By: Mackenzie Winebold

Stop what you’re doing, and go open up your closet. Take out a few of your shirts, and read the labels. Where are they made? What fibers and fabric are in the shirt? On a regular day-to-day basis, we overlook these small details. We prioritize our lives in order of importance, and our clothing labels fall low. The last thing to cross our mind is the damage our clothes can have on the environment. So what can you do? By taking just an extra 10 minutes out of the day to learn about conscious consumerism and sustainable practices, you could have a substantial impact on the way the world consumes.

Colorado Made

One local Colorado company has already made great strides in changing the way we shop for our personal clothing. As well as, working with others to raise awareness. 

ONNO T-Shirt Company located in Boulder, CO was founded in 2007 by Jack Kanefield, a Boulderite and graduate of the University of Colorado. His inspiration to create ONNO came about during his personal shopping experiences and the disappoint he felt upon learning just how products are made. He envisioned creating a t-shirt that felt great but also had a low environmental impact. All the products at ONNO use sustainable fibers like bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, and Pima.

We look for the best materials, and the best way to manufacture them, but we keep our overhead low to provide a great price for the customer,” said Emily Wright, Director of Operations and Marketing at ONNO.

ONNO recently collaborated with SunMountain Center to provide organic cotton tote bags for purchase. The bags are GOTS certified, which is a comprehensive process that covers pesticide use, water use, labor practices, even down to the recycled packaging the products are shipped in.

“In terms of value, you’re getting a product that provided several people a good job at a livable wage and has a limited impact on the environment. We think those ethics combined with a really nice end product, is worth more than the sum of their parts,” said Wright.

The design on the SunMountain tote bags, created by SunWellness Art Director, Nicholas Baranek, features the phrase, “Growing Consciousness” with bright, orange marigolds circling around. The marigolds can represent the humblest of creation and beauty within our world. It was quoted on Quora.com, an information sharing site, that marigolds are like the sun — it returns in full each summer and hides away in the winter. In other words, you must find your balance between shining and keeping your light under wraps. SunMountain Center chose the marigolds to represent their mission statement. The statement reads, “SunMountain Center strives to offer a sacred and meditative space to deepen the connections and expand the consciousness of our guests.”

Sara Blanchette, SunMountain’s guest experience manager, said they want to continue to foster this message outside of SunMountain, and the totes were a unique way to do so. SunMountain has plans to grow marigolds on the property this Spring to further root the totes message.

The inspiration behind the totes also grew from SunMountain’s urban farm. Jeremy Tackett is the Smokebrush Farm manager at SunMountain. He oversees all farm operations and leads monthly farm tours on the property. He often gets asked on tours what exactly is grown there.  His response is moving. He tells guests that, yes, physical items grow here on the farm. The more important thing that continues to grow is the non-physical things like presence, awareness, kindness, support, community, and sustainability. The items that grow at SunMountain are deeper than just the five senses. 

The “Growing Consciousness” totes are for sale at the SunMountain Center retail shop. Twenty percent of profit made goes back to the farm. Because after all, growing consciousness is more than just a message on a tote. It’s a lifestyle we can all foster and carry with us.

 

ONNO is just one of many companies that inspire conscious consumerism. Being a conscious consumer requires a little extra time and dedication when purchasing products.

Some tips and ideas to consider during your next shopping trip could be:

  • Read the fine print – see where your product was made, what materials were used in making it, and see if portions of your purchase are being donated and how much is being donated.
  • Shop small – the more you spend local, the more your money stays local. Your favorite knick-knack store is closing, but you still purchase items on the internet? If you feel strongly about having local, independent businesses, you should make a great effort to support them!
  • Divest – learning this helpful and life-changing strategy could change the face of consumerism. If you are investing, or want to start investing, do your research and see where your money is going. It is super important to know where your hard-earned dollar is going and who it is supporting. If you see something that seems a bit odd or you feel is unethical, allocate those dollars elsewhere.
  • Hold your brands accountable – if you love a specific brand and want to continue to purchase from them, make sure you continually let them know how you feel about a marketing campaign they are running or if you believe something they are doing is unethical. Care about your shopping habits and take action on it. Companies will start to take notes. Unethical habits won’t change unless we do!

