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Getting Involved in Your Community

Getting involved in your community is very beneficial, not just for those you help out but also for your own wellbeing. The sense of connection you get by organizing or participating in an activity in your community can make you feel fantastic and energized. Humans need that social connection after all.

There are many ways you can get involved in your community, and while most people agree that getting involved is a good thing, most don’t even know where to start.

So here are a few ideas to inspire you to go out there and make a difference!

Become a Tutor

Tutoring kids can have a profound and long-lasting impact on their lives, which will definitely come back to you as you share a little in their own success. To start tutoring it is best to call your local school so they can direct you on how and when you can get involved.

Community Meetings

Attending community meetings may sound less entertaining than watching paint dry, but in reality once you actually go to one and participate you will probably find that your sense of belonging to your community will grow as you meet the people who actually live in the community and become familiar with the issues that affect your neighborhood.

Clean up

Joining a clean-up project puts you right in the middle of the transformative energy flowing through your community. This is not just about picking up trash around playgrounds, parks, and ponds, it is also about installing new basketball hoops and nets, starting a community garden, fixing a broken swing, etc. The best place to start is your local parks department, give them a call and they should be able to direct you to any existing or potential projects.

Volunteer

There are many ways to volunteer your time and skills towards helping those in need within your community. You could work a few hours at a food bank cooking and serving meals or washing dishes. Other options are spending time with the elderly at your local nursing home, volunteering as a dog walker for the animal shelter.

Become a Coach
Coaching little leagues, whether baseball, soccer, football, basketball, etc., can be a very rewarding activity for both you and your team.

Donate

Although donating money is always welcome by local organizations, there are many other resources that they are looking for and you might be able to provide. Local thrift shops and Goodwill are always looking for used clothes in good condition, your local library will gladly accept your books, local homeless shelters could use bed linens and toiletries, and animal shelters will be thrilled to receive food for the animals.

Organize your own events and clubs

If you notice that your community is lacking an event or club that you have previously enjoyed somewhere else, then why not go ahead and organize it yourself. No matter how niche it may seem, chances are that you will find quite a few people who are interested in the same activity you are. It could be anything from a book club, a rugby team, a beer enthusiasts club, an open mic night, etc. The added benefit is that you will get to meet like-minded people and have a great time doing what you like.

Faces of Shift with Morgan Trego

Earlier this year, we welcomed Morgan Trego to the Shift Workspaces team as our new Culinary Concierge.  We recently sat down with Morgan to learn more about her background, what drew her to Shift Workspace and how her role has recently changed along with her favorite dish in Denver.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Northeast Ohio in a small (perceived as large) town, Cuyahoga Falls. Yes, the town where a river once caught on fire. No, I did not attend THE Ohio State University! Right after graduating from Kent State University, I made the big move to Fort Collins, Colorado to be surrounded by mountains, health and no humidity!

Tell us about some of your hometown’s culinary favorites?

In Ohio, we have a drive-up restaurant called “Swensons” which was formerly only in Cuyahoga Falls but continued to expand throughout the state as I grew older. A must-have when visiting for the famous cajun tater tots, a “Galley Boy” cheeseburger with a special sauce and of course, one of the many milkshake flavors!

What were you doing before joining Shift as our Culinary Concierge?

Before happily joining Shift Workspaces, I was in the hospitality business since my first job. I worked primarily in the front of house in restaurants, dabbled a bit in hotels and country clubs and made my way back into restaurant management at Olive & Finch – a Denver local spot for brunch and juice!

What excited you most about joining the Shift community?

During my time at Olive & Finch, I would occasionally deliver catering orders to Shift Workspaces. I remember being so fascinated with the décor, fresh flowers, and the sense of community and connection I felt being inside of the building. What excited me most about joining our community was being a part of something big. Making real, meaningful connections as well as creating personal experiences for my peers.

Since Shift has suspended food events during these difficult times, your role has slightly changed.  What is something positive that has come from that change?

Preparing fun dishes for the Shift members was nothing short of amazing. With this transition of working more at the front desk, I enjoy getting to know our community in a different way. I think it’s great that I can see every face that walks through the door and offer a warm and engaging welcome while having detailed conversations.

What is your favorite meal to cook at home? And your favorite restaurant dish in Denver?

Coming from a large Italian family, my favorite meal is homemade pasta and tomato sauce served with herby garlic bread, crispy baked potatoes and a big ole’ green salad!

Recently I have really gotten into Ramen, which is interesting as a vegetarian. I think my all-time favorite take on Ramen in Denver is from City O’ City. They have a dish called the Udon Noodle Bowl. Not only is it incredibly spicy (my favorite!) but filled with nourishing vegetables and tons of egg noodles. You can for sure catch me eating this on the coldest day of the year AND the hottest. Yum.

