Christian Stan, at 21 Jun. 24, in News, Where to go next

Denver’s city leaders and residents share a deep understanding of the importance of preserving our environment for future generations.

As a result, attractions, restaurants, hotels and other businesses across The Mile High City are working to integrate sustainable practices to protect the city’s natural beauty while enhancing the visitor experience, making it the ideal destination.

Denver’s commitment to sustainability is evident to travelers in various initiatives across the city. Below are a few key examples. To learn more and plan an environmentally conscious trip or meeting, check out the VISIT DENVER website.

Sustainable Transportation: The city encourages visitors to explore Denver using eco-friendly transportation options such as public transit and bike-rental programs. From the moment visitors arrive at Denver International Airport they are directed to the A Line train that connects them directly from the airport to Denver Union Station in Denver’s compact, walkable downtown. From there visitors can proceed on foot or catch the free 16th Street MallRide (currently running on 15th & 17th streets due to construction) or connect with the city’s expansive regional buses, light rail or even catch a pedi-cab, all of which make it easy to explore the city without driving! 

Eco-Friendly Accommodations: The city’s commitment to sustainability made it a clear choice for a new innovative hotel concept by Urban Villages, the Populus Hotel. Opening in Summer 2024, the Populus will be the first carbon-positive hotel in the country.

In addition to the Populus, hotels across the city are leading the way in sustainable practices while providing unmatched hospitality. Hotel Monaco of Kimpton Hotels is another local leader, with refillable bath amenities, motion-activated HVAC units and low-flow water systems being just a few of the green features.

The popular River North Art District’s (RiNo’s) Source Hotel has been green since its groundbreaking, built with recycled and local materials for a LEED certification, and features water-efficient and bike-friendly amenities in the finished product. The historic Brown Palace Hotel & Spa’s green Initiative has reduced electricity usage and water consumption while fostering five rooftop beehives that make honey for spa products and other uses. Visitors can feel good about their impact on the environment while staying in these and many other hotels throughout Denver. Learn more and find hotel deals on the VISIT DENVER website.  

Sustainable Food Scene: Across the city, restaurants are taking farm-to-table dining to a whole new level, incorporating new urban farming techniques. Fast-casual options such as Farm & Market in RiNo have delicious veggie options as their produce is harvested daily on-site via hydroponics and vertical farming. Meanwhile, restaurant group, Edible Beats built a 320-square-foot vertical hydroponic farm in Vital Root’s back yard called BeatBox Farms, which is equivalent to the output of 2.5 acres of farmland annually and is estimated to deliver 120 pounds of veggies and greens weekly. Restaurants across the city work with Altius Farms, which was established in 2018 on a Denver roof. The 7,200-square-foot rooftop farm harvests more than 30,000 pounds of produce annually and supplies more than 40 restaurants in the Denver area.

In addition to urban farming practices that support our environment, many Denver restaurants are incorporating practices to be more mindful of food waste. Sullivan Scrap Kitchen opened in 2020 after owner Terence Rogers of TBD Foods worked to repurpose their waste from the catering business. The business model allows guests to enjoy a quality meal while reducing food waste. Sullivan Scrap Kitchen is joined by many other Denver-based restaurants (Carboy Winery, DiFranco’s, Serendipity Coffee Bar, Tavernetta, Mercantile Dining and Provision, BRUTØ and Annette) as a member of Zero Foodprint, the award-winning, nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing the food world around agricultural climate solutions. While dining at these businesses, guests donate a few cents on their total bill to a local climate solution. Zero Footprint collects funds and supports farmers, ranchers and local agricultural experts in building and growing healthy food production that helps restore our environment.

Green Attractions: Denver’s attractions are committed to preserving our environment and educating visitors on the importance of sustainability. Denver Botanic Gardens is leading the way for sustainable horticulture. The attraction has created the Mordecai Children’s Garden on the parking garage rooftop which eases the urban heat island, provides a wildlife habitat and offers other environmental benefits. Meanwhile, the Denver Zoo set ambitious goals to reduce waste by 90 percent, energy consumption by 25 percent and water usage by 50 percent by 2025. Other attractions such as the popular Meow Wolf feature sustainability with special events. This spring, the museum will host Absolute Rubbish: Bloom a “trashion show” a display of fashion with upcycled options. As part of the City of Denver’s Environmental Management System, Red Rocks Amphitheatre has been certified to ISO (International Organization for Standardization) since 2009; the venue uses a three-bin waste collection system located throughout the venue, while behind the scenes, Red Rocks’ waste sorting team hand-sorts all waste to capture and maximize the amount headed to compost and recycling. Additionally, various improvement projects over the last several years have converted lighting, equipment and bathroom fixtures to ensure the most efficient and effective models possible. Visitors will enjoy reducing their carbon footprint as they explore some of the city’s best attractions.

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