Boulder prepares for global work party




Work party” sounds like one of those deals where an afternoon of labor for a friend results in a few pizzas and beer.


But on Oct. 10, a wave of work parties around the world has a bigger pay-off in mind — nothing less than the salvation of the global climate.

The event, known as “10/10/10,” is the brainchild of activist group 350.

org, co-founded by environmental author Bill McKibben in 2007. And a number of volunteers are working to ensure Boulder will be counted among the more than 50 participating Colorado towns, along with towns in every American state.

Volunteers Sarah Reed, Chelsea Hodge and 1Sky Colorado regional organizer Micah Parkin are the main organizers of what will be a day-long series of events, including workshops, a march, a rally, a raffle and an expo of green products and services, finishing off with a party at the St. Julien Hotel.

Their efforts are joined by a core group of more volunteers and a number of sponsors led by the City of Boulder Community Planning and Sustainability department.

“Bill McKibben specifically asked that this event be more about teaching and workshops, rather than activism like marches and demonstrations,” says Nathaniel Janowitz, the student sustainability coordinator at Naropa University.

So McKibben should be pleased with the more than 40 workshops that will be held on the Naropa campus, the University Memorial Center at CU-Boulder and other locations (some events are free, others require a fee). The workshops range in subject from gardening to ocean preservation, lowering home utility bills to solar energy, making eco-products for home and personal use, and more.

The city of Boulder and Longs Peak Energy Conservation are also sponsoring a “Neighborhood Energy Sweep” as part of 10/10/10. Volunteers will visit an area where the residents have already been notified they are eligible for the free installation of energy-saving items and other services (volunteers will get free pizza out of that one).

Then there’s the “Carrotmob Party” at the St. Julien Hotel from 5:30 to 11 p.m. You can cavort for free to the music of several bands of various genres. Half of the evening’s profits from food and drink sales will go to carbon-reduction initiatives.

Obviously, it’s going to be a long, busy day with something for everyone, from kids to elders. Yes, you can still volunteer and, no, you won’t be required to participate through the whole thing. One way or another, on this one day you can be part of the solution for climate change’s most threatening impacts.

You’ll have to go to the group’s website to see all of the workshops available and sign up for what you’re interested in. You’ll find the schedule there, links and information on volunteering.

On 10/10/10, events like these — in more than 170 countries — are meant to send a very loud and pointed message to our political leaders: “We’re working on the problem; what are you doing?” For more information, check out


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