Local Eco-Friendly and Green Business Boom
Durango, Colorado is not like other mountain towns; we’re uniquely geographically located where the dessert meets the Rocky Mountains. Half an hour in any direction and you have access to river rafting, mountain biking on world class trails and ebiking along our Animas River or hiking at 10,000+ feet. Our location also brings forth an eclectic mix of ranching, Native American Tribes, and outdoor enthusiasts who call Durango home.
The uniting force here in our small rural mountain town is our mutual love of the land. Locals and transplants alike make care for our natural world a key part of their life. And that extends to the business world too. Durango has over 26 sustainable businesses that work every day to show the world that a healthy livelihood can be made by business decisions that give back to the community and our environment.
We’re thrilled to share with you 10 of our 26+ sustainable businesses here so you can shop your values while on vacation in Durango. But first, let’s define what makes these businesses so unique and worthy of your support.
What is a Sustainable Business?
Simply put, a sustainable business is: An organization of people who view the purpose of their business as a driver and creator of prosperity for people, the planet, and the economy.
This definition reflects the “triple bottom” line backbone of sustainable business. A business cannot do good if it is no longer in business. And notice, this definition is not prescriptive either; there is no sustainable business manual. However, there are sustainable business design frameworks and methods such as Biomimicry, The Circular Economy, Zero Waste, Zero Carbon, and Regenerative Agriculture that help us expand our thinking and give us a structure to make triple bottom line business decisions.
Please share the Durango Sustainable Business Guide with friends and family so they too can eat and shop their values as they explore our beautiful town. And if you fall in love with Durango like so many of us have after one visit, the Guide is a greta place to find sustainable architects, builders, interior designers, low VOC paint, upcycled furniture to help you make your move to Durango a conscious one.
1. Durango Like A Local on Airbnb and VRBO
Durango Like A Local is an emerging glamping hub and tourist resource for locals and travelers looking for a hometown-take on the best places to eat, hike and adventure in and around the four corners. Come visit for a getaway or stay-cation in their fully furnished glamping tipis, wall tents and studio apartment. Amenities include a community fire pit, picnic tables, lawn area with yard games, and bath house.
Sustainability: Amber and her team believe that true sustainability begins by shopping close to home which is why they prioritize local suppliers and relationships for all their accommodations. Their spaces are filled with locally made goodies and sustainable furniture and bedding and non-toxic cleaners.
Basecamp is a 100% plant based restaurant, bar & market located in the historic lodge at Tamarron. Basecamp is inspired by the philosophy that “food should make you feel better, not worse.” Whether swinging in for a burger & beer to watch the game or after hitting the gym or the slopes for a green juice and Buddha bowl, Basecamp has something to offer everyone. Their full bar includes classic cocktails as well specialty cocktails made with anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, bottled and local draft beers and domestic and import wines.
Sustainability commitments & goals: 1. Low to no waste in kitchen and bar; 2. Offering sustainable, low to no waste packaging of market items; 3. Eventually plan to grow their own produce and make their own plant based meats and cheeses in house.
Grassburger has taken the iconic experience of eating a burger and made it better … for you, the animals and the planet! After looking for years for a place to take our family for burgers we could feel good about, we created it! Grassburgers are healthier, delicious, allergy-friendly and planet-friendly. Our grass-fed cattle live a happy, active life on a forage diet as nature intended.
Sustainability: Grassburger’s 100% USA raised, grass-fed cattle are never held in confinement, are antibiotic and hormone free, and are humanely certified. We stand behind holistic/regenerative practices for the reduction of carbon gases, the restoration of the land and the health of the planet. We serve on sustainable and recycled products and our fryer oil is recycled for biofuel.
Regenerative. Family. Harmony. These are the core values of this unique Durango ranch, grill, and market. James Ranch is ten miles north of Durango, Colorado in the beautiful Animas River Valley. They offer 100% grass fed and finished beef, whey-fed pork, artisan cheese and raw milk from 100% grass-fed, grazing Jersey cows, eggs produced from pastured hens, a spruce tree nursery, an regenerative vegetable and flower garden, and a thriving restaurant grill and market.
Sustainability: James Ranch is family run, utilizing regenerative, sustainable growing practices that center around care for the animals and the land so as to build up the soil to sequester more carbon.
5. Zia Taqueria
Zia is a beloved community-minded restaurant serving locally sourced and farmed, healthy meats, vegetables, and other ingredients. They promote what they believe in: “Treat the earth kindly, stay healthy, be kind to all others, be thankful, and be generous.”
