Outdoor Recreation Industry Thrives in Colorado with Innovative Sustainable Practices

The #ShopLocalColorado campaign this April celebrates Earth Day by highlighting sustainable products and initiatives by outdoor recreation and renewable energy businesses throughout Colorado. We invite business owners and community partners to utilize the #ShopLocalColorado toolkit to share the shop local message and encourage all Coloradans to shop locally, support our small businesses and boost our economy.


mountainFLOW believes in a "No Compromise" approach to product development and strives to create the world's best high-performance and eco-friendly bike lubes. While nearly all bike lube is made from petroleum, mountainFLOW's products are biodegradable and made from plants while still delivering the performance needed for Colorado's terrain. As founder Peter Arlein said, “mountainFLOW's all-weather bike lube is perfect for Colorado. Whether you're navigating an afternoon rain shower or charging through the desert, mountainFLOW bike lube will keep your drive train running smoothly in all conditions."


Airflo USA, based out of Montrose, Colorado, offers some of the world's best performing and most environmentally-friendly fly fishing lines. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) line manufacturers must use plasticizers to make their lines supple enough to be cast. The plasticizers contain chemicals that are known environmental toxins, contaminating the water and the fish. Airflo has never used PVC in its lines and is working towards making fishing safer and more sustainable for the planet. "More and more, we need to think about the future and what manufacturing does to the environment. Our fly lines are the safest for the planet, and we're proud to say it," said David Dragoo, founder and executive chairman at Airflo USA.

Big Agnes

Big Agnes, the Steamboat Springs-based outdoor equipment brand, was the first to introduce solution-dyed fabric tents and sleeping pads made with sugarcane extract. “Big Agnes is committed to producing gear made from the most sustainable materials possible to help minimize our environmental impacts and increase the durability of our products,” said Bill Gamber, co-founder and president of Big Agnes. “The unique materials sourced for these tents and pads will help lower energy consumption, water use and chemicals used for production. Our team is working hard to reduce our impacts, one tent and pad at a time.” 

Grass Sticks

Grass Sticks makes beautifully handcrafted, high-performing, eco-friendly ski poles and paddles from bamboo. All products are hand-built with custom options in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Traditional carbon fiber and aluminum ski poles are mined from the earth, industrially manufactured and mass-produced. This uses an incredible amount of energy and places a burden on our environment. Per acre harvested, bamboo produces three times as much lumber as trees, absorbs more CO₂ and produces more oxygen than any other plant. "I wanted to create a ski pole that people love. Grass Sticks are not the overlooked piece of gear that traditional poles are. It’s been incredible to create a product that our customers love, and make it from a sustainable resource, too” said founder, Andrew Beckler.

Jack’s Solar Garden

Jack’s Solar Garden is a community solar garden that produces 1.2 megawatts to power 300 homes in Boulder County. The business is family-owned and partners with research institutions to learn how to grow crops in the same space that they harvest solar, known as dual-use land management. This technique, agrivoltaic, is an innovative way to take advantage of valuable land. They have expanded operations past solar sales to establish an educational nonprofit, Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Center, offering tours of the garden and a space for students and community members to learn more. Public and private tours of the solar garden will be available starting May 1.


These are just a few of the many Colorado companies that prioritize innovative, sustainable technology and minimizing their environmental footprint. To submit a company to be featured, fill out this form

Visit the #ShopLocalColorado toolkit