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Join your Denver neighbors and show your love for this place! Below are some ways to live more sustainabily. Start with just one or try a few, totally up to you -- each action makes a difference.

  • What you buy matters. Need a new lightbulb? Switching from traditional lightbulbs to LEDs or Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) is the fastest, most cost-effective way to reduce your energy use. ENERGY STAR certified lightbulbs use about 70-90% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, last 10 to 25 times longer and save $30 to $80 in electricity costs over their lifetime.
  • ENERGY STAR® appliances use 10-50% less energy and water than traditional appliances. Check to find refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances that meet ENERGY STAR® standards and can help you save money on your energy and water bills.

  • If you don’t already have a purple recycling cart at home, sign up for the free Denver Recycles program today. If you already recycle at home, be sure to review the current list of accepted materials and see if there are any items you may have overlooked that could be recycled instead of thrown in the trash.
  • Also be sure to compost. Organic material like food, soiled paper and yard debris is the single largest item we throw away in our landfill, and it is 100% compostable. Composting, which is the controlled decomposition of organic materials by microorganisms, can help reduce what we send to the landfill, reduce our carbon footprint, and create a crumbly, nutrient-rich soil amendment. By participating in the Denver Composts program, you can cut your waste in half! If your home is not within one of the current green cart compost areas, consider starting your own backyard compost pile or bin. Denver Recycles, in partnership with Denver Urban Gardens, offers free Learn to Compost classes each spring.
  • Not sure if something can be recycled? Check out Denver’s Recycling Directory to learn where you can take your used batteries, mattresses, paint, and more.
  • Finally, be sure to take advantage of seasonal programs like LeafDrop (fall), Treecycle (post-holidays), and the annual Mulch Giveaway and Compost Sale (the first Saturday in May).

  • Tired of sitting in traffic and wasting money on gas? Check out My Way to Go for reliable, easy, environmentally-friendly, no-nonsense commuting options. They can help you save money, experience less stress, and save time, so that you can focus more on the things you enjoy.
  • When possible, travel by bus or light rail. RTD is a leader in the transit industry in conserving energy, reducing emissions, recycling materials and employing other environmentally beneficial operations and maintenance practices.
  • Biking is another great option for getting around town. It’s good for you and the environment. The City of Denver has over 100 miles of multi-use trail, 100 miles of bike lanes, 39 miles of sharrows, and almost 400 miles of signed bike routes – use them!
  • Walking is also great for your health and the environment. After all, people are pedestrians by design. Not sure where to start? Local social enterprise, Walk2Connect works with individuals and organizations to transform walking from a choice to a behavior to a lifestyle by offering a range of walking trips throughout the state.
  • No matter which mode of transportation you choose, being alert while moving about town helps keep Denver’s streets safe for everyone and helps the city move one step closer to Vision Zero.

  • Bag, that is! Ditch the single-use plastic bags that pollute our waterways in favor of a reusable bag. Some stores will even offer you a discount for bringing your own bag.
  • You can also bring your own bottle. Replace your one-time use cup habit with a stylish and sustainable reusable bottle or mug. You’ll save money and our community’s precious natural resources.

  • Take advantage of Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine a year by using it to power your home. Rooftop solar has never been easier or cheaper!
  • Community solar gardens are a great option for those who either can’t or don’t want to put solar panels on their homes.
  • And did you know that Xcel customers can purchase clean, affordable, renewable energy through their Windsource program?
  • Not sure which option is right for you? Home Energy advisors can help you decide, compare bids, and even help with financing!

  • On average, produce travels 1,500 miles before you buy it. The closer your food, the fresher, tastier, and more nutritious it is. Farmers’ Markets across the city and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are convenient and delicious ways to buy local. You can also look for the Colorado Proud logo at your local grocery store. Find your nearest Farmers’ Market on Pocketgov.

  • Stop wasting money on your water bill by replacing your front lawn with low-water loving plants (also known as xeriscaping). Xeriscaping is a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal, save money, and provide vital habitat for birds and other species. You can even qualify for a discount on one of the Center for Resource Conservation's Garden in a Box xeric gardens!
  • Celebrate legalization…of rain barrels, that is! Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water, and now that they’re legal in Colorado each household is allowed up to two barrels with a combined capacity of 110 gallons.
  • Learn from the experts over at Denver Water by signing up for their monthly water conservation tips.

  • 1 in 6 trees in Denver are ash trees. And it’s just a matter of time before they’ll all be devoured by the emerald ash borer. But who wants to be a Debbie Downer when you can Be A Smart Ash? Learn how you can help protect your ash and our urban canopy by identifying, treating and replacing Denver’s ash trees.
  • Don’t have an ash but still interested in planting a tree? After all, it’s an easy and cost-effective way to improve Denver’s air quality, increase property value, encourage neighborhood revitalization, and cool streets, sidewalks, and homes. Learn more and apply for free and low-cost trees at Denver Digs Trees.

  • Let your favorite local business know about the Certifiably Green Denver program, which provides free, confidential, non-regulatory environmental assistance to Denver’s business community. The program helps businesses find opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability while minimizing environmental liability through pollution prevention. And who knows – they could be Denver’s next Green Business of the Month!

  • No food is fresher, tastier, or more nutritious than the food you grow yourself! Not sure where to start? Local organizations like Re:Vision and The Growhaus offer classes and resources to help you get started!
  • No space at home for a garden? Check out Denver Urban Gardens to learn more about how to reserve a plot at a nearby community garden.
  • Have more than you can eat? Now you can sell extra produce to your neighbors!
  • Got the whole garden thing down? Try your hand at urban homesteading by keeping goatschickensbees, and/or worms!

  • Get together with your neighbors and apply to become Denver’s next Sustainable Neighborhood. The Sustainable Neighborhoods Program supports Denver neighborhoods in deepening their sustainability efforts, while getting support and recognition from the City.



Janna West-Heiss
Public Affairs Administrator
Phone: 720.865.9028



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