What does your ideal weekend look like?

An ideal weekend for me is spent rejuvenating out in nature either hiking, skiing, mountain biking or doing yoga and of course, COOKING! My ideal weekends are a balance between preparing for the week ahead and replenishing from the week prior.

 

Feed the Front-Line Denver

As the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the Denver Front Range rises, hospitals across our state are facing an unprecedented challenge — inadequate access to testing, a dwindling supply of personal protective equipment, and a looming shortage of ventilators and beds. After working day and night in this increasingly stressful environment, it’s understandably hard for our frontline workers to find the time or motivation to get in a good meal. We want to help.
 
Shift Workspaces and its 500-member community are teaming up with Denver restaurants to provide nourishing meals for our local healthcare providers on the frontline of the pandemic.
 
Our team is coordinating the funding, administration, safe preparation and delivery of breakfast, lunch and dinner to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who are working tirelessly to take care of all of us.
 
Show your appreciation for our courageous medical community and simultaneously provide much-needed support to local restaurants and their staff.
 
Every single dollar of your donation will be used to provide meals to frontline medical workers. We will continue supporting our medical community and first responders for as long as this crisis lasts.

Thank you and all of your families for your tireless commitment to our community! 

To donate, visit our Go Fund Me Page.  

6 Tips on Starting a Zero Waste Lifestyle

If you are looking to actively reduce your carbon footprint in the world then starting a Zero Waste Lifestyle is definitely a step in the right direction.

This lifestyle goes beyond trendy mason jars, buying fresh produce at farmers’ markets, and washing your hair with shampoo bars. Instead, you need to get ready to completely abandon your dependency on plastic and change your shopping, cleaning, and eating habits.

This seems very intimidating at first, but with a few tips and guidelines, you will be on your way to living the zero waste life. Just remember that it is impossible to go zero-waste overnight.

1. Start with “Why?”

It is important that you write down your reason to want to go Zero Waste. Maybe you want to help the environment, save money, do your part to reduce plastic in the ocean, or want to be less exposed to harmful chemicals in plastic. Whatever your reason is, make sure to write it down and come back to it whenever you feel low on motivation.

2. The 5 Rs

Refuse what you don’t need. Reduce what you need. Reuse what you consume. Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse. And rot whatever is left in a compost.

Choose carefully

It is important that you learn how to recognize and deny waste in every aspect of your life. For example, the next time someone hands you a flyer, a business card, a free disposable pen, or a plastic bag you can recognize that it will inevitably end up in your trash and therefore choose not to accept it.

3. Eat real food

Real food like fruits, vegetables, and anything that doesn’t come in packaging is crucial to helping you reduce the amount of waste you create.

4. Use less of everything

Most products are designed to encourage you to use way more than you actually need. Toothpaste is a great example of this because you really only need a pea-sized amount, but you probably use way more than that each time you brush your teeth. So make sure to use only what you really need for everything.

5. Join a community

Zero Waste Communities, whether virtual or not, are a great way to help you stay motivated, to find out about helpful tips from others, and to find people who will support you on your journey.

6. Essential Products to getting

You will need to swap just a few things with other products to start out your Zero Waste Lifestyle:

Instead of plastic water bottles, you should get a reusable water bottle, you can even get an insulated water bottle, so your water stays nice and cool.

Eliminate plastic Tupperware and Ziploc bags by storing your food in glass jars instead; there are also silicon reusable bags that you can use instead of Ziploc bags.

Use cloth bags and totes to store, transport, and buy food in bulk, instead of using plastic bags.

Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues.

3 Reasons Why We Love to Work with Denver Charities

It’s the time of year when giving back takes center stage. While giving back to our community is something we do year-round at Shift Workspaces, ahead of giving Tuesday this December 3rd, the Shift team is working with the Denver Children’s Home.

This week, on November 21st, our team will be volunteering at the home to feed dinner and we will also take with us the toys donated by Shift Workspaces members.

Giving back to our community is part of Shift Workspaces’ DNA, and over the years we have focused on working with local organizations because we believe that by working with them, we can have a much greater impact.

To get you in the spirit of giving back and engaged with your local community, here are three of the many reasons why we love to work with local organizations.

It strengthens our community

By working with local organizations like the Denver Children’s Home, we are not only giving back to the community that has helped us succeed as a business, but we are also strengthening our community by contributing to a common cause.

Working with a local organization also provides us with the perfect opportunity to learn more about our community members and it gives us a chance to dialogue with others, expanding our circle, getting a better understanding of what our community needs, and finding a shared sense of purpose.

