Shop green in Salt Lake's Sugar House

A classic neighborhood offers environmentally friendly retail therapy. Here's where to go and what to do.
Jenie Skoy

On the southeastern corner of Sugar House, one of Salt Lake's oldest neighborhoods, just past Sugar House Park (where sled-towing parents and kids come to ride the snowy hills) is the city's "green zone."

It's home to a handful of eco-conscious shops whose owners sell environmentally friendly products and encourage sustainable practices ― worth the trip for both die-hard eco-warriors and the green-curious.

GETTING THERE

Sugar House is about 4 miles southeast of downtown. From I-15, take I-80 east toward Cheyenne, then take the Sugar House/1300 East exit.

Or take mass transit: The green shops near 2000 East and 2700 South are accessible via UTA bus route 223 ($1.75; 801/743-3882), and transfers are good on the TRAX light-rail system.

EAT

House of Bread This bakery goes through 50 pounds of honey a day, and you smell it as soon as you enter. Owner Lynne Aoyama bakes bread made from Utah-grown organic wheat. Indulge in yummy cinnamon rolls, raspberry pinwheels, or a hearty turkey sandwich. INFO: $; 2005 East 2700 South, Ste. D; 801/466-1758.

 
SHOP

The Green Building Center A fantasyland for the eco-dreamer. Browse for beautiful, environmentally friendly products like flooring made from reclaimed railroad trestle, and countertops made from recycled paper and cashew resin. If remodeling is not in your near future, go for a quick fix with organic cotton sheets, hemp shower curtains, or a bed made from natural latex and wool. INFO: 1952 East 2700 South; 801/484-6278.

Cactus & Tropicals Get your tropical fix in the dead of winter amid fragrant gardenias, lush orchids, and a splash of orange bromeliads. People come to this shop, which is partially powered by wind energy, just to breathe the oxygen-rich air. Take home one of nature's little air filters by buying a houseplant. INFO: 2735 South 2000 East; 801/485-2542.

GO

Breathe Day Spa Everything from the decor to the creams, clays, and Great Salt Lake salts is natural. A full spa menu includes things like a native-grain exfoliation and a fruit acid facial followed by yarrow or tomato-seed oil. INFO: By appointment only; treatments from $75; 1155 E. Wilmington Ave.; 801/466-4200.

MAKE A SIDE TRIP

The 500,000 books are just part of what's great about the Salt Lake City Public Library (210 East 400 South; 801/524-8200), an imaginative structure that arches over a block of downtown like a giant ship made of steel and glass. The five-story windows on the south curve like a lens, letting in heat, reducing energy costs, and infusing the building with natural light. If it gets too bright, head to the children's area, where canvas "clouds" provide shade. Don't miss the rooftop garden, dormant in winter, but still worth visiting for the majestic 360° views.