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1. Kit & Caboodle
Since opening Montanya Distillery in 2008, owner Karen Hoskin has traveled regularly to promote her high-elevation spirits. Stunned by the staggering amount of disposable plastic plates, cups, and utensils that came with her jet-setting lifestyle, she created Zoetica. Its compact, stylish kits—exhaustively road-tested by Hoskin herself—offer everything you need to stay sustainable on the fly. Think: lightweight reusable cutlery, spill-free stainless-steel containers, and cloth napkins. Prices vary
2. Smart Art
Wrapping leftovers in plastic wrap is double trouble: The film can leach chemicals, and it’s landfill fodder after one use. Enter Boulder-based Khala Cloths. The beeswax-infused storage wraps keep food fresh, are hand-washable, and are good for up to a year; after that, compost them. Local artist Katherine Homes designed a line showcasing ruby-throated hummingbirds and western bluebirds; five percent of sales go to the Chef Ann Foundation, which provides healthy school lunches nationwide. $15 and up
3. Best In Glass
This aspen-themed 20-ounce water bottle, with its wooden cap and leather handle, helps you go green and look good. Colorado Springs–based GoGlass makes it from the same borosilicate glass Pyrex uses for baking dishes, meaning it’s
durable and can handle extreme temperature changes without shattering. $15
4. In The Bag
Your kid already brings food to school in a reusable lunch box—so why pack sandwiches and snacks in use-and-toss plastic baggies? Invest in Eco Ditty’s organic cotton pouches, which can be washed (by hand or in your washing machine or dishwasher) and reused. The Nederland-based brand even offers coloring-book-style designs, which come with nontoxic markers, for your budding Picasso. $10.50 and up
5. Zero To Hero
Aurora’s Zero Market (read more below) sells a dizzying array of green kitchen items—from tidy fabric rolls of snapped-
together “not paper towels” to reusable cloth coffee filters to bulk organic oils to
every kind of glass container you can imagine. Given the fact that 500 million plastic straws are thrown away every day in the United States alone, we suggest starting with a few stainless-steel sippers. Prices vary, Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Aurora, 720-282-3489
Good Things Come In
Small No Packages
The owners of Zero Market are dedicated to making the zero-waste lifestyle more accessible to all.
5280: What is your store’s mission?
Lyndsey Manderson: Zero Market is a place where we help people live with less trash. At first, it may seem like a random assortment of things—shampoo and brooms and growlers. I basically just find anything I need for my zero-waste, packaging-free life, buy bulk amounts of it, and put it in the store.
How can Coloradans get started with a zero-waste lifestyle?
We don’t expect people to go zero waste overnight. It’s taken [our family] about five years. Don’t go home and get rid of what you already have. When you run out of something, buy one thing at a time, refilling the bottle you already have or buying a bottle you’ll use forever. We discourage people from trying to start zero-waste lifestyles in one day—it can be really expensive. You’re making an investment in things that last forever.
We’re opening a zero-waste food store this year [location to be determined] that will stock the same items plus bulk foods—grains, nuts, vinegars—and prepared foods, breads, juices, and smoothies. And we’re trying to get all of the restaurants at the Stanley on board for composting. We’re starting a tiny revolution with our little store and hoping it will blow up from there.