Serene mountains, clear rivers, majestic wildlife, welcoming forests; Steamboat Springs truly is a remarkable place to be treasured by all. Visitors come here to soak in the sights and serenity, the same reason our residents choose to live here year-round, and together we can ensure that Steamboat stays pristine for many generations to come.
If every visitor and resident is mindful of the little ways to help protect our precious natural features, they can continue to thrive as sources of unaltered natural beauty. These actions are as simple as picking up small pieces of trash, respecting wildlife and natural features, and being mindful of the impact of our pets and campfires. Because we know you’ll love Steamboat as much as we do, below are some simple suggestions to consider implementing during your visit to help us keep Steamboat sustainable.
- LEAVE THE CAR AT THE CONDO: Ride the free bus – Steamboat Springs Transit (SST) provides daily fixed route transit service throughout the city. Steamboat also earned the Silver Bicycle Friendly award from the League of American Bicyclists in 2007, with top-notch trails for commuting and recreation. There are plenty of alternative ways to travel around town, but why not be active in doing so?
- SKIP THE PLASTIC BAGS: Did you forget your stash of reusable bags? Use local reusable totes.
- SUPPORT SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSES: Currently 69 businesses strong, the Sustainable Business Program focuses on sustainability and the Triple Bottom Line – financial success, social responsibility, and proactive environmental management. Find a list of enrolled businesses listed at left.
- CHECK OUT THE YAMPA VALLEY SUSTAINABILITY COUNCIL: The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is a great resource for finding Routt County’s sustainability-related organizations, services, retailers and more.
- PRACTICE ZERO WASTE: Yampa Valley Sustainability Council’s Zero Waste Initiative keeps waste at bay and spreads awareness of recycling, reuse, and composting. Look for specific recycle and trash bins on every corner of town!
- SAMPLE WHAT’S LOCAL: Savor all that grows in the Yampa Valley. Shop Steamboat’s farmers’ market on Saturdays. Meet the producers, ask questions, and learn about the importance of knowing your food source.
- Coffee: Dusky Grouse - Dusky Grouse recycles and composts (they have a zero-coffee waste program. All their coffee and tea are composted) and have just purchased an in-house nut milk maker that will eliminate nondairy milk cartons. They will be using 100% glass bottles for all non-dairy milk. Dusky Grouse also makes their own syrups which again cuts out the disposable cartons, as they use reusable glass bottles. All their nut milk and syrup containers are reusable, and their plastic cups are compostable. The byproduct from Dusky’s nut milk machine will also be used in baking (almond meal, oatmeal, cashew meal and coconut meal). In addition, Dusky Grouse works with a coffee roaster in Seattle that is very zero-waste focused.
- Breakfast/Lunch: Yampa Valley Kitchen - YVK is uncompromising in its selection and sourcing of ingredients. They use local organic, or sustainable foods of the highest quality. This includes everything, down to the salts, oils, and spices they use. Instead of the commitment to use organic or local foods “when available”, YVK will not serve it when it’s not available. As you’ll see, their menu changes to strictly adhere to this principle.
- Yampatika - The mission at Yampatika is to inspire environmental stewardship through education. The nonprofit group, established in 1992, develops environmental learning opportunities that serve the children and adults of northwest Colorado. Yampatika operates an Environmental Learning Center at the city-owned Legacy Ranch in Steamboat Springs.
- The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is an active nonprofit organization with the motto of “inspiring our community for future generations.” YVSC hosts educational talks, films, seminars and events as well as hands-on projects such as the annual Community Recycle Drop-off Event. The council oversees or partners for the following educational or service initiatives:
- Energy FIT
- Green Building
- Spare the Air
- Sustainable Schools
- Talking Green
- Water Conservation and Quality
- Yampa Valley Recycles
- Zero Waste
- The Routt County Environmental Health Department has long been a leader in the county in environmental issues ranging from air quality to recycling, from wastewater to water quality issues. The department also oversees retail food service establishments in the county providing permitting, inspections and food service safety training.
- Routt County also has a voluntary Green Building Program for residential construction and is active in analyzing greenhouse gas impacts.
- The City of Steamboat Springs has a Sustainability Management Plan, which has been in place since 2006.
- Another helpful resource at the state level is the nonprofit Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, which works to advance sustainability through collaboration among nonprofits, business, government, and education.
When visiting or living in Steamboat Springs, it’s of the utmost importance to practice sustainability. By protecting our natural environment, we ensure that Steamboat can remain one of the most beautiful and serene places to visit.