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.

HighlComet Skateboardights:

     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

NewBelgium.headquartersBeer 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.

cap-3What 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.walnut

A surfer and carpenter, Danny uses molded perimeter frames made from poplar, a more sustainable wood than slower-growing redwood or cedar, and recycled expanHess_Portrait_0562ded 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

Reflect6The 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.

About The Author

Lauren Rains is the editor at large of Outdoor Minded Mag. She is struck by wanderlust, and spends most waking hours of her life either exploring the outdoors around the globe or working on various passion projects be it film to microadventures to cooking chili. You can read about her adventures in life, biz and travel on her blog, and catch up with her on Twitter at @LaurRAINS.