 

By: Emily Stockton and Mackenzie Winebold
Spring has sprung in Colorado, making it the perfect time to go explore the hiking trails near Manitou Springs. During your stay at SunMountain Center, be sure to check out one or all five of these beautiful spots!
1. Manitou Incline
The Manitou Incline has officially been made legal to hike (not that it stopped Coloradans before!) and offers the best aerial view of Manitou Springs around. After climbing all 2,744 steps, you’ll have reached the summit—an impressive feat!
If you intend to hike the Incline, be sure to bring plenty of water, clothing that is suitable for the weather, and wear a good pair of hiking shoes. You should also be aware of the signs of altitude sickness, as this one-mile hike comes with a 2,000-foot increase in elevation.
Still interested? To access this trail, you’ll need to hop on the free shuttle that runs between Memorial Park and the base of the Incline.
2. Intemann Trail
The Paul Intemann Memorial Trail is named for the Manitou Springs City Planner, Paul Intemann. This 1.8-mile trail is great for beginners, as the elevation increase is fewer than 400 ft. As you walk along this trail, you’ll notice beautiful Colorado wildflowers and stunning mountain views.
 3. Barr Trail
Barr Trail is another hot spot here in Manitou Springs, as this hike will bring the brave of heart to the top of Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain. In 6.5 miles, you’ll have climbed an astounding 3,800 ft. in elevation, most of which is accomplished in the first three miles of the trail.
Similarly to the Incline, you’ll want to bring plenty of water, snacks to keep your energy up, and clothes that are appropriate for all types of weather, as you may experience dramatic differences in temperature as elevation increases.
You can also access this trial using the Free Shuttle from Memorial Park to the base of the Incline.
4. Red Rocks Open Space
This gorgeous open space is composed of six hiking trails, each beginner-friendly, and relatively short compared to the others on this list. The longest trail, Hogback, is 3.3 miles while the shortest, Upper Dog Loop, is only one mile. Additionally, Red Rocks Open Space offers a little glimpse into Colorado history—in the 1800’s, a quarry was opened in this space, and one can still access this area via Quarry Trail. With six trails to hike, there is plenty of space to explore.
5. Garden of the Gods Trails
You won’t want to miss out on the iconic Garden of the Gods. With 15 miles of hiking trails at various difficulties, there is truly something for every adventurer in the park. From the wheelchair and stroller accessible Perkins Trail which will bring you to iconic rock formations such as Kissing Camels rock, to more challenging trails like the Siamese Twins trail which offers stunning views of Pikes Peak, you’re sure to find the adventure you’re looking for at Garden of the Gods. Similar to Red Rocks Open Space, you’ll need to be prepare for hiking in a vast area.

For more details about these trails and other great activities in Manitou Springs, visit https://www.sunwellness.net/manitou-springs/

By: Mackenzie Winebold

 

Spring has sprung in Colorado, making it the perfect time to get out there and explore the Manitou Springs area. (Before tourist season really starts)! From unique shopping, dining and historic finds to scenic hiking trails, there is a little bit of everything in Manitou that’ll feed your desire for adventure. Here is a list of Manitou’s hidden and not so hidden gems for you to check out!

 

Manitou Incline

The Manitou Incline is officially legal to hike (not that it stopped Coloradans before!), and offers the best aerial view of Manitou Springs around. After climbing all 2,744 steps, you’ll have reached the summit-an impressive feat!

If you intend to hike the Incline, be sure to bring plenty of water, clothing that is suitable for the weather, and wear a good pair of hiking shoes. You should also be aware of the signs of altitude sickness, as this one-mile hike comes with a 2,000-foot increase in elevation.
Still interested? To access this trail, you’ll need to hop on the free shuttle that runs between Memorial Park in the heart of Manitou Springs and the base of the Incline.

 

Infamous Manitou Penny Arcade

This arcade will bring back tons of nostalgic feels. The arcade boasts hundreds of games ranging from original skee-ball to a 12-person horse race. You will quickly see that the arcade still has a lot of its original features, which date back to the early 1900’s, wh making it even more charming and authentic. The arcade is the size of a full-block so it may require a couple visits to hit every game they have to offer.

You can check out more of the arcade’s history while you’re there as there are pictures above most of the games with some historical facts and early pictures. The arcade has several change machines, but be sure to also bring your dimes, nickels and pennies as many of the games still operate on them!

 

Barr Trail 

Barr Trail is another hot spot here in Manitou Springs, as this hike will bring the brave of heart to the top of Pikes Peak, which inspired the song, “America the Beautiful”. In 6.5 miles, you’ll have climbed an astounding 3,800 ft. in elevation, most of which is accomplished in the first three miles of the trail.

Similarly to the Incline, you’ll want to bring plenty of water, snacks to keep your energy up, and clothes that are appropriate for all types of weather, as you may experience dramatic differences in temperature/weather as elevation increases.

This trail can also be accessed using the free shuttle bus from Memorial Park to the base of the Incline.

 

Miramont Castle

Located in the foothills or Pikes Peak, you will be blown away upon setting foot inside the Miramont Castle. The castle boasts over 14,000 square feet and 40 rooms. What makes the Miramont castle so unique is nine different styles of architecture that can be found here. The design for the castle came from the original owner, Father Francolon, who wanted to incorporate all his favorite designs. From English Tudor to domestic Elizabethan to gothic, the list goes on.

For a very small fee, you can tour the beautiful castle and even make reservations in their tea room. Be sure to check out their website for hours and menu options. The Miramont castle has a vast and interesting history just waiting to be heard!

 

SunMountain Center and SunWater Spa

Nestled in the red rocks of Manitou, you will find the historic Rockledge and Onaledge homes. SunMountain Center emerged once purchasing these turn-of-the century homes. SunMountain operates as a bed and breakfast and retreat center,  turning these homes into places straight out of a fairytale. With much of the original architecture and charm, you’ll find something special around every corner.

SunMountain Center hosts weekend retreats aside from bed and breakfast stays. All breakfasts served are vegan, organic and sourced local as well as from their on-site farm. You will find several meditation trails on the properties three acres. During your stay, be sure to take advantage of your complimentary two-hour mineral water soak at SunWater Spa. The spa offers seven, heated cedar tubs for soaking in the infamous Manitou mineral waters that are drawn from the Seven Minute Spring across the street. The spa acts as a yoga studio as well, offering an array of classes for all levels wanting to deepen their practice.

 

Manitou Cactus Store

Located on Ruxton Ave. is the quaint Manitou Cactus store. You can find the perfect cactus, succulent or other plant here, all within a very reasonable dollar amount. The greenhouse offers all sizes of plants. If you’re looking for the perfect cactus for your office or one that will reside in your living space, this is your go-to shop!

 

Garden of the Gods

You won’t want to miss out on the iconic Garden of the Gods. With 15 miles of hiking trails at various difficulties, there is truly something for every adventurer in the park. From the wheelchair and stroller accessible Perkins Trail which will bring you to iconic rock formations such as Kissing Camels rock, to more challenging trails like the Siamese Twins, you’re sure to find the adventure you’re looking for at Garden of the Gods.

 

Anna’s Apothecary

Opened in 2012 by two sisters, who dedicate themselves to serving the Earth and its people with holistic healing. Anna’s Apothecary offers in-house made remedies, Tonics, Tinctures, Salves and Elixers. All items grown, produced and sold are natural, organic and non-gmo. You can visit their website or stop in the shop to see the abundant amount of natural remedies they have to offer.

 

With these just being some of the amazing attractions Manitou has to offer, be sure to check out https://manitousprings.org/ for even more attractions and adventures out there that are waiting for you.

 

Every Mother’s Day, we are gifted the opportunity to show our mama’s just how much we appreciate them. From their strength, kindness, and loving nature to all of the wisdom they’ve so graciously shared with us, we are all incredibly lucky to have women as sweet as our moms in our lives. This year, ditch the candles and feel-good cards she’ll burn through and forget about in a month, and give mama meaningful self-care, and healing gifts where she can form deeper connections with you and herself. We all love gifts that keep on giving: Give mama the gift of shared experiences with you. In need of inspiration? Check it out:

 

Journal

Give mom a place to record her innermost thoughts, feelings, and memories. Include a few pens in her favorite colors for added inspiration.
Wanting to add a more personal touch? Fill in the first few pages with artwork, inspiring quotes, images, and your favorite things about her.  

