "They have brought us to an awareness of preserving our environment and living in a sustainable manner."
Katie Silcox, who won the educator recognition award, received a fence segment, on which sat a black crow donning a gold "sparkly" crown.
"It’s super funny there was a sparkly crown on there, because I love anything sparkly, glittery and bedazzely," she said.
Silcox teaches agricultural science classes at North Summit High School. As part of her program, she encourages her students to volunteer at the annual Harvest Festival put on by Recycle Utah.
"I feel like when people are promoting and selling their own things, like fruits and vegetables and Summit County Beef, that is exactly the end product of what I teach in my classroom," Silcox said.
This year, the students spent a majority of the festival helping with the kids’ crafts, which included corn cob crows, as represented on the award.
"A lot of times when people put on professional things, they don’t want kids involved because they are not trustworthy," Silcox said. "But as an educator, I love that Riepen allows kids to come and help and to be a part of something bigger than their own community. It gives them the confidence that they can do something for others and for themselves, too."
James Soares accepted the business award on behalf of Squatters Roadhouse Grill and Pub.
After going back to school for an MBA, Soares worked with the pub’s owners to create the Director of Environmental and Social Responsibility position he now holds.
"They really embraced the idea of refining their business practice to the triple bottom line, and it was a real evolution," Soares said.
Rather than focusing entirely on profit, businesses that look at the triple bottom line (people, profit and planet) also take into consideration social and environmental performance when evaluating success.
"Through that lens of environmental and social responsibility, we’ve been able to lower our operating costs and increase our profitability through changing simple things, like urinals and more efficient lighting," Soares said.
It also allows the restaurant to compete on a different level, he said.
"So if someone is looking for a restaurant or brewery that is environmentally and socially responsible, we stand out in that element, instead of just being one more restaurant and brewery."
Recycler of the Year awards
- Business: Squatters Roadhouse Grill and Pub
- Individual: Bryon Friedman, Soul Poles
- Park City Municipal Corporation: Max Papp, Special Events and Facilities Coordinator
- Summit County: Sally Elliott, County Council
- Educator Recognition: Katie Silcox, North Summit High School