I am visiting my father in beautiful southern Colorado, where the typically dry and mountainous area is looking unseasonally green for this time of year.

By sheer necessity locals employ conservation measures that maximize water efficiency during the summer and solar gain for the cold winter months.

I visited a wonderful organic garden that is situated at approximately 8,000 feet above sea level. This garden wonderland boasted every sort of vegetable imaginable (squash, corn, beets, tomatoes, pumpkin, chards…) despite the challenges elevation brings (intense heat by summer and subzero winters).

It’s been a dream of mine to build an eco-home, so I was excited to see this beautiful south facing Earthship in the Westcliffe area. Saving worn out car tires from the landfill, the Earthship’s tire walls are packed with earth to create a home that maintains an ambient temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius all year round. Local sustainability and energy consultation firm In the Now…For the Future consults on how to build energy efficient homes that maximize the gifts from nature.