Climate Action Plan Newsletter

I’ve been thinking about the paradox of excitement and exhaustion lately.  Climate action work can be both and this past year has exacerbated that feeling.  There are a lot of exciting things going on right now – as you can see in our first 2021 newsletter – and at the same time, it can feel like there is too much going on.  My motto is – lean in where I can; take care of myself when I can’t.   

Welcome to 2021 and our exciting climate action work news in Fort Collins. You can always find out more about our Climate Future here

Michelle Finchum, Interim Climate Program Manager

2019 Climate Goal

In order to reach our greenhouse gas reduction goal we perform an annual greenhouse gas inventory. The 2019 inventory shows that, as a community, Fort Collins is 7% below 2005 levels. Despite population growth, per capita we are down 28% from 2005 levels. The inventory is used to track progress of our climate action plan goals of: 20% below 2005 levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, 80% by 2030, and carbon neutral by 2050.

In 2018 the community greenhouse gas inventory was 14% below 2005. If you’re wondering what changed in 2019 - we added a new category of emissions called Industrial Process and Product Use (IPPU) emissions. These are non-energy emissions that are produced or used in a manufacturing process. Even with this addition to the inventory, current forecasts predict that in 2020, emissions will be about 17% below baseline, and in 2021 about 26% below baseline. Check out our new infographic for more information about the 2019 inventory.

Read the 2019 Inventory Report

Share Your Thoughts on Plastic Policy

City Council has identified reducing plastic pollution in the community as a priority and is seeking community input for developing a plastics reduction ordinance prior to an April ballot vote. Prioritizing plastic pollution, specifically single-use plastics, will help protect the health of the Cache la Poudre River and make progress on our community’s zero waste and climate action goals.  

Single-use plastics, such as plastic bags, are widely used and easily break down into pieces too small to remove from the environment. The ordinance Council is considering would ban plastic bags and put a fee on paper bags at larger grocers beginning in 2022. Community feedback on this proposal will help Council finalize the details of the ordinance and related ballot measure. The survey is open through Sunday, January 31, 2021. 

Take the Survey

Winter AQ IQ

Air quality is important year-round. During the summer, ozone and particulates from wildland fires are primary concerns. However, winter weather patterns often create conditions for poor air quality. Thermal inversions are common during winter months, where warmer air is above colder air, effectively trapping particulate matter, carbon monoxide, smoke from indoor fireplaces, odors, and other contaminants close to the earth's surface. In addition, cold air is denser and moves slower, mixing less than during the warmer months. Combined with inversions, less mixing means potentially higher pollution concentrations at ground level. High pollution concentrations can negatively impact health, especially one’s lungs and nervous system.

 Here are some ways to reduce wintertime air pollution:

  • Avoid idling your vehicle for more than 30 seconds—idling gets you nowhere
  • Avoid using solid fuel burning appliances on Winter High Pollution Advisory days
  • If you have an indoor fireplace, only use clean, dry, seasoned wood in an EPA approved wood stove or appliance.
  • Helpful tips for indoor burning
Sign up for Winter High Pollution Advisory Alerts

Tips for Healthy Homes

Now more than ever is a good time to make sure our homes are safe and healthy.

Your indoor air quality can be up to 5 times worse than outdoor air.  Call us today with your questions or to receive a personalized set of recommendations on how you can improve the indoor air quality of your homes.

 When you complete an assessment with us over the phone, you will receive: 

  • Radon test kit
  • Healthy household cleaner and cloth
  • Healthy household cleaning recipes


The City of Fort Collins Healthy Homes program seeks enthusiastic community members to volunteer to become Master Home Educators. This fun and informative online training will provide you with a wealth of information to prepare you to conduct healthy homes assessments. Each assessment helps improve the indoor air quality and safety of Fort Collins homes.  

For more information on how to sign-up and learn more about the program, please call 970-224-6129 or email  

More Information About The Healthy Homes Program

Results of EV Group Buy 2020 and GoEV City

We are excited to announce that 87 Nissan, BMW, Chevy and Kia electric vehicles were sold to the Fort Collins community in 2020 as a result of the EV Group Buy, hosted by Northern Colorado Clean Cities.

Increasing the number of electric vehicles in Fort Collins is part of the City’s Electric Vehicle Readiness Roadmap -  a strategic plan to guide the City of Fort Collins in preparing for and implementing actions that support increased use of electric vehicles (EVs).  As a result of the work on EVs Fort Collins was recently designated a GoEv City.

Read the City's Electric Vehicle Readiness Roadmap

Earth Day Challenge 2021

Did you struggle to "Give a Shift" in 2020? Phew...we did too. Let's make 2021 a better year by connecting virtually with friends and family and setting some sustainability-focused New Year's goals through the Earth Day Challenge.

What is the Earth Day Challenge again?

The Earth Day Challenge is a fun, annual competition to see who can lose the most CO2. Every pound of CO2 you reduce equals one point. Earn points to win prizes such as one year of free curbside composting or $200 in grocery store gift cards. Every household that earns 5,000 points will be entered into the drawing for the Grand Prize and will have a shot at other prize categories
Steps to Play:

  1. Create your account at
  2. Create a new "Team" or "Community Group" or re-energize an old one
  3. Pick new sustainable actions you want to commit to this year
  4. Take action and track your progress at
  5. Check out the prizes you can win at   Play to find out what it is.

Specific Questions?   Feel free to email Jensen Morgan (

Join the Challenge

Newsworthy Announcements
U.S. EPA Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Lucinda Smith
Congratulations to Lucinda Smith, Director of Environmental Services, for being awarded the Thomas W. Zosel Outstanding Individual Achievement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  This lifetime achievement award was given to her for her outstanding achievement and strong leadership in improving air quality and her demonstration of a lasting commitment to protecting the environment.

Fort Collins and the Paris Climate Agreement
In December, Mayor Troxell signed onto the American Is All In letter that went to (then) president-elect Biden as a signal that Fort Collins is already committed to the work of climate action.  We were one of 155 Cities and Counties, 124 universities, 239 faith groups and 1071 businesses that pledged support for climate policies at the national and local level. Thank you Mayor Troxell for your continued commitment to this important work.
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Sustainability Services
222 Laporte
Fort Collins, CO 80521