Sustainability: From upcycled building materials, kitchen scrap composting, solar panels, responsible food and to-go container sourcing, to giving back to their community and staff, Zia strives to build a sustainable business and community with each business decision.
Inner Joy Energy Bars is a fruit based energy bar brand. Pairing locally sourced organic fresh fruit with organic energy stimulants like spirulina, cacoa, and other superfoods, the Inner Joy Energy Bar is both tasty and packs a smooth punch. Nothing like it.
Sustainability: Inner Joy Energy Bars use wholesome and organic ingredients and home compostable packaging and shipping containers.
Luv Box Foods is a local grower of Tempeh (Luv Tempeh), Miso (Luv Miso) and other ancient umami rich foods. Their tempeh is a spore culture grown on any bean, grain or legume paired with the spore Rhizopus Oligosporus, a mushroom-like fungus. It has a savory, yet slightly sweet, mushroomy & nutty flavor. And their miso is made from fresh Koji using Aspergillus oryzae, another filamentous fungus, which they harvest the digestive enzymes from to culture the miso in oak barrels.
Sustainability: Luv Box Foods grows their own ingredients without the use of pesticides and transports their fresh foods by electric bike. They also host farm to table dinners along with classes on tempeh, miso and other living creations
THINGS TO DO
8. Go bargen hunting for gear at the Durango Outdoor Exchange
Forgot your water shoes, hiking boots, rain jacket? Check out our local used (and new) gear store to get you back outside. The Durango Outdoor Exchange is a locally owned consignment shop that provides quality, new and used outdoor gear and apparel. They exist for you to sell your stuff, find great gear and get out there and enjoy it!
Sustainability: Durango Outdoor Exchange provides a marketplace for used gear with the intention of keeping it out of landfills and giving it a second life. Local commerce reduces carbon emissions by limiting extra transportation too. We are proud of being a business steward of the environment and work to reduce, reuse and recycle in our business practices.
9. Enjoy the Animas River with ROLL ebike & paddle board
Roll is solar powered electric bike and stand up paddle board rental and delivery company. Roll delivers ebikes to your home, VRB, Airbb, hotel, or friend’s home within 10 miles of Durango. And Roll delivers to the Oxbo put-in on the North calm end of the Animas River your inflatable SUP’s. Skip the rental hassle and enjoy a cruise, a float or both!
Sustainability: ROLL’s sustainability goals are to be carbon, people, and community positive. Towards these goals ROLL’s ebikes and headquarters are solar powered; their ebikes and paddle boards are delivered by a hybrid electric Prius; and their website is offset by renewable energy. ROLL pays a living wage to its employees and gives local youth job training. ROLL gives back to the community through donations to the Durango Farmers Market and Great Old Broads for Wilderness.
10. Get centered at YogaDurango
Yogadurango is Durango’s community yoga center. We believe in connecting people in healthy ways. In successful operation since 2006, we strive to create a welcoming place for people to explore, grow and transform. Our studio supports all levels of practitioner, providing high-quality experiences with exceptional instructors. As a women-owned small business, we are dedicated to the well-being of our community and contribute to the richness and vitality that makes Durango such a wonderful place to live.
Sustainability: We are a successful local small business in operation for 15 years and have maintained a quality working staff with minimal turn-over. We consciously choose where all our dollars go from offering hand picked, eco-conscious retail to supporting our local co-op with our bulk orders. We refill our cleaning supplies to minimize our waste and we look to the smallest of purchases like having BPA credit card paper! We are a place of connection and networking, which sustains a local economy. Yogadurango believes in healthy reciprocity and have donated thousands of dollars to local nonprofits, individuals and organizations.
Best of luck on your quest to live and shop your values while on vacation in Durango and every day. You can head to our Durango Sustainable Business Guide to browse more ethical and sustainable brands not included here, such as Cura.Te, Botanical Concepts, The Flying Hatter, and Passion Flower Beauty, that you can visit in person or online and have items shipped directly to your home. No more searching, just bookmark and shop your values for anything you need, anytime, every time.
Have a safe and memorable visit! And remember to “leave no trace” in town or on the trail.
Live Creative is a sustainable business, marketing, and shopping hub. Our Creative Studio offers authentic marketing, branding, and sustainable business expertise to ethical, sustainable, and purpose brands. Our Sustainable Business Team offers sustainability strategy and goals setting as well as sustainable packaging services. Our Lifestyle Team curates the global Sustainable Marketplace, the Durango Sustainable Biz Guide, and Get Real—our inspiring Innovation for Good weekly newsletter. Follow us on Insta: @livecreativestudios, like us on Facebook and join our FB Group: Sustainable Business Idea Exchange.