The Greening of Bridge Day

It's that time of year again. Leaves are turning from green to red and yellow in the New River Gorge and preparations are in full swing for West Virginia's largest single day event as Bridge Day 2010 is just a few days away. Bridge Day Vendors

Hundreds of BASE jumpers and nearly 80,000 spectators are expected to attend this year's Bridge Day. Yes, 80,000 spectators!

That means our town is about to go from a population of 2,800 to 80,000! That's a big change.

Most people here love the fact that this many people are coming to experience our community, the New River Gorge National River, and catch a glimpse of some people hucking themselves off a really big, high bridge. That many people in one place can have a considerable impact on our local environment and the lives of people who live here too.

The Bridge Day Planning Committee, Travel Green Appalachia and the Fayette County Green Team are interested in doing what they can to make the event greener. Here are a few things you can do to help.

Some Helpful Information

Sustain U

  • Friday night head to Taste of Bridge Day. All proceeds support local charities and you'll get to sample spectacular cuisine from some of our best local restaurants.
  • Recycling - look for recycling bins to recycle your plastic and cans. The Green Team will be gathering cardboard from vendors.
  • For just the second year, you can take home an Official Bridge Day shirt made of 100% recycled materials. The shirts are produced by the West Virginia-based company SustainU. This shirt, using the "Green Bridge Day Label,” consists of 100% recycled material, all made in the USA.

Some of Our Green Vendors

Stanley Legendary Vacuum Bottles

  • Garden Sass - south booth 154 using recycled and compostable products,
  • Stanley Legendary Vacuum Bottles - south booth 139 & 140 selling reusable bottles that will come with a coupon for free coffee
  • The Fayette County Green Advisory Team - south booth 60
  • Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition - south booth 61
  • Others I've missed? Quite possibly. Look for recycled, organic, and compostable products and ask about their sustainability policy

What You Can Do

  • Getting here produces a lot of CO2. Low-impact travel options include hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles, carpooling, Amtrak (the Thurmond depot is ~15 miles from Fayetteville), and carbon offsets. Check out the Getting There Greener report.
  • Buy local. Come on into Fayetteville to sample some of our awesome local restaurants and buy a locally made souvenir before, during, or after the event. According the the 350 Project, for every $100 spent in locally owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the local economy through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures, if you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays in the local economy.
  • Bring a mug - cut down on waste by bringing your own reusable water bottle and coffee mug. If you forget yours, buy a Kleen Kanteen at Waterstone and a coffee mug at Wildflour Bakery or Cathedral Cafe
  • Give back - donate to local organizations that are working to improve their community. Look for the Green Advisory Team, New River Gorge Learning Coop, and Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition booths
  • Ask service providers about their sustainability policy.

Most of all enjoy your experience in this wonderful part of the world. For more on Green Travel, please visitTravel Green Appalachia. If you want to learn more about the greening of Bridge Day or have ideas for next year, please leave a comment or stop by the Fayette County Green Advisory Team booth.

Special Guest Post By:

Doug Arbogast of Travel Green Appalachia