Gunnison Valley community

Adventure Without a Footprint: These CO Towns Offset Your Carbon Impact When You Visit

A new Gunnison Valley community challenge turns miles pedaled, run, walked, and meandered into carbon offsets.

Whether you drive or fly to your favorite trails, there’s a carbon impact to that. Starting on May 15, visitors to Gunnison and Crested Butte can offset the carbon impact of your trip by downloading the CBGTrails App.

For every mile you record hiking, biking, running, or wandering, the Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association will “burn” prepurchased UPCO2 tokens to support carbon-offsetting community projects. The tokens enable qualified projects to turn their greenhouse gas reductions into tradable carbon credits.

Gunnison-Crested Butte

Offset Carbon With CBGTrails App

Understanding carbon offsets is complicated. Using the CBGTrails App is free and easy. Download the app, create an account, and when you hit the trailhead, start recording.

A 23-mile bike ride in the Gunnison Valley will turn a round-trip drive from Denver into a carbon-neutral trip. The app lets you track your carbon offsets as you move. You can also see a graphic of all user activity versus the community goal, as well as how the carbon credits are being used.

Visitors who record their human-powered recreation in the app will contribute to the community goal of offsetting 4,253 tons of carbon, which is over 9 million pounds of CO2.

Users will also be able to track others’ carbon offset as they pitch in to equalize the carbon footprint of traveling to the Gunnison Valley. Every 100 miles of human-powered activity offsets one ton of carbon emissions.

Gunnison Valley community

Gunnison Valley-Crested Butte

According to Sustainable Travel International, tourism accounts for roughly 8% of carbon emissions globally. And while individuals can plan ahead and purchase credits to offset their own travel, Gunnison-Crested Butte’s initiative — prepaying for visitors’ credits — marks a unique approach to incentivizing visitors to recreate outdoors.

The free app also gives recreating visitors the most complete trail maps of the Gunnison Valley. Gunnison County plays home to more than 2 million acres of public land, spanning five wilderness areas, a national park, and the largest body of water in Colorado. This area provides nearly endless outdoor adventure.

For more information on the carbon offset program, and to learn more about what is happening in the Gunnison Valley, visit gunnison-crestedbutte.com.

Gunnison-Crested Butte

Berne Broudy
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Berne Broudy is a Vermont-based writer, photographer, and adventurer. She is passionate about conservation, education, and recreation, and has spent her adult life working to make the outdoors a place where all feel welcome with the gear and skills to enjoy it.