In our first Best Of Issue, Green Living Magazine is proud to acknowledge the individuals and businesses that have made a conscious and sustainable impact on the community — all as voted on by readers. Arizona has experienced substantial growth in recent years, and, as such, the focus on sustainability and living more healthful lives has also been in the spotlight. Here, we invite you to learn more about the movers and shakers in the green living space. Congratulations to our winners!
Ralph Schmid, creative services manager at Discover Flagstaff, urges visitors to stop by the Flagstaff Visitor Center (located on historic Route 66) to learn about sustainable volunteer opportunities during their stay. Visitors also can make a donation to Pledge for the Wild (a multi-mountain town platform defined by a shared set of common values, language, and tools to support responsible tourism in wild places), and pick up a free stow-and-go litter bag and fire-awareness sticker. “And, coming soon to the Flagstaff Visitor Center is a new sustainability exhibit,” Schmid says.
Discover Flagstaff is committed to educating, inspiring, and motivating visitors to practice sustainable actions. “While strolling in downtown Flagstaff, you will immediately notice multiple recycling bins, and light fixtures and business signage that are all dark-sky compliant,” Schmid says. “Dine in a local restaurant that has locally sourced ingredients or grass-fed beef, or grab a drink at a local brewery that practices water conservation and donates spent grain. Rent a bike or hike in Flagstaff’s open spaces at Picture Canyon, Observatory Mesa, or Buffalo Park.”
Other area attractions that practice sustainability with recycling, water conservation, and/or dark-sky protection include Lowell Observatory, the Museum of Northern Arizona, and area national monuments such as Walnut Canyon and Wupatki.
Visitors (and locals) can assist the Flagstaff community in its cleanup efforts in numerous ways. For starters, check out http://flagstaff365.com for the latest community cleanup events and workshops. Another way is to volunteer with the City of Flagstaff Sustainability Community Stewards Program to help keep neighborhoods trails, parks, and streets litter- and graffiti-free. Those who are interested can also check for conservation events and workshop opportunities at the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Arboretum at Flagstaff, Willow Bend, Nature Conservancy, and Elden Pueblo. Locals can take the pledge at https://www.flagstafflocal.com to be environmentally friendly by recycling, conserving water and fuel, and making conscious choices that lessen environmental impact.
“Flagstaff is a beautiful mountain town to discover again and again with amazing eco-conscious experiences supported by educating visitors to stay and play responsibly, inspired by a caring community that is motivated to protect and preserve the environment,” Schmid says. www.discoverflagstaff.com, www.flagstaffarizona.org
Runner up: Cottonwood, www.visitcottonwoodaz.org