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A Green Political Machine: Dems Aim For "Greenest" Convention

August 25, 2008

Denver, CO - The stage is set, security is in place - and so are the compost bins. The Democratic National Convention opens in Denver today, with party and city officials saying they're determined to make this convention the "greenest" in history.

Damon Jones, with the Democratic Convention Committee, says they've been working since last year to come up with a plan to prevent more than 80 percent of the convention-related trash from ending up in local landfills.

"Understanding traffic patterns and where food and waste would come from, so that we can design a system that would be the most efficient."

According to Jones, they're also working to lessen the carbon footprint of the convention, and encouraging delegates to get in on the act - even offering the best seats on the convention floor to delegations that have paid to offset all the carbon they emitted to travel to the Mile High City.

"Global warming is real, and it's something of concern to many voters out there. This is part of our party's commitment to take what we think is a very reasonable step."

While Jones admits a "perfectly green" convention is just not possible, he hopes they can set the bar a little higher for next time.

"When the 2012 convention rolls around, we'll ask, 'What did we do in 2008 that worked? What didn't we do, and how can we make it better?'"

In the meantime, bins for compost and recyclables are in place throughout the convention grounds. Free "loaner" bikes will also be available for visitors during convention week at seven locations around the city. Organizers for next week's Republican National Convention in Minnesota say their big party will also be eco-friendly.

Eric Mack/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - MA