Aspen Meadows Resort’s Peaceful Campus Promotes the Green Lifestyle
For nine years, WE-cycles have been seen traversing the West End to the Aspen Institute/Aspen Meadows Resort campus. Sometimes they’re being powered by world luminaries and other times they’re pedaled by locals on their way to work. The station outside The Meadows has been one of the community bikeshare’s top-performing locations, and with good reason. Not only is the commute a sensible one, but Aspen Meadows Resort is a leader in green initiatives and that trickles down to guests who make subtle shifts in their own behavior too.
“When you live in a valley like we do, that’s steeped in natural beauty, it’s part of our consciousness to conserve resources when possible and we’re inspired to do that when we can,” says Annie Pinkert, Director of sales and marketing for The Meadows.
Supporting WE-cycle’s bikeshare program is just one of the many ways The Meadows encourages sustainability. Most recently, two electric shuttle buses, manufactured by Endera, will replace the gas-guzzlers that have been in use for years. The electric shuttles, which continuously transport guests back and forth between downtown Aspen, will eliminate 21 metric tons of carbon emitted annually, which is the equivalent of almost four households worth of annual electricity or enough carbon to fill two balloons with diameters the size of a football field. To further encourage electric vehicle use, two vehicle charging stations have been installed in the parking garage—with optimal parking spots of course.
The Meadows’ initiatives go beyond transportation (even though that’s our favorite topic). The property’s food and beverage sustainability program is effective too, by sourcing local food and beverages when possible, reducing waste for large-scale events, composting unused food so it doesn’t go to the landfill, and replacing single-use plastic water bottles with reusable glass bottles in hotel rooms.
“It would be hard to not be an environmental steward because that’s what brings people to this valley, and we want to protect what we can,” says Pinkert, acknowledging that guests come from all over the world, and the Meadows hopes they can return to their communities with some Aspen inspiration.
Even the way the campus is engineered incorporates green measures. This includes geothermal pools that heat and cool two of the campus’ main buildings, a rainwater runoff collection system that’s used for irrigating the 40-acre property, and smart HVAC systems that efficiently temperature-control rooms. Guests can be assured that all energy consumption is offset with the purchase of renewable energy through Holy Cross Energy.
Though The Meadows recognizes that its initiatives won’t solve all of the world’s problems, it’s shifts like the ones they’re making away from fossil fuels that signal change is possible, and when made, often preferred.
Aspen Meadows Resort is a WE-cycle Founding Partner and an annual WE-cycle sponsor of a station as well as bike baskets.