Aspen: Future Forward

Sustainable practices rank high on Aspen business plans.
Mixed-media butterfly on canvas by Olivia Daane

by Linda Hayes

More than just a buzz word, the concept of sustainability has filtered into every nook and cranny of the Aspen business community. At the popular 02 Aspen yoga studio, owner Brittany Van Domelen and her team are committed to creating sustainable processes while continually searching for new brands devoted to responsible practices. “I’ve always been passionate about the environment,” Domelen says. “When we moved O2 to the Aspen Core, I dreamed of building a space that provides wellness for the mind, body and spirit, and in turn, protects our beautiful planet.”

Eco-friendly, certified organic clothing line MATE the Label

To that end, yoga props used at the studio, including mats by BMATS and BYoga, are made from sustainable materials. Eco-friendly clothing lines such as MATE the Label and Beyond Yoga are carried in the on-site shop and “clean” beauty and skin care, including Osea, Herbivore, and Salt & Stone, are used in the 02 Spa. An Elkay EZH20 water-filling station precludes the need for disposable plastic water bottles.

LivAspen Art Gallery owner Olivia Daane, an Aspen-based painter known for her large, mixed-media series of monarch butterflies painted on canvas, is a major fan—and user—of earth-friendly RAW Paints. Manufactured as house paint in the Netherlands and notably earth-friendly, RAW Paints come in powder form and must be mixed with water to use. In addition to being extremely high quality, the paint is free of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and solvents.

At the base of the Silver Queen Gondola, Ajax Tavern at The Little Nell has renewed its commitment to sustainability this winter; the goal is for The Little Nell to become a single-use, plastic-free property. Plastic straws and to-go containers have been replaced with compostable versions. Staff have been outfitted with up-cycled shirts and sweatshirts for uniforms, all made from 189 pounds of plastic and nets removed from the ocean. Extending the concept to architecture, a recent renovation by Rowland+Broughton, the forward-thinking firm with urban and mountain sensibilities, emphasizes sustainable materials such as light oak, leather and blackened steel.