Here’s 5 of the Best companies that not only keep the outdoors in mind, but design there businesses around sustainable environmental practices and products. Patagonia, Inc. Patagonia’s commitment to protecting the environment is the driving force behind the company. Founded in 1972 by pioneer rock climber Yvon chouinard, Patagonia leads the way in sustainable outdoor clothing, and a new “cause no unnecessary harm” business model. The recycled polyester and organic cotton used to make their durable, minimalist clothing is just one of many environmental initiatives from Patagonia. Others include grant programs, World Trout Initiative, Common Threads recycling program, and the list goes on and on. Yvon also co-founded One Percent For The Planet, an alliance of businesses that pledge to donate 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the environment. Patagonia’s mission statement, and the fact that they adhere to it, says it all, “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” Comet Skateboards Comet is changing the way skateboards are made. The industry as a whole is moving towards more sustainable practices, but Comet is setting a new standard with what they call “Closed Loop Manufacturing.” Using William McDonough’s concept of “Cradle to Cradle,” Comet examines the entire life cycle of their skateboards and bi-products. Highlights: Renewable energy FSC-certified hardwoods Water-based clear coat Water-based inks Zero formaldehyde glues Renewable bio-composites Regional supply chain Compost or re-purpose all scraps New Belgium Brewery Beer and the outdoors; it’s a harmonious marriage that’s stood the test of time, and hardly any outdoor adventure would be complete without a tasty cold one. New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado understands this and they are doing their part to keep the link between the happy couple clean. New Belgium, an employee-owned company was the first American brewery to use wind energy to power it’s facility. The brewery also uses methane gas, a byproduct of their water treatment plant to produce 15% of their power. What else do they do? They use recycled glass bottles for their beer, ship it on bio-diesel trucks, have an onsite dirt-bike track, climbing wall, and, yoga classes and they have their own sustainability specialist on hand. Best of all, the beer is delicious and goes down easy! Hess Surfboards Chances are you won’t find Hess Surfboards at your local shop, but putting in the work to get one of these handmade boards is worth the effort. Owner and shaper Danny Hess is creating some of the most unique, and sustainable surfboards on the market. A surfer and carpenter, Danny uses molded perimeter frames made from poplar, a more sustainable wood than slower-growing redwood or cedar, and recycled expanded polystyrene to make his unique boards. The result is a beautiful, high performance surfboard that weighs no more than the standard polyurethane boards. Hess also takes the leftover scrape wood and uses it to make some of the coolest looking hand planes for bodysurfing I’ve seen. Above all us, being a role model for the surfboard industry might be Hess’s biggest contribution to the environment. In an industry that makes boards as near through away items, Hess builds boards strong enough to last a lifetime. Klean Kanteen The stainless steel water bottle company has been helping to keep BPA (Bisphenol A) out of our environment, external and internal since 2004. Klean Kanteen uses food-grade stainless steel and BPA-free plastics for the caps. Even better is the companies “Reflect” series featuring a bamboo and stainless steal cap with no plastic and no paint. Along with being a member of 1% For The Planet, the company offsets renewable energy credits for there distribution facilities and in 2010 launched the “The Green Shipping” program to offset the carbon footprint from all online orders. As plastic fills our oceans and endangers wildlife, you can feel good about carrying your water in a Klean Kanteen and ditching the plastic.