It’s Up to Us: #AAG2023’s Low-Carbon Travel Campaign

A view of Confluence Park beach and Denver skyline by Kent Kanouse, CC BY 3.0
Confluence Park beach and Denver skyline by Kent Kanouse, CC BY 3.0

AAG has set an ambitious goal of reducing our carbon emissions from each annual meeting by 45% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. As we return to our first in-person meeting in years, the travel choices we make really matter.

To encourage AAG 2023 participants to consider their travel options and lean away from carbon emissions whenever they can, AAG’s Climate Action Task Force prompted us to create the #AAG4Earth campaign. We encourage you to join in, explore your choices, and create a low-carbon adventure to arrive in Denver.

Getting there

Try Rail: Travel Amtrak to arrive at elegant Denver Union Station, a more than century-old Beaux Arts train station. Connect via the California Zephyr, a train route from Chicago to San Francisco. Visit Amtrak to explore your travel options. For groups of 8 or more, Amtrak Share Fares provide a discount of up to 60% off tickets. Groups of 15 or more can earn discounts or a free escort ticket for each 20 travelers. Visit Amtrak’s website or call 1-800-USA-1GRP for more information if your group is 15 or more passengers.

Arrive by Bus: Travel to Denver from virtually anywhere in the U.S. on Greyhound or Express Arrow. Use a service like Busbud or WanderU to find your best route and price.

Have to travel by plane? Denver International Airport (DEN) has taken steps to reduce its global carbon footprint.

On the ground

Even if you are traveling too long a distance to reduce your carbon footprint much, you still have lots of options for curtailing emissions from your activity once you’re in Denver:

Transit in Denver

Denver’s Regional Transit District offers schedules, trip planning, and real-time predictions of arrival from its website or app. Within the downtown area, you can hop on the Free MallRide and MetroRide buses departing from Union Station and continue down 16th Street and 18th/19th Streets, respectively.

Biking, Scooting, Rolling, and Walking

Check out Denver’s Wheelchair Accessibility Guide. And see Denver’s Shared Micromobility Program which offers information on scooters and bikes to rent. From the Visit Denver website, you can download a city bike map or use the Denver Regional COG’s interactive map to explore the many routes in bikeable Denver. There are 20 miles of bike lanes in downtown, convenient to the Cherry Creek and Platte River trails. Cycleton rents bikes from its location about 15 minutes’ drive and 30-40 minutes from Union Station by transit.

Denver’s walkable downtown begins with the 16th Street Mall, a car-free pedestrian space that is the fastest way to the AAG meeting hotels from Union Station, with a drop-off point next to the Sheraton Denver Downtown. The 16th Street Mall also features dining options from fast casual to upscale as well as shopping and breweries. Pedestrian bridges link 16th Street with nearby Commons Park and nearby LoHi neighborhood. Overall, downtown Denver is rated as one of the city’s most walkable places.

When choosing restaurants, shopping, and amusement parks, check for their commitment to shrinking their carbon footprints. For example, the Denver Beer Company spells out its commitment to reducing emissions and ethical product sourcing on its website.

We’re in this together. The decision to travel in a low-carbon way is a community-oriented decision and should be shared and celebrated communally. As you make your travel plans, show your pride in your decisions with the #AAG4Earth hashtag.