Conservation on her mind

Lyn Halliday helps businesses reduce waste, enhance sustainability

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Lyn Halliday.

— Todd Savalox will break down every piece of cardboard that comes through the Images of Nature art gallery and haul it away to be recycled.

He thinks he is already doing a lot as a business owner to be a more sustainable business and protect the environment. For instance, he replaced most of the light bulbs that were not essential in lighting the wildlife and nature photography in the downtown gallery with energy-efficient, long-lasting fluorescent bulbs.

"That's just part of our nature - preserving and protecting a beautiful place," Savalox said.

But Savalox thought he could do more, so he signed up to be a part of the Steamboat Sustainable Business Program.

"I think it's a great program, and I'm sure Lyn (Halliday) will have some great ideas that we haven't thought of," Savalox said. "She's sort of the expert there."

Before launching Environmental Solutions on March 1, Halliday worked for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. for nearly 14 years. She had numerous responsibilities, but with her education in environmental science and planning, Halliday acted as the director of environmental affairs for Ski Corp.

Last year, Halliday decided it was time "to go out and start my own thing." Environmental Solutions essentially will teach businesses how they can be more sustainable.

"It's not just environment," Halliday said. "It's economics, profitability, societal and community-oriented. It's a sustainable business program, but there is a green component as well."

Halliday's program has gained the support of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association as well as local businesses and organizations that

are leaders in the community when it comes to the environment and sustainability.

The chamber has hired Halliday as a consultant to make her services available to the more than 900 chamber members, for a fee ranging from $50 to $500 based on the number of employees. The Steamboat Sustainable Business Program, 100 More Years, coincides with the chamber's centennial birthday celebration.

"This makes for a great theme - being in business for the next 100 years," said Sandy Evans Hall, chamber executive vice-president. "We were looking for some programs that made sense, and this just made sense."

Businesses can sign up on the chamber's Web site to participate in the sustainability program.

"Businesses realize this is going to help define what success is," said Halliday. "We know the will is there, we're just trying to give them the how."

Halliday will guide businesses through the process once they sign up.

"I'll sit down with them and we'll walk though their operation," Halliday said.

Waste, electricity and water consumption will be examined and goals will be set for the business to work toward.

There are four different levels of certification. To achieve the highest certification, businesses have to reduce their annual landfill waste by 40 percent, among other things.

"Depending on what their goals are, we want them to be certified so they can be recognized in the community," Halliday said.

She thinks consumers will attach a value to certified businesses, but business owners also will realize cost savings associated with practicing sustainability.

"There is a nationwide movement that is changing the way businesses and consumers alike view their role in society relative to environmental impacts," Halliday said. "The change involves moving away from a sole focus on regulatory compliance and toward a multi-faceted big picture approach."

For more information, visit the chamber's Web site at www.steamboat-chamber.com/ or call the chamber at 875-7007. Call Halliday at 879-6323.

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