Our contribution matters

While all donations and contributions matter, when you give back on a local scale it’s easier to see how much of an impact you’ve made. With local organizations, a small contribution can go a long way in powering an effort, increasing its reach, or growing awareness.

Not only that but working with a local organization makes it easier to follow-up on your contributions and you can have a more active role in how the donation is used.

It’s a great way to share our values and purpose

Working with a local organization is a great way to share our business values and purpose with our members and our community. It’s a wonderful way to share what we care about and what our employees and clients care about.

Introducing Shift Workspaces Carbon Fund Initiative

Did you know the average American produces 50,000 pounds of carbon emissions a year? Carbon dioxide is emitted into our atmosphere through just about everything we do. From taking a plane ride, turning on the lights in your home, grilling in the summer, heating your home in the winter—we’re continuously emitting carbon dioxide. While carbon dioxide is needed for life forms, too much is incredibly harmful for our outlook.

In order to protect our planet, it’s imperative that humans make a conscious effort to prevent emissions by following the 5 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot (compost), and Recycle. Although, when all is said and done, there’s still so much more carbon dioxide! That’s why it’s crucial that we take action to offset our impact with trees that release oxygen back into the earth.

Grant Barnhill, Founder of Shift Workspaces, explains, “It’s no longer about who can do, produce, or operate more, instead it’s about who can do, produce, and operate better. We believe that our efforts demonstrate our commitment to our local community, our employees, the environment and our members.”

As part of our ongoing efforts to do our share, Shift Workspaces is partnering with the Carbonfund.org Foundation to work toward a zero-carbon footprint. Launching November 1st, we will be donating $1 for every existing Shift membership to the Tree Program which in turn plants one tree. As we continue to build our Shift community, each new membership will include a donation.

If you would like to further your carbon offset, you can easily make your own donation. As a business, you can also calculate exactly how many tonnes of carbon your company produces.

If you’re not a part of the Shift Workspaces community yet, we would love to have you! Book a tour today!

6 Tips for Safe Urban Cycling in Denver

According to reports, Denver commute times are getting longer and longer (from 2005 to 2016 alone, commute times in Denver grew by over 40%). In the midst of increasing commute times, individuals have started to embrace alternative transportation methods.

Bicycles have become a popular transportation method among the modern workforce, however, biking in a city can be overwhelming as there are lots of cars and sometimes there’s no bike lane. Luckily, there are various safety tips and guidelines you can follow to make sure your urban cycling experience is a pleasant one.

Tips for Safer Urban Cycling

Safety first

Make sure you always put on a helmet and do not wear earphones or headphones when cycling in the city. The latter is important as you’ll need your ears to be more aware of incoming and oncoming traffic and what’s going on around you.

Plan your route

There are likely different routes you can take, make sure you map out all of them and try them out. Stick to routes with less traffic and that have biking infrastructure in place.

Stay at a safe distance

A good rule of thumb for this is if you can’t see their mirrors, they can’t see you. Also, keep in mind that car mirrors have a blind spot, so make sure you’re always leaving a safe distance between yourself and cars.

Don’t box yourself

Just because you’re in a smaller vehicle doesn’t mean you should be riding in between lanes and merging from one lane to the other. Make sure you always have a clear exit and that you are guarding your lane; oftentimes cyclists tend to stick to the right side to make it easier for cars to overtake them, however, it’s safer to stick to the middle of the lane to increase your visibility.

Obey traffic laws

When you’re biking, you need to follow the same traffic laws as vehicles. Make sure you signal when you turn, make sure you stop at red lights, go in the same direction as traffic, etc.

Check your bike regularly

Make sure your wheels, handlebars, brakes, and bike chain are working properly. At Shift Workspaces, we offer bike tuning services to our members through Velofix and Shift also offers indoor and outdoor bike storage which makes biking to work a great alternative to sitting in traffic. 

 

Shift Workspaces Wins Alpine Bank’s Trailblazer Award

As part of its 45th-anniversary celebration, Alpine Bank recognized companies and individuals who have had a significant impact in their communities by donating resources, forging new partnerships and creating new, viable paths for the future.

Shift Workspaces is proud to have won Alpine Bank’s Trailblazer Award for our work in Denver and are honored to know that we share this award with great Colorado companies and individuals, like Klaus Obermeyer, The Vail Jazz Foundation, John Billings, Marble Distilling Co., and others.

Alpine Bank recognized us because it believes that Shift, in true trailblazing nature, introduced a new way of working to Denver. A way of working that’s centered around the human-experience and a commitment to everyone that walks through our doors. Shift cares for its members in a holistic way that makes their daily lives better. We sustain our members so they can sustain their families, their community, and the world.

