Making a choice toward living a more conscious “green” lifestyle is not as difficult as you might think.
There are many simple things that can be done right now that will make a difference in our community, valley and even globally.
First we must begin to actually think locally — and, most importantly, relate it to living locally. The easiest lifestyle choices to change and focus on are food and transportation.
When choosing food products look for items that are locally grown and produced. More and more farm stands are sprouting up in our valley, even several year-round stands such as Ellie May’s Farm Stand in downtown Aspen, that focus on all organic locally sourced meats, jams, baked goods, farm fresh eggs and produce to name a few yummy alternatives. Buying local from vendors like this helps us know exactly what is in our food, how it is grown and produced and supports our local farmers — to say nothing of reduced fuel cost for local delivery.
Transportation is always a tough subject. We wish we did not need cars. But the truth is, we rely on them and for the most part refuse to live without them. Fear not, there are simple things we can do beyond walking, biking or riding a bus on someone else's schedule.
There is a growing trend toward social transportation, small 2-6 seater, 100 percent electric plug-in vehicles.
These cars are street legal and use less than 50 cents worth of electricity to drive 40-50 miles on a charge. They are intended for use by people who live, work and socialize within a 20 mile radius. They are most often speed-restricted, with the intention of keeping them within the community. Many communities such as Aspen provide incentives for using these vehicles, such as free parking or even free charging stations. There are also many state and federal tax credits and incentives for them.
If you think about your driving style, you probably find you fit right into the social transportation category. With 100 percent electric you have no noise, no pollution, and limited energy consumption. In fact, you can offset your electric cost with solar panels that do not even need to be on your own home.
This June, the 4th Annual Aspen Eco Fest (www.AspenEcoFest.com ) will take place downtown and will play host to vendors, food and local produce booths as well as environmental and energy talks and demonstrations on all things alternative, to help you learn to make positive, thoughtful choices blending your lifestyle, your business and the environment.
You will be able to see, touch, taste and even test drive alternative vehicles, as well as learn how you can make a choice to change your life and change the world one step at a time.
Shae Singer is ringmaster at the Aspen Emporium and Flying Circus and founder of Aspen Eco Fest.