Sustainable Colorado
Our Local Food Year

Our Local Food Year

June 1, 2020

Four years ago, on June 1st, 2016 our family started a year long adventure to only eat food that came from Colorado. At the end of that year, Lee Stiffler-Meyer interviewed Lilly on their podcast the Reimagined Table about it. 

To celebrate this anniversary, we listened together to that interview and responded afterwards with our thoughts about how things may have changed since then and what our food looks like today. We also review how it affects and encourages our current challenge of our Zero Waste Year. 

Listening to this past interview, inspired us to return to some of the ways that we cooked, sourced, and experienced local food during that year. Our hope is that it encourages you to further consider the source of your food system, to get excited to create your food system, and finally to dive deeper into whatever challenge to better yourself that you are taking on currently.

Pros and Cons of The Pandemic for Sustainability

Pros and Cons of The Pandemic for Sustainability

May 5, 2020

As we explore our social media, we have been hearing: 

  • It is too early to talk about climate change while this pandemic is going on? 
  • What if climate change had the marketing campaign that COVID does? 
  • The earth is healing now that humans have been put in a time out. 
  • Dolphins are now back in the Venice Canals! (Or… are they?)

Lilly and Xerxes are bringing it together in a discussion where we highlight what is working in the earth’s favor during this time and what is not. We consider that this pandemic and climate change are not in competition with each other, rather there are lessons happening during COVID that could very well point us in the direction of what needs to happen next in sustainability. 

A few highlights: 

  • How air quality and pollution are being affected.
  • Our broken food system and what it means to create your own
  • A new world of consumption
  • The importance of essential workers as we are given a new lens to view the true backbone of our country. 

We discuss simplicity, how life may feel simpler these days, and how this newfound exploration for many is inherently sustainable. From online learning to saving college costs, there is a lot of opportunity amidst the chaos. 

Please share this episode with your friends and family! Also, we are eager to hear about your own experiences in sustainability during COVID. Please contact us at XLsustainablecoloradoATgmail or our Instagram page: ATsustainablecolorado

Edgewater Politics and Sustainability with John Beltrone

Edgewater Politics and Sustainability with John Beltrone

April 21, 2020

Lilly and Xerxes talk with Edgewater City Councilperson, John Beltrone about what motivates him to serve his community and how he became involved in politics. One of his first accomplishments as a councilperson was putting together an ordinance to establish a Sustainability Committee that eventually led to Edgewater’s Sustainability Board. 

Given that this discussion between neighbors happened virtually during the pandemic, addressing what local governments are doing and Edgewater’s unique solution to take care of local businesses and residents was pertinent. 

In addition to serving our City, John is a CPA and also works at the National Renewable Energy Lab, where he originally met and eventually rescued Xerxes in a snowstorm. Our stories have intertwined ever since as we have had the privilege of being rebel rousers with John and more recently serving the City on matters of local sustainability. 

Compost, Mulch and What We Know

Compost, Mulch and What We Know

April 9, 2020

Lilly & Xerxes talk about their experience with composting and mulching. This includes each of their earliest experiences. 

They love to follow the lazy gardener method of author Ruth Stout. They also talk about what Our favorite California landlady, Judith and her bountiful yard. 

Learn about what works and what does not. Composting is fun and healthy. It is like sourdough. It is a living organism that needs a little bit of attention from time to time. 

What is the difference between curbside municipal composting verses backyard composting? 

How we are getting curbside composting started in Edgewater, Colorado. Lilly provides tips if you are trying to bring curbside composting to your own community.

As a reminder the five R’s are refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot is at the end. Should rot be the last R?

If you love mulch, check out 

This is not an advertisement (we don’t do those- yet!), we actually love them and talk about it in the show, so here is the link for you!

Quarantine Day 13

Quarantine Day 13

March 29, 2020

Two weeks into our social distancing, we talk about the details of our current situation and what we are witnessing in Colorado and in our local community. Like so many our lives have gone online even more as we connect with friends, family, and work. 

As we consider the 6 R’s, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot and remember, we are facing some challenges purchasing in zero waste ways, but we have also been dramatically shopping less. Of the 6 R’s, the one that feels most profound for us is: remember. We did the previous show on Victory Gardens as we personally felt that this is perfect time to connect to the earth and grow your own food. Beyond our garden show, we have been getting emails, texts, and phone calls from dear people in our lives asking for tips and strategies around living a more homesteading-style life. We are grateful for these calls, their efforts, and we are eager to be a place of support for our listeners as well as our community. 

