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Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: October 16, 12:16 PM ET
Green with envy: 2012 eco gear guide

By Mike Horn (words) Meg Haywood-Sullivan (photos)
ESPN.com

Thirteen companies that are getting it right. Launch gear guide »

Two years ago there seemed to be quite a bit of momentum behind the drive to develop more eco-conscious hardgoods. That movement has since seemed to lose some steam. Either "eco" isn't being marketed to consumers nearly as heavily, or we're just a little jaded from expecting the ski and snowboard industry as a whole move beyond eco as a marketing concept to actually having some real pro-enviromental impacts on the ground.

That said, there are products out there being made by companies founded on a strong environmental ethic.

For example, pro snowboarder Jussi Oksanen's Mizu bottles were created to help reduce waste. "Brad Kremer and I wanted to do something about all the plastic water bottles that are piling up everywhere," Jussi says. "We wanted to create a brand that is cool, youthful and about taking action against plastic pollution, all without preaching to people."

Arbor snowboards is another example of a company trying to lead the way. "People expect performance and relevance, even when choosing a more environmentally friendly alternative," says Arbor founder Bob Carlson. "But in the end, we all need clean air to skate, clean water to surf, and snow to ride."

As for criteria used for this guide, it's important to understand that, whether or not something is or isn't "100-percent recycled," everything has a footprint. The goal here is to shine a light on some companies that make an honest effort to reduce the footprint created in the making of their products, and to provide consumers with a means to reduce their impact on the planet.