The EcoStar awards program, now in its 12th year, recognizes Montana businesses and organizations that are helping create more environmentally -- and economically -- sustainable communities by surpassing state and federal requirements to reduce solid and hazardous waste generation. The award winners conserve valuable resources such as water, energy and clean air, and serve as role models for the state with their pollution prevention efforts.
Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus, along with Schweitzer, thanked the recipients for their environmental efforts and the important role they hold in their communities.
"Sustainability gives businesses a competitive edge when it comes to operating business in ways that improve the community and connect with the consumer. The efforts required to be green can also save money and help the bottom line," Schweitzer said.
The 21 award winners represent 16 communities across Montana and are a diverse group, representing everything from community gardens, to restaurants, ranchers, builders, schools, spas and more.
"This year, the Ecostar winners combined to save more than six million gallons of water, conserved over 1.6 billion BTUs (British Thermal Units, a heating measurement), reduced 1.1 million pounds of hazardous waste, and saved $652,000 due to their pollution prevention efforts," said Jenny Grossenbacher, pollution prevention coordinator for MSU Extension.
"These savings have a significant impact in the state of Montana and serve as an excellent model for other businesses. These Montanans are leading their communities and working to preserve and protect our environmental resources. It is important to recognize and thank them for their efforts and leadership," Grossenbacher said.
For more information on the EcoStar program and detailed descriptions of individual winners, contact Grossenbacher at (406) 994-4292, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: http://www.mtp2.org/ecostar.html.
Businesses recognized for 2011 EcoStar Awards by area (*repeat winners):
*Mackenzie River Pizza Co. in Billings, Bozeman, Belgrade, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, Missoula, Whitefish and Kalispell
*Sage Spa Living in Billings and Bozeman
*Delaware North Co. Parks and Resorts at Yellowstone in Bozeman and Yellowstone National Park
Kampgrounds of America, Inc.
*St. Vincent Healthcare
*Boulder Hot Springs Inn, Spa and Retreat
The All American Home, Anders and Jake Lewendal
*Bozeman Green Build
*Cold Springs Ranch
*Get'n Green LLC
*Yellowstone Business Partnership
Pea Pods Gardens
Snowy Mountain Industries
Libby Dam project, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
*Montessori Island School
*Oasis Environmental, Inc.
Eastern Montana Industries
*Providence St. Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center
Shelby Recycling Association
Tracy Ellig, (406) 994-5607 or email@example.com