Happy Monday! I was away last week, so I am feeling extra refreshed and inspired this Monday morning! I had the pleasure of spending the past week in the beautiful state of Colorado.
I feel reconnected to nature, as well as hopeful and excited about the progression of sustainable, green living in our country. Coming from Eastern North Carolina, Colorado is a state far more eco-conscious than I am used to. I loved it! Fasse bldgs. is one of the few eco-builders in the Wilmington, NC area, so exploring cities such as Denver, that make sustainability a priority makes me so happy! With building/development, as well as daily lifestyle choices, most Colorado communities are extremely mindful of the environment, more connected to nature, and prioritize a healthy lifestyle.
Just a few things I noticed during my time there:
~ Cluster developments throughout, which minimize their impact on the land. Also, in many of the more urban areas, the buildings are taller to maximize space more efficiently, and to reduce the building footprint. Here is a quick drive-by view of a Denver high-rise
~Walkable communities and outdoor recreational landscapes are prevalent. Mixed use development is also common throughout. Here is an area in Vail, which has residential buildings on the upper levels, with restaurants, offices, and entertainment below; complete with an ice rink in front!
~ Outdoor living is equally as important as indoor living; evident in architectural designs and lifestyle choices
~ Efficient public transportation in many areas. The light rail is also now connected to Denver. Here is a quick picture I snapped in a packed bus on the way to the mountain in Vail, where the bus transportation system is free, very convenient, and organized. During most parts of the day, the bus runs about every 15 minutes or less.
~ Biking and walking frequently used for transportation; many downtown Denver residents do not own vehicles, or prefer biking over other forms of transportation. In several cities, including Denver, they have shared bicycle systems that can be easily utilized for eco-friendly transportation.
~ Organic/local food options at almost every restaurant. I was lucky enough to be there during Denver Restaurant Week, and the restaurant scene is awesome! The majority of the meats and vegetables are organic and hormone-free. The receipts at some places even have a caloric breakdown.
~ Pure cane sugar soda made by local companies, vs. the traditional soda fountain machines (the black cherry was my favorite!)
~ There are no plastic cups at any restaurants. I am sure you could get one if you ask, but they opt for the more environmentally friendly option of washable cups and plates. No need for more waste, or additional soda intake by taking one more 'to-go'
~Community Gardens! We are working on the design for one of these in our Tonbo Meadow development, so it was so cool to see this concept in Colorado. Here is a picture of one. It is frozen this time of year, but you still get the idea...
~Minimal fast food restaurants. I think I only saw one McDonald's while I was there. This was impressive. Instead of making a quick trip through the drive-thru, the food options were so diverse, healthy, and delicious!
~Versatile architecture and design. Colorado is awesome in this way. There are plenty of modern buildings, but even many of the older spaces have been revamped, and have a modern flair to them. Then there is the rustic 'Americano' vibe present in many more rural areas. The diversity is great. There is something for everybody. This is a space in downtown Denver that just does it for me...
Here are a few additional Colorado lifestyle statistics that will give you a little more insight into how healthy and green this state is!
I am hopeful that our own local community and state will eventually catch up to the the green building/living progression that is so prevalent in other areas of the U.S. I am excited to be part of this movement by working for a green development company like Fasse bldgs., and I love finding inspiration through travel and exploring other cultures and environments. Thanks Colorado!