Shift’s story is one that many people will identify with.

Our founder, Grant Barnhill, used to spend a significant amount of his time working in an environment that lacked natural light, didn’t foster human connection and didn’t have many of the things that he enjoyed outside of his office. In short, it didn’t add value to his life, it often took a lot out of it.

After speaking with people and asking what they wanted in an office space, Grant built a work community that incorporated the amenities, the spirit and the way his community wanted to work. Originally created as a head office, Shift eventually grew into a shared workspace environment. Ultimately, Grant felt like he had to share this with the larger community because it made such a difference in his personal and professional life. He also made a commitment to a larger vision when he started Shift-a commitment to using business as a force for good in the community.

Shift’s first location on Corona Street opened in 2012. We opened a second location at 1001 Bannock in 2017. And in 2018, Shift became a carbon neutral company and just this year, a certified B Corporation.

But our story wouldn’t be complete without our members’ stories, much like Alpine Bank’s wouldn’t be complete without its customers’ stories and successes. In the words of Alpine Bank’s Chairman J. Robert Young: “the success of the bank is a reflection of the well-being of the communities we serve.”

Why Shift Workspaces is Working to Become B-Corp Certified

Shift is passionate about building communities that enhance the health, peace of mind and the quality of life of our members, employees and neighbors. We value kindness and respect in our relationships and know that our own happiness and wellbeing is intertwined with others. We work to strengthen our local communities with the hope that they might begin to resemble the world in which we want to live. We are mindful of our environmental footprint and have committed to replace more resources than we consume as a company.

Since we opened our first Shift community in 2012, we’ve strived to be a business that is socially and environmentally responsible. When we first heard about the B Corp movement a few years ago, we knew that it was a natural extension of the mission we had already started. Becoming a certified B Corporation will take our relationship with sustainability and fair business to the next level.

Certified B Corporations, or B-Corps for short, are social enterprises certified by the nonprofit organization B Lab. B Lab certified companies based on how they create value for non-shareholding stakeholders; these include employees, customers, the local community, vendors, and environment.

Becoming B Certified is a long, rigorous process; one that can take months or years. We have devoted tremendous resources towards certification and we are thrilled to be joining a community that exists to use business as a force for good in our community and the world.

We will focus on five main principles as a BCORP: customer, vendor and employee happiness, volunteer hours, water conservation, electrical conservation, and maintaining a zero carbon footprint.

B Corporations are important today more than ever because they are setting a new standard on how business should be done. It’s no longer about who can do, produce, or operate more, instead it’s about who can do, produce, and operate better. We believe that our efforts to become a BCORP certified company demonstrate our commitment to our local community, our employees, the environment and our members and we hope that it inspires you to do the same.

How to Balance Real Life in a Social Media World

According to Statista, there are approximately 2.62 billion social media users in the world. Furthermore, Pew Research Center found that a significant percentage of social media users check the platforms on a daily basis.

The time we spend scrolling through our social media feeds or searching for videos, tips, trends, and the like has rocketed. What’s more, the amount of time we spend using these platforms has caught the eye of scientists and researchers that are investigating whether or not social media addiction constitutes a mental disorder.

So, in a world dominated by what’s happening online and who’s posting the best picture or video, how can you make sure you’re checked-in with reality?

1. Invest in an old-fashioned alarm clock
Though it may seem trivial, investing in a traditional alarm clock can help you decrease your phone–and therefore–social media usage. If your phone works as your alarm clock, then the first thing you check on as soon as you wake up is your phone, your text messages, your emails, your Instagram likes, etc. Having a real alarm clock to turn off will prevent you from engaging in this behavior early in the morning.

2. Call me, maybe?
Instead of sending a text, gif, snapchat, or voice note, when you want to have a conversation with someone, call. This will help you be truly engaged in the conversation you are having at hand, instead of switching between your texting app and your social media platform of preference while you are having a conversation.

3. Schedule some time to use social media
Instead of grabbing your phone or computer to check on social media every time you have a moment off, consider scheduling a set time every day, or every other day, to check different social media platforms. With time, you will enjoy social media much more this way and your productivity levels will increase.

4. Avoid using your phone before you go to bed
Since you won’t be using your phone as an alarm clock, there’s really no need for you to have your phone under your pillow or on your nightstand. Keep your in your closet, your dresser or another room when you go to bed. You’ll get a much better night’s sleep for it.

5. Don’t compare
Social media doesn’t accurately represent our lives. To keep your feet grounded and to keep your mental health in check, don’t compare yourself and your life to what you see on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, or any other social media platform. 

Extra tip: Need an excuse to motivate you to meet people face to face? Come check us out or attend some of our events. You can find our community events on our Facebook page.