From sustainable initiatives to eco-friendly activities, there are many opportunities to travel sustainably in the picturesque mountain towns of Colorado
Aspen and Snowmass Village, in the heart of Colorado, pride themselves on their commitment to encouraging sustainable tourism amongst visitors. There are countless opportunities for tourists to help sustain the natural beauty of these picturesque mountain towns.
Take "The Aspen Pledge"
Committed to promoting sustainable tourism, Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) created the Aspen Pledge back in 2018 encouraging visitors to experience the natural beauty of Aspen whilst respecting the environment and considering sustainable practices when travelling. In return for each signed pledge, ACRA is donating $18.80 (£15) to either the Independence Pass Foundation or Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, honouring the year Aspen was incorporated, 1880.
Aspen market © Jeremy Swanson, 2013
Since the Aspen Pledge was introduced, ACRA has committed an astounding £40,000 in donations. ACRA has since launched a campaign encouraging social media users to use the geo tag, "Tag Responsibly, Take the Aspen Pledge," when posting photos to platforms such as Instagram and Facebook instead of tagging an exact location. This initiative acts to preserve lesser-known locations and decrease the risk of overcrowding in popular tourist hotspots.
Use complimentary public transportation
Both Aspen and Snowmass Village provide tourists and locals with an efficient network of free public transportation. Numerous shuttle buses connect Aspen and Snowmass Village with various tourist locations around both towns making travel accessible and eco-friendly.
"Both Aspen and Snowmass Village provide an efficient network of free public transportation"
Travellers flying into and out of Aspen/Pitkin County Airport can hop on a free bus to their accommodation in Aspen and Snowmass Village meaning that for many visitors, car hire is not necessary. As well as efficient public transportation, Aspen was one of the first alpine towns to launch an official community bike-sharing programme over 10 years ago. We-cycle offers tourists free 30-minute bike rides around Aspen and Snowmass Village with a stress-free ride and return system.
E-bike adventures in Aspen and Snowmass Village
E-bikes are a great way to explore more of an area in a sustainable and mindful manner. Aspen and Snowmass Village host a wide variety of trails that are suitable for e-biking with the most popular being a relaxing ride along winding roads, through aspen forests up to the iconic Maroon Bells.
E-biking in Aspen
Other routes include the Rio Grande trail and any other paved service road. Aspen and Snowmass Village are home to a variety of e-bike rental shops, check out Four Mountains Sports who provide rentals in both towns.
Embrace Aspen’s nature with an ACES guided tour
Head out on a free immersive guided wilderness walk accompanied by a knowledgeable naturalist from Aspen Centre for Environmental Studies (ACES). With multiple walks to choose from, your guide will teach you about Aspen and Snowmass Village’s diverse flora and fauna as you walk through some of the area's most beautiful locations.
"Head out on a free immersive guided wilderness walk accompanied by a knowledgeable naturalist"
The "Snowmass Wildflower Walk", departing daily at 10am, teaches visitors about vibrant wildflowers, animal tracking, birdwatching and more. The "Ice Age Hike", beginning at 1pm lasting around two hours, teaches visitors about the area's rich history and includes a visit to a historic ice age dig site. The "Maroon Bells Crater Lake Hike" takes tourists through majestic aspen groves and alpine landscapes before they arrive at the sparkling Crater Lake.
Picture perfect picnic in the park
The City of Aspen’s Park and Recreation Department manages over 30 parks within Aspen and Snowmass Village from small neighbourhood parks to over 1,300 acres of expansive green spaces. Head to Heron or Wagner Park and bring along some fresh local food from Aspen Saturday Market for a perfect summer picnic.
A picnic in Aspen
In parks across both towns, a state-of-the-art irrigation system is used in order to conserve and reduce water waste. At the Aspen public golf course, an impressive 30 million gallons of water are saved every year, equivalent to the volume of water used to fill 60 olympic sized swimming pools.
Explore local farms and ranches
The brand-new Roaring Form + Farm Map shines a spotlight on local farms, ranches, distilleries, breweries, local food producers, farmers markets and seasonal culinary events like Farm Fest across Aspen, Snowmass Village, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Basalt.
"The map aims to connect visitors to the food on their plates by showcasing the producers and farms that it has come from"
The map aims to connect visitors to the food on their plates by showcasing the producers and farms that it has come from. Certain restaurants are highlighted on the map as "local champions" in acknowledgment of their effort to support local farmers and producers in their menus.
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