 

Photo Album

If you’re able to, pull together some of your family’s old photos of fun memories with your sweet mama—remember that vacation you took in third grade that you never forgot? What about that time mom surprised your on your birthday with the present you really wanted, but were certain you wouldn’t receive? These special moments define not only your life, but her life as well. Put them all together in a keepsake book that mom will treasure for years.

 

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz, the stone of the heart chakra. Rose Quartz is associated with feelings of unconditional love, like that between a mother and a child. Rose Quartz aligns with the heart chakra, providing feelings of comfort and love while dispelling feelings of fear and anxiety. This sacred gemstone contains feminine energy which balances and aligns the heart chakra with the third eye and crown chakras, bringing about the spirit of Mother Earth—the most sacred mother of all. Keeping this crystal within her home, mom will feel more aligned, more surrounded by love, and more balanced and connected in her day-to-day life.

 

 

Gaia Flow: Watsu with Mom

Watsu is a form of shiatsu that takes place in near body temperature or warmer water which combines elements of massage, shiatsu, muscle stretching, and water dancing. The receiver is continuously supported by their therapist while allowing their body to be floated, stretched, and cradled. At SunWater Spa, our watsu treatments take place in a body temperature, saline floating pool which grants the body added ability to float, making Watsu a truly weightless experience. Without the added weight of the body, the spine, joints, and muscles of the receiver can be manipulated and freed in a way which is unique to water work. This Mother’s Day, share this healing and nurturing experience with mom and book a side-by-side watsu for two, or simply give her the gift of nurturing with a single-person watsu appointment.

 

Mountain Mother Massage

Let’s not forget about the wonderful mommy’s-to-be in our lives! SunWater Spa’s Mountain Mother Massage is a soothing experience for mama, allowing her and baby the opportunity to relax and find refuge from the symptoms of pregnancy. Making use of the nourishing (and pregnancy safe!) oils of sunflower, sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, wheat germ, vitamin e, sweet orange, rosewood, tangerine, lemon peel, rose maroc, sandalwood and ylang ylang, she’s certain to leave feeling refreshed, renewed, and fully relaxed.

 

A Hike at Garden of the Gods and a Soak at SunWater Spa

Garden of the Gods has over 15 miles of space for you and your mom to explore. Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and spend some quality time with one another. The Siamese Twins trail, in particular, holds desert beauty and stunning views of Pikes Peak.
After you’ve worn yourselves out at Garden of the Gods, swing on into Manitou for a healing soak at SunWater Spa. Allow the healing waters of the historic 7 Minute Spring to repair your tired, sore muscles while you relax and reconnect with your mom. Whether you choose a 2-hour soak or a full-day pass, you will both have access to our indoor saline pools, hot and cold plunge pools, and our infrared sauna. With all of these options, you and your mama will leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and closer to one another when the day is up.

 

 

Essential Oils

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found within various parts of plants which can be used to treat various ailments, lift spirits, and be used as an all-natural, aromatic perfume. To extract these oils, plants undergo a process of distillation by steam or water. After distillation, a highly concentrated essential oils is left behind, containing not only the aromatic essence of the plant, but also the plant’s healing properties. These oils aid in protecting plants against predators and disease, why not let them do the same for mom? Here are four examples of essential oils that are perfect for moms everywhere.

 

  • Lemon to enhance mom’s feelings of joy, provide immune support, and cleanse or purify the body.
  • Citrus oil to feel invigorated,provide an instant boost in energy, and similarly to lemon oil, boost her immune system.
  • Lavender to help mom relax, unwind, and to improve blood circulation.
  • Eucalyptus for stress relief, pain relief, and relief of cold symptoms!

 

Credit: Mariana Ziegler Photography

A Stay at SunMountain Center

Spring has sprung in Manitou Springs! Give mom the gift of experiencing a true (and beautiful!) Colorado spring with a stay at SunMountain Center. The days are longer and warmer, the flowers are blooming, and SunMountain Center is bursting with life and love. She’ll spend time perusing our gardens, exploring acres of property and winding meditation trails, and deepen her connection with herself and those around her.