Newly Certified Sustainable Businesses in Sedona Verde ValleySNAP Fitness in West Sedona and SPEX (Sedona Philosophy Experience) just got certified as sustainable businesses at the Bronze/Conservationist level and McLean Meditation earned Silver/Innovator.
Thirty-five organizations are now certified as a Sustainable Business in a wide range of industries including community services, health and wellness, home and garden, and retail. They span the Verde Valley, including organizations in Clarkdale, Camp Verde, Cottonwood and Sedona.
Lin Ennis, VP of Operations and Marketing, is passionate about recycling. When she was at the Village fitness center, she instituted recycling there. It was a bit more difficult to get recycling going at the West Sedona location. So she convinced her boss to purchase recycling bins, though expensive, with lids that determine what can be put in them. Snap refurbishes the exercise benches and when they become too decrepit, Lin takes them to Sedona Recycles where one employee welds scraps into gates and art. To save money, energy and water, they discontinued giving every customer a fresh towel each time they come in. They believe caring about the environment more closely aligns them with their customers.
Snap Fitness, West Sedona location, Bronze
SPEX, Bronze:Andrea Christelle and her partner Matt Goodwin started SPEX to bring philosophy down to earth and out into the natural world. In the peripatetic tradition of Aristotle, they recommend thinking things over while you are on your feet. Both have a background teaching philosophy and environmental ethics at Northern Arizona University (where Matt still teaches.) They offer hikes and retreats at Red Rock State Park, Sedona’s environmental education center. They buy green power and have Dark Sky Compliant lighting. Matt volunteers on the board of SOAR, Save Our Ancient Red Rocks.
McLean Meditation Institute, SilverSarah McLean and her staff create programs to help people get grounded and reduce stress through mindfulness and meditation. She shares that, “once people settle down their nervous system with meditation, their awareness expands and they begin to recognize the interdependence of all things including their environment. This awareness often prompts them to create a healthier lifestyle. That’s what happened to me!”
Sarah educates her students about the benefits of a plant based diet, insists on buying recycled paper products for home and office, and recycles everything she can. The vehicles used for business are hybrids or a Tesla (charged by solar panels.) Sarah offers free or reduced fee meditation sessions to community organizations and donates a significant percentage of the center’s profits to charities which promote recycling, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare.
HIGHLIGHTING CERTIFIED BUSINESSES IN A VIDEOThe Sustainability Alliance is working on a video that will showcase certified businesses on SedonaFreeTV which has over 10 million subscribers. Many visitors use this channel to make decisions about where to stay and what to do. They plan to include tips for being a responsible tourist as well (eg, regarding social trails, graffiti, trash). If your business isn’t yet certified but would like to be considered for the video, get certified by answering a 12 question survey before January 1.
For a complete list of certified businesses organized by organization type, go to this link.
WHAT YOU CAN DOPlease favor businesses that make our community better. ‘Vote with your wallet’ by looking for the Sustainable Business Certification on the Who’s Certified page. (www.SustainabilityCertifications.org). And if you like a business that isn’t certified, encourage them to see if they can qualify.
MORE ABOUT THE CERTIFICATIONThe certification is a way to recognize and drive business toward companies that do the most for their employees, our community and the environment.
There are three levels of certification
- Conservationist (BRONZE): These organizations have reduced their negative impacts on the environment and improved the quality of life for employees and communities
- Innovator (SILVER): These organizations have become producers of sustainable resources, products and energy and are actively influencing customers, suppliers and peers
- Sustainable (GOLD): These organizations are fully sustainable, meeting globally accepted sustainability standards. They designed their business model around sustainable mission and share power and wealth with employees
WHO IS THE SUSTAINABILITY ALLIANCEIt is the desire of the Sustainability Alliance to make Sedona and Northern Arizona a destination of education on the principles and practices of sustainable living. There is an enormous opportunity to reach the many visitors to our area, and to leave them with a lesson to take home.
The Sustainability Alliance was founded by five regionally important organizations (Gardens for Humanity, Keep Sedona Beautiful, Sedona Recycles, Verde River Basin Partnership, and World Survival Foundation. The group is now involved in the certification of businesses and their sustainable business practices in the Verde Valley and Sedona area.
The Sustainability Alliance is an inter-disciplinary coalition of non-profits seeking opportunities to make the Verde Valley sustainable.