Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center,

photo courtesy of RMI.

  1. Be a citizen activist
    All environmental issues today fall under the umbrella of the big kahuna – climate change. Climate change is too big of a problem to be solved by individuals, so while you’re in Aspen, join forces with locally backed movements. Use these links to educate yourself and contact elected officials: Protect Our Winters protectourwinters.org and Give A Flake aspensnowmass.com
  2. Learn
    Visit the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. At the least, take a walk around the beautiful Hallam Lake. At best, take a tour or a class: aspennature.org.
  3. Self-power
    Aspen-Snowmass is designed to work without cars. Use the great, free local bus system to get around: rfta.com. Buy a discount punch pass at the Ruby Park stop in Aspen and use We-Cycle for smaller jaunts: we-cycle.org
  4. Tour 
    The Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center. Ride a RFTA bus to within a block of its campus at 22830 Two Rivers Rd. in Basalt. Tours are on the first and third Thursdays of every month starting at 4 p.m.: rmi.org. 
  5. Eat
    Authentic tacos al pastor at BLT Taqueria, a short walk from RMI, and like all real food, next to a gas station. Then order a cocktail at Marble Distilling Co. in Carbondale: marbledistilling.com. Dedicated to sustainability, this business recaptures waste heat from the distillery, among many other endeavors. Because joy, food, drink, and cultural diversity is part of a sustainable world.

Auden Schendler is a climate activist, senior vice president of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Co. and author of “Getting Green Done.” A board member with Protect Our Winters, Schendler has written extensively about climate change and been featured in Businessweek, Outside, and Fast Company and more. His favorite hidden gem is Mod's Thai House in Basalt.