Eric Hindes, supervisor of the machine department at Moots, sets a machine up for its next task inside the Steamboat Springs factory. Moots collects shavings and small bits of material and takes them to Denver where they can be recycled. The company, which also recycles cardboard and any other materials that can be reused or recycled, was honored as the Steamboat Sustainable Business Consortium's Business of the Year. The Animal Healing Center, a local veterinary clinic, earned the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Photo by John F. Russell

Eric Hindes, supervisor of the machine department at Moots, sets a machine up for its next task inside the Steamboat Springs factory. Moots collects shavings and small bits of material and takes them to Denver where they can be recycled. The company, which also recycles cardboard and any other materials that can be reused or recycled, was honored as the Steamboat Sustainable Business Consortium's Business of the Year. The Animal Healing Center, a local veterinary clinic, earned the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Moots receives award from Steamboat Sustainable Business Consortium

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— When the Steamboat Sustainable Business Consortium launched in 2007, Moots was one of the first businesses to sign up.

In the years since, Moots has aggressively expanded its recycling and gone above and beyond in sustainable business practices, according to consortium executive director Lyn Halliday, and now the company has been named the Sustainable Business of the Year for 2013.

“They’ve really kept at it,” Halliday said. “I think that’s a good message.”

Halliday called it longevity, and Mike Sanders, president of Moots, said it's been an accumulation of the projects the Gold-certified consortium member has undertaken throughout the years.

Moots long has worked toward recycling or upcycling as much of the byproducts as it can from the manufacture of its signature titanium bike frames. Recently, that has included the long plywood boxes that its tubing comes in, which has proved tricky to recycle in the past.

Now, those boxes are taken by TwinEnviro Services to its location in Milner and made available for people to reuse.

Sanders said part of the company’s efforts involve being smarter about the little things. While Moots has recycled the metals from its production process for some time, it also started taking advantage of those trips to Denver to pick up items and save on freight at the same time.

Departments take turns being in charge of recycling, and even items from the packaging process are either reused or shared with another company.

“It’s a whole team thing of just figuring out how not to use the garbage as much,” Sanders said. “Our goal is to do the right thing but also do the economic thing.”

Halliday also cited the company’s commitment to community service as a factor in the award.

Moots offers a paid day for employees to volunteer in the community, Sanders said, and also has a program to encourage alternatives to individual car commuting that contributes to nonprofits.

Employees receive a dollar for each day they either bike, carpool, walk or take the bus to work, and they can choose to direct those dollars toward a Routt County nonprofit.

Sanders said there’s a really good awareness of recycling practices among employees.

“A lot of this has nothing to do with any general program that I put into place,” he said. “The employees themselves do it.”

Going forward, Sanders said, Moots will continue to look for savings and other ways to reduce waste.

The business of cycling itself is involved in sustainability, he said. More bikes on the road means fewer cars, less fuel burned and benefits everyone.

“We’re always going to promote those kind of things,” Sanders said.

2013 Outstanding Achievement Award

Animal Healing Center veterinary clinic in downtown Steamboat Springs is the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award from the Steamboat Sustainable Business Consortium.

The clinic, also a Gold-certified member of the consortium, took a number of steps when moving into its new location on Oak Street to become a more sustainable business.

Its new location uses almost all LED lighting and has radiant cove heaters to reduce electricity usage. The clinic also participates in TwinEnviro’s composting service, has reduced the use of toxic chemicals and has gone almost completely paperless.

Andi Kohler and Craig Stanton, owners and veterinarians at the center, took the inventive step of repurposing the wood they found when moving into the space to make desks and benches for the office.

The location was used by an interior design company, Kohler said, and when she was drawing out how to use the space, she and Stanton had the idea to design something and use the wood from paneling and shelves.

Halliday praised Kohler and Stanton’s efforts, adding that a lot of their accomplishments are expensive for a small business.

“They’ve gone out of their way to create a number of sustainable practices in their new facility,” Halliday said.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz

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