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.

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  • The meandering outdoor paths at Cactus & Tropicals make it feel more like a park than a nursery.

    Cactus & Tropicals

    Andrea Gomez

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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.


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.


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.


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