Green Denver Top 10
With its abundant fresh air, crystal clear blue skies and wide variety of natural wonders, it's no wonder that Denver takes being "green" seriously. Here's a quick look at some of the innovative ways that the Mile High City is setting new standards as an environmentally friendly metropolis.
1. Hybrid Taxis
Their color-Scheme is white, but the changes are good when you hail a cab in the Mile High City it's likely to be a green taxi. Since 2007, over 300 hybrid taxis have been added into the fleets of some of our largest taxi companies- including Metro Taxi, Inc. and Denver Yellow Cab.
2. Denver Loves the Outdoors
The Mile High City is home to the largest city park system in the nation, with over 200 parks in the city and an additional 14,000 acres of spectacular mountain parks. When you're here in Denver, you can get to dozens of attractions on foot, thanks to 85 miles of paved trails. Add in several pedestrian malls, including the famed 16th Street Mall, and it's clear that the city is the very definition of "walkable."
3. B-Cycle: Denver's Bike Sharing Program
Denver was the first city in the nation to start a bike sharing program: Denver B-cycle. It is an automated, bike sharing system designed for use by many people for short trips around Denver. With over 700 bikes in 85 stations, Denver by B-cycle is the perfect way to explore Denver. In 2013, riders traveled an estimated 560,424 miles- about 90,000 miles rather than a round-trip to the moon.
4. Certifiably Green Denver
Over 100 Denver business from breweries to restaurants to beauty salons have become certified under the Department of Environmental Heath's Certifiably Green Denver program. This free program helps business find opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability while minimizing the environmental liability through pollution prevention.
5. An Eco-Friendly Airport
It may be one of the largest and busiest airports in the country, but the Denver International Airport is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint. In 2004, DIA became the first commercial airport in the country to attain ISO 14001 Certification for its Environmental Management System. DIA started composting in 2010, and between the Airport Office Building, terminal restrooms, and participating restaurants, now composts over 100 tons per year of organic waste. Between the airport's four solar arrays, they generate enough electricity to power 2,500 homes. Since adding refillable water stations in 2013, an equivalent of 1.2 million plastic half-liter bottles have been saved from going to the landfill. These efforts have allowed DIA to be recognized as a Gold Level Leader in Colorado's Environmental Leadership Program for 10 years.
6. The Mile High Million
When you hear that Denver is going green, you can take that literally: in 2006, Mayor John Hickenlooper announced an ambitious tree planting program, with a goal of adding one million new trees in the metropolitan Denver area by the year 2025. Since then, the city's tree canopy has increased by more than 2,200,000 trees, reducing Denver's greenhouse gases, providing natural cooling and adding considerable beauty to the Mile High area. Denver is well on its way to a million new trees!
7. Green Attractions
From global warming and renewable energy to environmental cleanup, Denver is emerging as one of the premier places in the nation for a "green" learning vacation. Denver is home to two premier national research centers, The National Center for Atmospheric Research
8. Red Rocks Green
Denver Recycles is one of the city's most successful environmental programs. In 2007, city workers collected more than 26,000 tons of recyclable materials, which generate an average of $800,000 in annual revenue. Since the launch of the program in 2005, recycling tonnage has increased by 18 percent.
9. A Greener Arena
Not only is Red Rocks Amphitheatre is Denver's premier concert venue, but it's also a leader in sustainability. Concert goers are encouraged to utilize the recycling bins located throughout the facility and the parking lots to help reduce the venues carbon footprint. The zero waste program at Red Rocks is expected to divert 90 percent of the venue's waste from going to the landfill. In addition, the concert benches have been replaced with sustainable, renewable lunch and Denver Arts & Venues is continuing to look for alternative energy practices.
10. Greening the 2008 Democratic National Convention
An estimated 50,000 Democrats and members of the media flocked to the Mile High City in August 2008 for the Democratic National Convention. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper vowed that Denver would host the greenest political convention in America's history and all indications are that the city succeeded. There were 10 Greening Task Teams in place to ensure the use of renewable energy, reduce waste and maximize recycling, provide green transportation options, manage and mitigate all carbon emissions and use green building and design practices, in addition to a host of other eco-friendly activities. Some of the greening efforts included: eco-friendly wooden key cards; the use of gobo's vs. vinyl banners in delegate hotels; recycled delegate bags, lanyards, and water bottles; DVD and voicemail welcome messages vs. welcome letters to the delegates; newspaper kiosks vs. individual room deliveries; Zero Heroes at all waste stations to separate recycled, compostable and trash; and the use of a green merchandise. In addition, on the eve of the Convention, Denverites enjoyed Green Frontier Fest, a celebration of everyday positive choices that individuals, families and organizations can make now to address global challenges.
Tiffany Hoambrecker, CMP, Associate Director,
Convention Services & Green Meetings Liaison
COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER
Lindsay Arell, Sustainable Programs Manager