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Backpacker Magazine –

Green Guide Exclusive Online Materials

Information on 19 more "green" companies and an interview with Big Agnes's Bill Gamber

by: The Backpacker Editors

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Green Gear Report Card
Fully recycled sleeping bags. Employee incentives for biking to work. Wind-powered office space. Outdoor gear makers are taking significant steps to improve transparency and reduce their carbon output. Many are combining greener manufacturing and business practices to reduce impact. Here's a sampling of what several companies are up to.

Founded in 2004 and based in New York City, Ailin is a fashion-focused women's apparel and outerwear brand designed for climbers, surfers, skiers, riders, runners, yogis and explorers. Ailin uses eco-friendly fabrics, manufacturing, packaging and distribution.

All Terrain
This skin-care manufacturer uses only natural ingredients and recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable packaging. A just-completed audit estimated All Terrain's carbon footprint at 89 metric tons annually; it is responding by improving energy efficiency and waste reduction, obtaining renewable energy, and purchasing carbon offsets. In 2008, All Terrain will ask all of its suppliers to analyze and improve their own footprints.

Atsko Sport Wash
All Atsko products are made in the USA in strict accordance with applicable labor and environmental laws without producing any hazardous chemical or biological waste. Sport-Wash residue-free detergent has been tested and proven to be readily biodegradable, made from environmentally safe renewable vegetable surfactants. Silicone Water-Guard uses recycled Carbon Dioxide instead of Propane Isobutane as a propellant yielding 1/3 more useable product while giving greater coverage per container. Permanent Water-Guard contains no solvents and is water based meeting stringent European standards for environmentally safe.

Black Diamond
Black Diamond has a strong ethic in activism and environmental conservation. Its work includes support for non-profit groups including the Access Fund, the Utah Avalanche Center, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, and key roles in both the Castleton Tower Preservation Initiative and the Red Mountain Project. In 2004, Black Diamond became one of the first major manufacturers in Utah to become an EPA Green Power Partner and CEO Peter Metcalf has been recognized for his ongoing and active fight to maintain roadless wilderness to help preserve pristine areas.

Clif Bar
Since 2006, Clif has increased its use of organic ingredients by 70%, to about 20 million pounds per year. It's striving to become a "zero waste" company, using nontoxic inks and recycled paperboard in its packaging, and eliminating shrink-wrap. Employees use biodiesel-fueled vehicles for inter-company shipping and mobile marketing. Clif's Cool Commute program was the first U.S.-based initiative to reward employees who purchase biodiesel vehicles, ride bikes, carpool, or walk to work. In partnership with American Forests, Cool Commute plants trees to offset commuting miles and purchases wind energy to offset the CO2 generated by manufacturing, distribution, office operations, and business travel.

DuPont pioneered a way to produce 1, 3 propanediol or PDO from renewable resources, mainly corn sugar. 1, 3 propanediol is a key ingredient in the production of Sorona polymer. Substituting renewable resources in the production of Bio-PDO reduces the use of petrochemicals in the production of Sorona. DuPont Sorona polymer is manufactured in a continuous polymerization process; as a result, processing problems and waste generation are minimized, leading to increased productivity and efficiency and more consistent quality.

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