Recently, I found myself with the prospect of being in Boulder, CO, for a long weekend. It was an opportunity that I seized faster than a dog would take leftovers. Aside from being home to the University of Colorado's flagship college campus, Boulder's also known for its food-centric, health-focused, and highly educated population — last year, it was even named America's Foodiest Town by Bon Appétit. I traveled with a mixture of anticipation and uncertainty, curious to find out if this town at the foot of the mountains lived up to all its hype. Read on to see where my stomach led me in Boulder.
In a situation you certainly don't hear about everyday, this woman was recently fined for coloring her pet poodle pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer . . . after ignoring several warnings, she now faces a $1,000 charge. Joy Douglas is a salon owner herself and maintains that she has not only done this for four years, she isn't using dye, but instead natural beet juice to create that rosy hue on her pet and raise awareness for an important issue. While Cici doesn't seem any worse for the wear, it turns out her owner's violating the city's code: "No person shall dye or color live fowl, rabbits, or any other animals." "Cici is being stripped of her civic duty," Douglas said. "And I don't plan to take it sitting down." Regardless of your opinion of dyeing animals in theory, do you think this case should be dismissed or is she guilty as charged?
It is no secret that I heart REI. They make and sell great gear. The sales people are extremely knowledgeable. Their online store is great. Plus it is a co-op that you can join, and at the end of the year you receive a dividend check. Well, if you like giving your greenbacks to green stores, REI is the retailer for you. And they continue to get greener!
While getting my green on over at treehugger.com, I just read that not only does REI now use ecologically sensitive labeling to indicate products that are designed to have less impact on our planet, they are also building green stores too. I call that a green double up!
Now you can shop easily for eco gear made with sustainable and recycled materials bearing the eco-sensitive label in a store designed to minimize REI's carbon footprint. The new REI store opening soon in Boulder, CO, is their green prototype store that uses solar energy to reduce its electricity consumption by 20 percent and its water usage by 30 percent.
If you can't make it to the Boulder store, you can always shop their eco labeled products online.
If you're really into biking, you may want to check out these Bicycle Friendly Communities. There is actually a Bicycle Friendly Community Campaign - they award cities that actively support bicycling. A Bicycle Friendly Community provides safe accommodations for cycling and encourages its residents to bike for transportation and recreation.
These cities have an awareness of bikers, and many of their roads have bike lanes. When roads feel safe for riding, MORE people ride their bikes.
I hope this encourages other cities to put time and money into making their cities more Bike Friendly. It can be both scary and dangerous for bikers trying to share the road with cars. Awareness and safety precautions are so important, since biking is a great form of transportation, it's good for the environment, and keeps people active and healthy.
Want to know which city won the Platinum Award in praise of the bike? It's Davis, California!
These cities received the Gold Award (in alphabetical order):
- Boulder, Colorado
- Corvalis, Oregon
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Palo Alto, California
- Portland, Oregon
- San Francisco, California
- Tucson/Pima Eastern Region, Arizona
Want to see which cities received Bronze Awards for being Bicycle Friendly? Then read more
Didn't quite make the cut on this season of Survivor but still think you'd be pretty good at surviving in the wild? Or maybe you're training for the possiblity to be on next season? Well, then I have the trip for you!
BOSS, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, is an adventure trip anyone could use but especially if your name is Gilligan or the Skipper. In fact, the people at BOSS were behind the scenes in the movie Cast Away with Tom Hanks.
The courses range from 1 to 28 days in length in Utah, Colorado, and Mexico, and clients range from 18 to 70 years old. Courses currently include several target-specific divisions: field courses, skills courses, explorer courses, and custom courses. But why? Well the founder felt that our society had lost its edge when it came to facing and overcoming the pressures of modern life -- so he created a wilderness program featuring specific physical and mental obstacles that would produce more adaptable and resourceful people.
This would make a great gift for my husband -- After all he is always trying to convince me that his proper corporate lifestyle is just a cover-up for the true mountain man he really is. You're going to pay to learn how to start a fire without matches (or a lighter) as courses range from $300-$3000. To learn more check out Boss-inc.com.