What does it mean to remember what happened in our world in the past when families relied on the food they grew or created themselves. During this time, what does it mean to create your own food system or at least try as we do. 

We also call upon you to do your civic duty by paying attention to how are government is working on and through this crisis. The EPA recently rolled back mandates about air pollution and we discuss our disappointment in this, but also our determination to make sure that as all of us need to turn our focus to the COVID-19 that we can still pay attention. 

The impact of this coronavirus time is yet to be determined, but we discuss what we hope and what we are already seeing that is bringing a sense of joy and community. 

Here are a couple of links we mentioned: 


Overnight Belgian Sourdough Waffles  

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Victory Gardens

Victory Gardens

March 22, 2020

Xerxes asks Lilly about her experience as a gardener, a teacher of gardening and a master community gardener. The podcast focuses in on saving money, gardening, for health, how to get started and why gardening right now is a great way to buffer you against a pandemic. We hope you are inspired to start a victory garden today and plant hopeful seeds for tomorrow.

Quarantine Day 2

Quarantine Day 2

March 18, 2020

Lilly and Xerxes talk about what it was like getting ready for quarantine during the heightened COVID-19 awareness in Colorado, how Zero Waste efforts were strained, where bulk food can save money, and express hope after day two of self-quarantine.

January Zero Waste Update

January Zero Waste Update

March 1, 2020

With our first update about our zero waste year after we finally started our efforts, we will talk about what worked, what didn’t, and how we are feeling. It is all about facing insecurities and the awkwardness of what it means to live counter-culture, while still being polite and kind in our community. Tricky!  

Dipping our toes into that first R: “refusing” has led to interesting conversations with strangers. It also makes us realize the importance of remembering. 

The new Zero Market arrived in our city- you will hear our enthusiasm for that as well as the Edgewater Public Market. 

There was at least one big flop for us, where we failed to remember our plates and silverware. This meant we had to compromise our zero waste challenge or relationships with colleagues. Listen to find out what happened, what we did, and what we plan to do differently next time. Even though it was a failure, we are taking it on as a big lesson.  

Overall, we are getting used to this new lifestyle, which includes several moments that cause us to pause and reflect. We are humbled, but eager to keep going. 

Every month, we plan to share a show about what is happening with this adventure. During these monthly chats we will review: 

The 5 R’s

What is working 

What is challenging us or not working well 

Stay tuned for February’s update that will be arriving sooner rather than later! 

If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to message us through Instagram: @sustainablecolorado 

Please subscribe wherever you prefer to listen or email to get on to our mailing list for updates.

Sarah Martinez and Commercial Compostables

Sarah Martinez and Commercial Compostables

February 23, 2020

Sarah Martinez is the Director of Marketing for Eco-Products where she works to reframe single use products with a focus on zero waste. She has worked in sustainability in corporate America with companies such as retailer, Target and real-estate firm, Prologis. 


Xerxes and Lilly talk to her about greenwashing, social responsibility, the slowness of changing behemoths such as large corporations, but also her optimism that great strides are coming. She also addresses the paradox of corporations that need to grow based on consumerism, but the need for our society to reduce consumption. 


In this interview she talks about how when consumers are surveyed they desire more sustainable products, but our buying behavior doesn’t always reflect that. Through Eco-Products she strives to ease the pain and guilt without greenwashing. She talks about the ‘hall pass’ of using a compostable product verses encouraging the use of reusable products. 


She discusses what it looks like for her at home and how it is always evolving as she strives to learn more from others. She shares tips that she finds doable in her life as well as what she struggles with. 


With Eco-Products, Sarah has done large venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheater as well as the Super Bowl a few years ago. 


In addition, she talks about:

  • The importance of compost
  • Recycling versus compostable packaging
  • Why we need more commercial composting infrastructure
  • Policy change
  • The minimization of contamination
  • The importance of consumers doing a better job of recycling and composting
Episode 2 - Zero Waste Year Ahead

Episode 2 - Zero Waste Year Ahead

February 17, 2020

Xerxes and Lilly’s Zero Waste Year is the catalyst for moving their conversations into podcast form. In this episode, they dive into the 5 R’s that have been coined by Bea Johnson as well as their own additional R that they like to include.

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