Sustainable living, travel
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EXPERIENCES > THINGS.  This is 100% my philosophy and being environmentally conscious while I’m at it is even better.  I often discuss sustainable food and fashion on the blog, but Earth preservation has weaved its way into my travel life as well.

So I’m adding an extra layer to my food + fashion focused blog.  Expect to see more eco-friendly travel posts moving forward! Yay!!!

A few months ago, I planned an epic road trip for my birthday week with the hubs.  We landed in Phoenix and made our way up to Boulder, Colorado via car rental (not exactly eco-friendly, but we had no other option). The drive itself, through the desert and over snow-capped mountains, was one of the top 5 favorite travel adventures of my lifetime and I’ve seen a few places.  I could probably squeeze 5 blog posts from the whole trip alone, but for times sake I’ll focus on our end destination this time around-Boulder.

This was our first visit to Colorado and we’ll definitely be planning a return trip for winter ski season in the future. Why did we choose Boulder, exactly? It’s the perfect, centralized location between Denver and the Rocky Mountain National Park AND it’s a smaller, more walkable city boasting TONS of healthy eateries, outdoor adventure and sustainable initiatives.

We stayed 5 nights at the Briar Rose Bed and Breakfast and couldn’t have been happier with the fresh, organic, vegetarian breakfast fare and the healthy, homemade quick breads and cookies readily available any time of day. We aren’t even vegetarian, but the breakfasts left us fueled and satisfied.



The Briar Rose B&B has too many green initiatives to mention here, but they recycle and compost what waste is created, provide filtered water in glass pitchers to every room and offer a spectacular selection of loose leaf teas.  They are serious about their tea service, which is offered throughout the day upon request. Oh, and their deliciously smelling, eco-friendly bath and body products are what I now use at home!



While planning the trip and deciding on where to dine, I followed Bon Appetit’s Spilling the Beans blog on Boulder.  This blog series on the website is ultra helpful for visiting a new city; it’s essentially advice from plugged-in locals on where to dine, drink and adventure.

The notable spots where we noshed are below and all are within walking distance of the Briar Rose:

T/aco: Creative, fresh tacos and drinks with awesome Taco Tuesday deals!
Zoe Ma Ma: (my favorite): Authentic Chinese street food that’s completely un-American. No tipping-a 15% amount is already included in price to provide a full-time living wage, a recycling program and more organic and sustainable products. (LOVE!)
JapangoPricier sushi and small plates.
Zeal FoodsHealthy, organic and casual.  Try the house ferments!!
Pasta Jay’s: (Patrick’s favorite)-a rustic Italian eatery just up the street from Justin’s headquarters (the peanut butter brand!).

One of THE best items to cross my taste buds was  a spicy beet lemonade from the Boulder Farmer’s Market.  The zero waste market is just a few blocks from the B&B and open on Wednesday nights and Saturday.  Zero waste = bring your own reusable bags and plenty of locations to compost and recycle waste.


Other than hanging out at the Briar Rose and eating our way through the city, we got in a hike at the Flat Irons.  Being a mile above sea level plus the additional hiking elevation was NO JOKE.  If you’re a rock climber, this area is the perfect locale; just look at the inclines below.  We didn’t make it north to the Rocky Mountains due to a foot of snow falling near the end of our trip.  Yes-apparently there’s always an end-of-season snow in May??!?? Plan accordingly!



We also spent some time on the University of Colorado-Boulder campus.  Walkable from the B&B and with a gorgeous view of the mountains, the campus was pristine.  We just missed graduation weekend, so we took advantage of a student free campus. Otherwise they would seriously question the crazy, thirty-something person taking photos of the trash, compost and recycle bins.



Lastly, no trip is complete without checking out the secondhand fashion stores.  My insta friend that resides in Boulder recommended Crossroads Trading Co, where I scored a like-new Madewell shirt dress and a gorgeous Everlane silk blouse.

Another shop on Pearl Street that I absolutely fell in love with was Island Farm.  I saw several ethical clothing brands for men and women and the whole store is decor eye candy-yes, it’s everything your tropical, rustic farmhouse dreams are made of!!



Posing in my 100% thrifted digs near the Briar Rose. (not purchased in Boulder)

We can’t wait to revisit and check out the ski scene and the Rocky Mountains.  Our next destination is a short weekend trip to Philadelphia and any travel recommendations are welcomed!

I’d love to hear about your favorite eco-friendly travel locations or bucket-list destinations!!! Leave me a comment!




  1. My (yikes) 50th bday is coming up. I was in Denver a few times but once, I went to Boulder… I couldn’t have been more than 8. I always knew I would return and now I need to save your blog post so I can tempt my hubby with an incredible trip – I know he would love Colorado! Re-blogging on Stone in the Road. ~Kim

  2. Pingback: EcoTravel-Boulder – Stone in the Road

  3. Pingback: Save or Splurge-Bed and Breakfasts | Minimalist RD

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