Keep Sedona Beautiful Annual Awards



February 7, 2020


Keep Sedona Beautiful has acknowledged environmental achievement with annual Awards of Excellence since 1972, and last week, the Chamber was among the honorees for helping move the Sustainable Tourism Plan forward.  In truth, the recognition is a salute to the 1000+ people, including the City Council, who made it happen and are implementing it today.  The Board and I accepted on behalf of everyone working to make Sedona sustainable, and this year’s awardees inspired us all.

Sedona Beer Company

Kali Gajewski and Mac Crawford’s craft beer haven is a leading example of local sourcing and sustainable business practices. The pair use base malt grown by the Hauser family farm and malted by Sinagua Malt in Camp Verde, whose techniques prioritize conservation, saving an estimated 324 million gallons of Verde River water. Kali and Mac, who are home-grown Sedonans, employ a residual hot water system that reduces the energy needed to clean dishes. They use squarrels instead of traditional barrels, consuming 1/3 less wood while providing the required micro-oxygenation. Sedona Beer Company is a Silver Certified Sustainable Business, and use Dark Sky compliant lighting. They also use Compost Crowd, a residential collection service that composts leftovers.  As an “Uptowner,” I and many of my uptown neighbors love having this local brewery in our backyard.

Local Juicery

Sedona natives Summer and Mike Sanders use only organic goods for their glowing juice, superfood-infused smoothies, and high vibrational foods. Committed to “serving our customers while avoiding commercial farming products,” their to-go only facility provides compostable straws and lids, only if asked. They are a proud participant of Straw Free Sedona. After lobbying Yavapai County to allow returnable bottles, they are switching to glass containers and converting equipment to permit on-premises glass recycling. The couple estimate they will reduce plastic containers by 90,000 units annually.

Mike Raney

Co-owner of Over the Edge, Mike Raney is a driving force behind the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, which attracts thousands of mountain bikers to a sustainable three-day festival each March and raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Sedona Red Rock Trail Fund. The Sedona Mountain Bike Fest embraces recycling, electronic tickets, leftover food collection for composting, and no vendor giveaway bags. Mike encourages vendors and sponsors to give back, last year working with the Can’d Aid Foundation to donate bikes to every first grader at West Sedona Elementary.  Mike is a board member of the Red Rock Trail Fund and a trail maintenance volunteer. “I want to help build a better community for all of us,” he says.

Snap Fitness VOC

Open all night, Snap Fitness voluntarily adopted Dark Sky standards, such as snapping off its lighted sign at 10 p.m., one of the many actions that make it a Certified Sustainable Business. Franchise owner Steele Sacks joined KSB to learn more about green power and today, Snap Fitness recycles trash and outdated equipment. Steele sponsors the work of Friends of the Verde River, attracting volunteers to help with cleanups.  An electric car driver and ‘environmental vegan,’ he believes we should examine our food and energy consumption as a “responsibility we have to each other.”

In accepting KSB’s award, The Board and I acknowledged the work of all those who helped develop the Sustainable Tourism Plan. We also thanked the many who laid the groundwork, some of whose work goes back more than 20 years. In an upcoming column, we will review some of these pioneering efforts.

                                                          –Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO