And Just How Good is the Air in YOUR House?

We sell a lot of indoor air quality test kits.  I wonder why?  Possibly because breathing is kind of important, and people generally prefer there air without bad stuff in it.   Hmmmmmmmmh.  Or maybe because they just want to tell their neighbor our air is better than your air.  Or throw the question back to their mother-in-law – you think my house is dirty?  Have you even HAD your air tested?  Whatever the reason, checking for any or all of:

Mold – identifies up to 50 types of species
Pollen – tests the pollen count in your home
Dust – tests for the most common allergens in the air
Dander – insect and pet dander are common allergens for humans
Bacteria – tests for all airborne bacteria
Carcinogenic Fibersfiberglass and asbestos
Full AnalysisMold, Dander, Carcinogenic Fibers, Pollen, Bacteria, Dust

Just seems to be popular.  So I was excited to hear about the inspirations of the people at Techtron behind the product.

Nancy Rymer’s take on why people care maybe be more professional than mine: She said that one of the reasons they felt the Jossam, Indoor Air Kit was beneficial is that more and more of the public are starting to make changes to their homes.  In the process of doing that, if they are removing any materials from their home they may be contaminating their indoor air; like rattling settled mold, carcinogenic fibers, dander, etc.    Jossam is a great tool to test their air to make sure that their home improvement will be beneficial. Another great benefit of Jossam is that the consumer is getting professional laboratory results, along with a report outlining the findings.

Name:  Nancy Rymer, Executive

Company:  Techtron Engineering, Inc.

What’s your personal definition of greening?

Clean, natural, re-use and non-toxic

How did you get started in green business?

Techtron Engineering developed a patented consumer product; Jossam, Indoor Air Kit.  We solicited Green Home.

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

Green Home was an established online Green Store that had a broad variety of products.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

Be more environmentally conscientious.

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

JOSSAM the Indoor Air Quality Kit (Editor’s note, it runs anywhere from $24 to $185, depending on how comprehensive you want it).  FAQs here

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

The public has become more and more aware of using sustainable products.  Learning more about products and how many products can be not healthy and  toxic to their own health and environment.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

We believe that there are products that are beneficial and some not.  Unfortunately, some products have been developed to jump on the “green bandwagon”

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

I believe the public is far more knowledgeable, but education is an ongoing process.

Bio “degrade” that Grease Away

Biodegradable. Hypo-Allergenic. Phosphate Free. What more is there is say?

Only $24, Charlie’s soap cleaning kit contains three amazing cleaning products you cannot be without – Laundry Powder, All Purpose Cleaner and a Pocket cleaner! Charlie’s Soap is environmentally friendly to all land, air and marine life, when used as directed, because it contains only the purest natural ingredients.Charlie\'s Soap Kit

Charlie’s Soap contains no lye, phosphates, bleach, brighteners, dyes, softeners, petroleum, perfumes, or other fillers to fool you into thinking you just cleaned something.  And we’re excited to get Charlie’s Soap President Taylor Sutherland’s view on greening.

Name: Taylor Sutherland, President

Company: Charlie’s Soap

What’s your personal definition of greening?

We believe in maximizing our profit.  And to do that, we must provide a good that our customers want, and want to buy regularly.  We cannot reach that goal by theft or by fraud.  We must really make a product that works.  We must make it safe for them and the environment in which we all live.  What good is money, if we’re all too sick or dead from environmental poisons to use it?

How did you get started in green business?

My father started the business, and I found the challenge over the last 10 years exhilarating.

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

Axil Comras (our founder) called us after seeing the impact our product has on its customers.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

We recycle, try to make our home energy efficient, drive conservatively to keep fuel use down.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

Do your homework.  Not all “greening” is green.  Make sure that products are really biodegradable.  And if it’s energy efficient, make sure you don’t have to use it 3 times to get the same effect as a “less green” unit in one use.

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

Other than our product, I can’t answer that well, as I do most of my shopping locally.   (Editor’s note: Wow Taylor, that’s about the only answer you could have given that didn’t involve buying from us that I’d still like!)

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

The rise of “green-washing” and the backlash of the public to that fraud and a push towards real green tech.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

When developed with the total energy cost in mind, green tech is a good goal to pursue.  It must be better and of better value than its non-green counterparts to really make the difference.  In an age where despite rhetoric, non-green companies purchase favor from the government, real green companies must work hard to prove their products are a better value to customers.  This thorn in the side of new green-tech companies is a good thing as it will force us to innovate and create grass-roots fans who tell all their friends about the better products.  Against this kind of ground swell, the public can really win…over time.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

Lots and lots more.  Because in our industry, they assume green doesn’t clean.  Charlie’s Soap is different.  And we make them aware of it one at a time.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

A device that bridges the gap between existing tech and far-fetched green tech that the public won’t trust.  I would like to see a revolutionary way to extract oil, our most renewable resource from shale that takes little time and effort and doesn’t disrupt the surroundings.  This would let people keep their oil, and allow us to grow towards energy efficiency but without disrupting the economy which will eventually fuel better and greener ideas.

Thank you for your time- we are looking forward to many more years working with you!

Greening is a Term That’s Tough to Define

Greening is a term that’s tough to define, and it’s getting more confusing for buyers every day.  I try to keep it simple: being “green” means making decisions that are better: making decisions that have a positive environmental impact, no matter how big or small that impact is.

How did you get started in green business?

When I first moved to Boulder at age 25, I started seeing a few “corn cups” around town (disposable cups that are compostable, and made from corn, rather than regular petroleum-plastic cups) from a local manufacturer called Eco-Products.  When my dad was out for a visit from Oregon, I was raving to him about the cups while we were enjoying a coffee in the afternoon.  He said he’d never seen me so excited about a product before, and told me I should really look at working there.  The next day, I jumped online to research positions, and four weeks later I started with Eco-Products as their local sales rep!

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

At National Eco Wholesale (NEW), we pride ourselves on finding products that are good for the planet, and easy for consumers to switch to, whether that’s a reusable lunch box to replace a paper sack, or an organic fertilizer to help keep our streams and families safe.  Greenhome.com seems to share these values: make it easy, and make it better.  That’s why we chose to support and supply Green Home.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

I believe that it’s most important for business and companies to take small steps that are easy to stick with, and that’s what I encourage at NEW and in my home.  In the office, we are a zero-waste facility, which means that we recycle and compost as much as possible, and try to send the least amount of waste to the landfills.  Whenever new employees come on board, I take it upon myself to educate them about their trash, and despite them thinking that I’m crazy for digging through waste, they recognize that our goals and our actions are in line with our mission.  We are also led by example, and are fortunate to have a President who gets around town by his hybrid Prius, or on his electric scooter.

In my home, I am focused on recycling, and using natural and organic products when it makes sense, both for the environment, and for my wallet.  I stopped eating meat, and try to purchase only locally grown produce from my neighborhood farmers market.  I tried my own gardening too, but have decided that it’s best left to the professionals!   My husband and I drive rarely, carpool frequently, and do our part to preserve the environment and the nature around us that we love.  We also volunteer to pick up litter, build trails, and encourage recycling at Red Rocks, the most beautiful, natural music venue in Colorado!

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

The best greening advice that I can provide a customer is to make small steps that you can stick with.  The changes that you make in your life must be easy for you to implement and must be financially feasible, in order to stick with them.  And, if everyone makes small changes, we’ll start to see a big impact!  Explore your local farmers markets, plant some trees, volunteer to help clean up your neighborhood park, ride a bike to work once a week, and make smart purchasing choices when it’s time to buy something new!

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?
Preserve
I love kitchen- and tableware products from Preserve!  The products are brightly colored, incredibly durable and work great!  Best of all, they are manufactured in the US, are created from 100% recycled plastic, and are priced the same or better than their non-green counterparts.  Preserve is the perfect example of a company producing green products in a sustainable way, providing value to consumers, and protecting the environment.

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

Growth and awareness!  “Green” is a booming industry, and consumers are definitely recognizing that their dollars speak.  Consumers are also becoming more knowledgeable about what constitutes a “green” product, and what may be a green product in disguise (which I refer to as “greenwashing”).  The abundance of products and services available to this conscious consumer base has grown dramatically over the last five years.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

I absolutely believe that green products make a difference, particularly those that save resources, provide for waste diversion, or reduce a carbon footprint.  But, consumers must recognize that it’s not just green products that will save our planet; it’s also the decisions that we make on a daily basis.  It’s important to recognize that simply buying a new green product isn’t always going to be the best option; for example, if you’re doing a makeover on a room in your home, don’t go out and buy all new furniture made of eco-friendly bamboo, but rather look at what you can reuse and repurpose from your existing set.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

Many consumers are aware of green products, but there will always be a need for more education.  New technologies, challenges and solutions arise, and it’s up to sellers and educators to keep consumers informed.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

Teleportation!

Melissa Hauser, National Eco Wholesale

Water, Water, Why Don’t You Save Yourself?

Water saving devices are often the unsung hero, forgotten solider, forlorn hope, and every other bad war cliche you can think of.  But it really is important to do our part in the fight for water conservation.  That’s one reason we started carrying the Instant Off Water Saver, (a pack of 3 is only $20 as of this posting).  And why we’re really excited to profile the President and founder of Instant Off.

And how can you go wrong with a product that pays for itself in 2-3 months!?

Name: Steve Gordon, President
Company: INSTANT OFF, INC.Instant Off

Greening to me means making the choice to be the type of person who respects the world’s natural resources and make an effort to conserve and protect them. Greening means being concerned with the state of all of our natural resources including the air we breath, the water we drink, natural habitat, rivers and streams and open space.

I got started in green business in 1991 because I wanted to make a difference. Water conservation has always been my passion.  I was lucky enough to design a product that can do so much for so many people. After 19 years I still get excited telling people about the INSTANT-OFF. I like things that don’t break and that attitude has led me on an ongoing quest for ever increasing durability and quality.

We are constantly searching for environmental companies that are committed to selling innovative products that make a difference. We found Green Home while doing research on the internet. I was impressed with their selection of products and their website.  We chose Greenhome.com as a marketing-partner to increase our sales and public awareness of our products.

Of course we have the INSTANT-OFF installed in our facility.  Our assembly plant and corporate offices share the same building space to reduce power consumption.   We have reduced the amount we print and are trying to become virtually paperless.  We also recycle all bottles and cans. At home I do my best to conserve, turning the thermostat up, using the cold water from the shower to water the plants, recycling more and turning off lights that aren’t being used.

The best greening advice we can give people who want to start “greening their home”  is to start with installing the INSTANT-OFF on all their faucets.  Start with a product that is easy to install, easy to use,  inexpensive and is made in the USA.  If half the homes in America installed the INSTANT-OFF we would save Tens of Billions of gallons of water every year.

Other than my biased answer that the INSTANT-OFF is the best product GreenHome.com carries, I would have to say that the AQUS Grey Water System (Editor’s note only $295 as of this writing saving 10-20 gallons per day) is a very cool addition that homes should have.

I think the biggest change in the green sector is that it’s now popular to be “green”.   Since the Presidential election in 2008, corporate America has finally embraced environmental responsibility.  I’ve been in water conservation for 19 years and its great to never hear your people tell me that I’m ahead of my time.

Green products make a difference because they help get consumers involved in the environmental movement. One small change leads to another small change that leads to more positive changes. Green products facilitate positive change toward environmental responsibility.

I think consumers are aware, but there is a lot more education that is needed.  I feel most average consumers think that being “green” involves too much work and requires changing habits that are tough to break. It is important for environmental companies to carry a wide range of different products and to have a tool on their website that sorts by price. Providing price sorting encourages people to start “greening” even though they may be on a budget and makes giving environmental gifts easy.

Actually I am already working on the perfect green invention. Can’t go into many details but I will say that’s it a new way to save power in your home and it will be the perfect expansion of the INSTANT-OFF product line.

Thanks Steve!  Keep up the world greening.

Ionize Away Them Thar Spots and Stains

We’ve carried a wide range of San Francisco based Orbeco’s Ion based cleaning supplies for a long time, and are just about the only place on the web you can get them!  It’s a long time favorite of our hospitality small business customers.

Name: Guy de Lacrose, COO

Company: Orbeco, Inc.

The Orbeco Story

The story of Orbeco Inc. began in the early 90’s in the heart of France, a region called Puy de Dome where a brilliant inventor and chemist was retired from years in the pharmaceutical and cosmetology industries. He became very concerned with the number of harmful or dangerous chemicals becoming more and more part of the products we use daily. His strong personal convictions and his creativity made him look for natural alternatives.
He developed several processes for different industries but always with the same ulterior purpose: to improve the capability of a product while making it healthier for the consumers and cleaner for the environment. His research was an instant success.
His inventions has since been adopted by some of the largest corporations who saw in his creations new ways to decrease waste and help our surroundings.

Today, the headquarters of our company, Orbeco Inc., are still located in the original site, the Puy de Dome. While staying a family business, Orbeco Inc. implemented its US headquarters in San Francisco in September 2005 to offer a complete line of products that respond to US officials’ concerns regarding the lack of true environmental products. Since its inception, Orbeco Inc. has already supplied to their utmost satisfaction clients as diverse as the most prestigious hotels and casinos as well as convention centers, airports, restaurants…

A few of the advantages of ionization based cleaners:

• Safe
• Instant results: no rinsing, vacuuming or waiting to see results
• Odor-free: no emission of odor
• Non-toxic: non irritating to normal skin
• Non-flammable: does not contain any solvent
• No testing on animals
Woolsafe certified
• pH Neutral

What’s your personal definition of greening? Using natural products, harmless to humans and the environment.

How did you get started in green business? In 2005, by looking at green alternatives to cleaning.

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com? Greenhome specialized in online sales of green products.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk? Recycling, saving and using natural products.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers? Look at labels carefully and check the certifications

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries? Our Ionization based wool safe carpet cleaner, of course!

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started? Growing awareness of customers

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why? Yes they do, especially with the increasing number of chemicals we are immersed in.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do? Yes they do and a lot more education is needed.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be? A green disinfectant and we just patented it. (Editor’s note:  We’re looking forward to carrying it!)

Thanks Guy!

“NEVER use disposables! It will change your life.”

As you can see from the something like 399 organic cotton products we carry, it’s a huge item in greening your home and business.  I think it’s the passion in her view of her business that makes it so wonderful.   I just have to introduce Julie with two lines from her bio:

“Business Is Personal.”

I don’t think outside the box, at Fiberactive there is no box.”

Name: Julie Mullin, Alpha

Company: Fiberactive Organics, LLC

What’s your personal definition of greening?

I like to use the phrase “living more lightly on the earth”.   It includes everything from eating lower on the food chain to picking up liter then I go fishing or hiking.  It means not letting the water run while I’m washing my hands and it means never owning a dryer, never buying plates &  napkins or drinking bottled water.

How did you get started in green business?

My father raised our food organically all the time I was growing up. My life and business have always been as green as I could make them.

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

I wanted to sell my organic cotton linens and I knew Green Home would do a good job of reaching the public.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

Our manufacturing studio is lit with sky lights so we use very little electricity.  I design products to use our scraps and anything that’s not usable goes into our compost for our community garden.  My workers can work at home so we cut down on driving.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

NEVER use disposables!  It will change your life.

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

Hand dyed dinner napkins.  They’re so soft and absorbent they make every meal luxurious.

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

I’ve been organic for so long, there are a millions things that have changed over the years.  It’s been a very gradual process of educating he public. I guess the biggest recent change is how willing the public is to hear the truth and respond to it.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

I know many products can make a huge difference!  If you consider how many paper towels will be replaced in the lifetime of one set of organic cotton napkins, a family of four will save tons of trees.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

Consumers are much better educated now than ever before, but there are still many that haven’t heard and many more that don’t want to hear the truth.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

Rather than inventing something new, I have a list of things that I would like to remove from existence:  Plastic wrappers, bottled water, pesticides, etc.

Wow Julie, it’s always good to see busines people as passionate about the world as you!

Greening = Yellow+ Blue, as Long as it’s Recycled

Everyone needs office supplies.  Preferably those that do no harm to the environment we live in (or as little harm as possible).

Name:    David Stober, CEO

Company:  ReBinder

What’s your personal definition of greening?

The combination of blue and yellow 🙂 Aligning environmental considerations with personal or business and economic.

How did you get started in green business?

ReBinder was started 6 years ago with the creation of the ReBinder Original recycled binder.  Since then we have expanded our product lines to include two additional binder lines, binder accessories, presentation folders, journals, media cases and sleeves, and labels – all made in the USA, truly recyclable, with No Landfill Required.
Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

In a market that is cluttered with meaningless ‘green’ certifications and greenwashing, Greenhome.com has helped certify ReBinder’s products not to some sort of organization, but to the group that really matters, the market.  Customers go to Greenhome.com expecting them to do some of the heavy lifting associated with the filtering of all this noise – this is why we chose to partner with Greenhome.com

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

In 2009 ReBinder moved its corporate headquarters closer to its supply chain and distribution, thereby reducing local transportation and cutting costs.  As a normal course of business, we also do quarterly packaging reviews to see where we can do more with less, also reducing impact and costs.  Operationally, we have and continue to leverage technology to its fullest extent making the company more efficient and less wasteful.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

Not too much yellow, not too much blue…a good mix.  Hitting home runs is not the only way to score runs – singles work too.  Take a look at your daily life and just be conscience of what you use, how you use it, and whether there is a more responsible alternative.  Every binder counts.

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

Our 1″ ReBinder Original.  It’s both reusable with it’s removable ring mechanism which also makes it truly recyclable.  It’s made from SFI certified recycled corrugated cardboard, Made in the USA, and has a raw and natural look that screams responsible.  It’s the binder that started the recycled binder revolution – often imitated, but never duplicated.
     
What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

The biggest change that I have seen in green sector is the change from cause to this now ‘fashion’ of being green.  You can’t argue the benefit of this change.  However, it also creates huge opportunities for some less-than-ethical marketers to take advantage of this with greenwashing and false environmental statements.  In addition, companies that make and sell responsible products are beginning to realize they must compete in their own markets…not just the ‘island’ of green business.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

Yes I do think they make a difference, if for no other reason then with the population growth we can not continue to perpetuate the acceptance and use of landfills.  It does not take a person being a scientist to understand this is not sustainable.  However, while I believe ‘green’ products I am as equally jaded because of the greenwashing and blatant misrepresentations – a problem not solved by additional legislation, but by consumers putting the time and effort needed to see through it to the truly responsibly choices.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

We are going up and to the right in terms of awareness.  However, with the growing popularity of green and responsible products come the opportunities for people and companies to prey on this with the greenwashing and false claims.  Again, it’s the consumers responsibility to know the products they are buying, who makes them, and their agenda.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

iPhone App that allows you to snap a pic of a product and upload to validate environmental statements.

 

     
Thank you for your time- we are looking forward to many more years working with you!
    

Tree Free Sneezing

Nothing quite like the mental picture of sneezing or blowing your nose into a tree free tissue, now is there?  Except perhaps the image of blowing your sweet nose into sugar cane tissue!

Name:  Ralph Bianculli, Jr

Company/Products: Emerald Brand, Tree Free Facial Tissue

What’s your personal definition of greening?

A product made in an environmentally preferable way. Whether the raw materials are renewable/sustainable/recycled. All chemicals in our products are environmentally safe and chlorine free. A reduction in carbon footprint from a similarly equivalent product.

How did you get started in green business?

We began in 1998 with 4 SKUS of 100% recycled products. We now produce more than 60 environmentally friendly SKUS including paper made from sugarcane waste that is traditionally burned.

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

You guys have a wonderful message and a true commitment to become green. (Though I wish you would sell some more of our Tree Free products..!) (Editor’s note, Ralph, what are you waiting for?  Call us and sell us more!)

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

We recycled all around the office, use all of our green products in the office environment, limit printing per employee, and use eco-efficient distribution logistics.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

Do some research on the product you’re purchasing, make sure the company is credible and that the product is truly GREEN.

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

Tree free facial tissue, of course!

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

The biggest challenge is converting customers over to green at cost neutral or less, something which we have overcome in the last few years. It’s fantastic, now consumers can spend the same amount of money and use our eco-friendly products. It’s an easy choice for them.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

ABSOLUTELY! Take a look at our eco-calculator on our homepage and you’ll see!

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

Consumers are much more aware. Since we launched our tree free line with the Duane Reade/Walgreens group the numbers speak for themselves , as we outsold Charmin for the first time in Duane Reade’s history. Consumers still need to be educated though. They need to know things go beyond “recycled”.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

It’s a secret!

Thank you for your time- we are looking forward to many more years working with you!

When Does BYOB Not Stand for “Bring Your Own Beer”?

Michelle, I’m loving the Earth Angel and BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag phrases.  But then again I like bags, reading funny t-shirts and bumper stickers, and the Earth, so it figures.

Name: Michelle Jayme, Owner/Uber Designer (Editor’s words, not Michelle’s)

Company: Bag Revolution

What’s your personal definition of greening?

Live with the future in mind and it will be easy to make “green” decisions every day.

How did you get started in green business?

Being based on the east coast of the U.S., I took a trip to San Francisco a few years ago and was inspired by the city’s green initiative. I designed bags that had a cool environmental message rather than a store logo, while staying affordable. We have since been reaching customers worldwide.

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

Green Home is a leading source for environmentally friendly products. It is easy to navigate and very shopper friendly.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

We do not own a filing cabinet. We do our best to reduce on office supplies and papers by doing all of our work electronically.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

Reduce the earth’s waste by eliminating the use of plastic bags one day at a time.

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

Bag Revolution Bags, of course. 
 
What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

Awareness is broader than ever.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

Yes. It simply makes sense.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

Yes, but more media coverage and education wouldn’t hurt.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

That is top secret!

 

Thank you for your time- we are looking forward to many more years working with you!

What Do an Old Farm, Recycled Plastic, and Cutting Boards Have in Common?

 

Stephen, it’s always amazed me what you can do with post consumer plastic.  Recycled, stylish clipboards and cutting boards?  But of course, why didn’t I think of that!

Name: Stephen W Yemm

Company: Yemm & Hart Ltd

What’s your personal definition of greening?

Doing as many things as possible to help our society be less wasteful, less polluting and less destructive in the extraction of our natural resources.

How did you get started in green business?

Upon realizing that furniture could be made from panels of recycled plastic, we decided to make the panels.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

Our company makes and sells materials and products with recycled content. At home we are avid recyclers and use energy efficient lighting. We work from our home and thus do not commute and on the old farm we are stewards of, we have planted over 20,000 mixed variety native trees.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

The best greening advice I can give to Greenhome.com customers is to do whatever you can afford to do and realize that everything helps and sets a good example for the next generation to follow and improve on.

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

I would have to say Organic Cotton products would be my favorite (Editor’s note, that’s a big favorite, we have like 399 different organic cotton products, thingamajigs, doodads, and wearables,!)

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

The biggest change in the green sector since we started in 1989 that I can think of is that the US Green Building Council is having a positive environmental effect on some new construction.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

I think making, selling and purchasing green products, helps to keep alive a fledgling business whose time has not yet arrived. I do not think involvement with green products make a big difference besides setting a better example for the younger generation. As long as our society is dominated by giant business-as-usual producers, we will continue to be inundated with cheap import products. Cost conscience consumers can hardly be blamed for choosing the least expensive product.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

I think most consumers are aware of green products but not ready to pay more than the least expensive import (Editor’s note:  ours obviously are!).

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

A cork tile that is made with whole recycled wine cork stoppers.

 

Thank you for your time- we are looking forward to many more years working with you!

What’s So Threatening About a Plastic Straw?

David, replacing plastic straws with glass is definitely not the first thing I think of when going green.  It just goes to show how small green can go.

Name: David Leonhardt, Owner/Founder

Company:  GlassDharma

What’s your personal definition of greening? 

Anything that promotes and contributes to our environment in such a way that it improves all of life on our planet.

How did you get started in green business?

My wife, Gail and I left the corporate world and moved to the Mendocino Coast in 2006.  I got back into lampworking and worked part time for a glass shop in Fort Bragg and also started my own lampworking business on the side. It was there at the glass shop that I noticed they had glass drinking straws for sale. I had been reading recently about how plastics leach toxins into our foods and knew for quite some time how plastics not only increase our landfill, but so much plastic never even gets recycled and ends up in our environment, destroying wildlife on land and in our oceans.

A plastic straw may not seem very threatening, and to be sure, there are bigger forces out there in our society that seriously need to be addressed. However, my interest was peaked. I started doing research on how many plastic straws are used on a daily basis world-wide. I saw this as an opportunity to make a significant difference. It is not so much teaching people how not to pollute – most of us at least here in California recycle to an extent. What needs to happen is we need to change how we think. How silly is it to have so many single use plastics in our society, knowing how damaging they are, knowing the huge percentage that never gets recycled and not do anything about it?!

I saw that glass straws could be a teaching tool. How difficult is it to learn to say “no straw, please” when ordering drinks in a restaurant? From there, how difficult is it to insist on a paper bag at the grocery store – or better yet, buy fabric reusable bags to bring when grocery shopping? From there, what else are we doing just because that’s the way we’ve been doing it? What if, someday, the concept of single-use plastics is only a dim memory?

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

We are constantly looking at our methods and processes to see if we can make our footprint greener.  We receive packing peanuts from some of our suppliers and we make sure they get recycled.  We look at our shipping materials to see if there is anything out there that is better than what we are using.  We use the SiloInk.com system with our inkjet printers that eliminates printer cartridge waste and we use reconditioned toner cartridges in our laser printers.  We rarely print out emails.  We will be redesigning our packaging soon to become more brick & mortar friendly and the materials used will be of primary concern.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

Take it a step at a time and do what you know how to do.  It is easy to get overwhelmed with so much information out there.  Do what you know is right, and if you find yourself off-track, just put one foot in front of the other to get back into your own integrity.

We have been programmed by our society and many of us have a strong sense of entitlement that we don’t even realize that we have.  Becoming aware of that, for many, is the key to be able to discern between a “need” and a “want”.

Keep educating yourself.  One of the best resources I have found is the blog fakeplasticfish.com (Editor’s Note, hey! what about our Green Home Blog or our sister Cleantech Blog?).  There’s a ton of other information out there as well.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

Yes, even if it appears to “only” contribute in a small way.  Take our glass straws for example – I see them more as a teaching tools, awareness tools.  The more we all come on board with a “can do” attitude, the more “environmentalism” becomes mainstream.  When that happens, large corporations and governments start making changes.  This is a simple statement for a rather complex process, but I think you get the idea.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

People are becoming more aware lately.  For example, if I had tried to sell glass straws 10 years ago, it wouldn’t have worked, so there is definitely an increase in awareness.  But we still have a long way to go.

What’s in YOUR Carpet? Asks James Stinnet, Our Own King of Natural Carpets

James, flooring has long been a critical and overlooked area of environmental impact, it is great to see Earth Weave innovating in sustainable, natural, non toxic carpets.  We’ve carried your Bio Floor for quite a while, and I safely say that a market shift from synthetic to sustainable carpeting is definitely needed in our home improvement and building industry.  And yes, we DO want to carry that next super secret product you hinted you’re working on.

Name: James Stinnett, Founder 

Company: Earth Weave Carpet Mills, Inc.

What’s your personal definition of greening?

We are different than many other companies in that we feel that the only true way to be “green” is to use sustainable materials. This will require the use of natural and renewable resources.  We do not manufacture using synthetics and feel that this is merely “greenwashing” because most of the time the chemicals contained are toxic to life and the environment.

How did you get started in green business?

I started this company 14 years ago which was well before the modern “green” era.  Prior to this, I have always had an interest in doing the right (environmental) thing and had a great desire to change the carpet industry. Of course, the carpet industry is very large and is solidly entrenched using synthetics and is not something that we can actually impact too heavily.  None the less, I do feel we have made small in-roads over our business tenure and this makes me very happy.  I am excited to continue to push the natural products envelope in the upcoming years!

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

Greenhome.com is a great company that has the ability to educate consumers and do the environment good at the same time that they are building a successful business.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

We are very active in most every aspect of environmentalism.  We use almost every single piece of raw material in some way to eliminate the waste that is created when manufacturing a product.  Personally, most of the things I do would seem to be excessive but I am fine with that.  Not that I will share them here!

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

To follow our motto:  From Nature To Nature™  This will allow a healthy planet for future generations.  I encourage everyone to look at the materials used in the products they purchase.

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started? 

The huge number of mainstream businesses that have been jumping on the green band-wagon is astonishing. 

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

YES, of course!  We only have one planet and we must conserve and preserve it as much as we can.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

Education is the key to EVERY single environmental problem we have.  I do feel that we are just starting get the amount of education that is required to cause a true global impact.  The undeveloped countries of the world will need to be educated on the merits of green before they start down a path like the US experienced with the industrial revolution. If they follow our synthetic path, the world will be so heavily impacted it is hard to imagine.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

I am working on that at this point so I will not share it.  But what I can say is that we need a battery technology or energy storage medium that is truly green and on the same energy per lb density as gasoline.  Petrochemical consumption is a big environmental time bomb.

 

Thank you for your time- we are looking forward to many more years working with you!

Anna Marie Stauss – Creator of the Toockie Organic Cleaning Cloth – “Greening is a lifestyle choice”

I’m Anna Marie Stauss, founder and CEO of Sinko Corp.  I believe that greening is a lifestyle choice to do as little damage as possible to our world and humanity as a whole.  This sound big and possibly over whelming but as an individual one can create a ripple in the pond by making small changes in the choices made throughout the day to affect the ordinary.  For example, every time we buy something no matter how small we are voting for it and sending a message to the market place engine called “demand”, so choose products that speak your intentions. 

I got started on my green business after watching a TV program on how young woman in India are sold, used up and disposed of.   I had an idea for a green product I loved and a business model for production similar to the one my mother was part of in the Azores as a young woman, but did not act on it until that moment.  I decided I had to do something that would change the business as usual approach to product development.  Today, I’m working with a nonprofit in India that feeds over 200 children and am providing jobs to over 200 woman in the community. I believe that the products we purchase/use should benefit those who make, those who sell, and those who use them to create a positive change in humanity and to our planet. 

I choose to sell my product on Greenhome.com because I wanted to enter a retail space whose intentions aligned with mine.  In my home I have long since replaced plastic scrubs, microfiber, and sponges I used to clean.  Now, I use my Toockies to clean everything and everyone (6 kids) in my home, then I toss them in the wash with any color/temperature or add to the dish washer and reuse.   This one small greening step has saved me money, time, landfill space, and saved me from bringing more chemicals in to my family life. 

My company buys only organic cotton therefore reducing the amount of chemicals added to local soil, water, and air.  Further, our artisans work from home so we do not have to burn gasoline to fire up generators for factories like many of the other local industries.  The best green advise I can offer others is to start making the small choices when shopping; read the label and think about what you are voting on and what you are bringing into your life. 

Other products I really like from Greenhome.com are: Ecover (dishwasher tablets), Recycled Mixing Bowls, Nursery Gentle Cleaner and the Herbal Insect Repellent. The biggest change in this sector since I started is the “demand”  more people are choosing green products and the Market is responding.  I really do think green products make a difference because they improve our quality of life internally and externally.  I think there is a lot more that needs to be done in terms of making potential customers aware of the green products that now exist and to drive demand for more green products.  Many consumers fear that going green is an expensive effort or that green products don’t work as well.  They don’t see how they are in fact very economical and in many cases out perform competitors!!  Many green products are designed to be reused, or to be used in minimum quantities that save consumer’s time, money and health.  The green product that I would invent that does not yet exist is one that provides energy by transforming potential energy without waste.

Not Just Totes for Totes Sa(c)ke – How Green are You?

Nice to hear from you Marcelle.  Reusable shopping bags have become the rage.  My wife just leaves a stack of them in her car.

Name:  Marcelle Bakula, Owner & Original Cold Callin’ Tote Sales Person

Company: SteppingStones (manufacturer of the EcoSac Reusable Shopping Bag System)

What’s your personal definition of greening?

Awareness of human’s impacts on the natural world. It should become a way of life where we are all more conscious (and therefore conscientious) of every personal act and its impact on our planet and resources.

How did you get started in green business?

I have been an “environmentalist” my entire life so it was a natural fit when friends started up this reusable bag business back in 1988.  I became their “cold call” sales person and several years later, they allowed me to buy the company when they moved in a different direction.

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

Any way that we can expose more people to the concept of and access to renewable, reusable produce, bulk, and shopping bags, we want to offer it!

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

Everything we can! From the “typical” such as recycled paper, printing front and back for invoices/packing lists to low energy light bulbs etc. We also join and support organizations such as organic trade associations, environmental and green organizations, and donating to county-wide non-profits. We are still learning about more ways to be even more green….  Example: this past year we all got our “to-go ware” items so no more take-out containers and bought reusable/sustainable bamboo utensils for lunch!

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

Do your best to raise your own consciousness about your own impact on the earth:  driving – can I walk? Can I combine errands? Can I do something for a neighbor to save them a trip?   buying: ask “Do I NEED it? If so, is it “green” If not: “Can I donate this amount of money (instead of buying this product) to provide basics such as food for a hungry child? “Do my friends and family need more stuff?” Find alternative gifts for worthwhile non-profits instead of cheap goods…home: energy-efficient enough? Do I use reusable bags for all my shopping?  Am I pesticide/poison free?

Stop using plastic whenever & wherever you can: every piece of plastic you have ever used is still here and will be for generations to come..

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

The Uno and Duo EuroSac, GlobalGrocer Tote, and GardenSac kits you carry of ours, of course!

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

Lowering of “green” standards. Stores & organizations (even supposedly green ones) jumping immediately to synthetics (nylon, polyproylene & polyethlyne shopping bags) and cheap-from-China bags. The Wal-Mart factor: saying they’re green…but not “truly” – green-washing is abundant.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

I hope they do, gotta try! (my cynical self is honest enough to know that I fear that due to the economy and lack of education, we’re compromising on too many fronts…I’ve known for over 30 years that much needs to be done, but here we are 30 years later & we’re still dragging our feet…

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

Much more education – leaders leading by example…. stop the pendulum from swinging back?! Ex: When the next president, who might be a Republican,  gets into the White House, will he remove the solar panels?!  Take out the garden? go backwards?)

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

Not a product:  a way of living:  don’t allow corporations to ruin the planet (no more gas-guzzlers allowed, no more “non-green” products – no more waste of non-renewable resources – Helium should NOT be allowed for filling balloons. Chemistry council and plastic bag manufacturers (or logging operations) should not be allowed to call the shots!

Bernardo Herrero of Bioplanet – Replacing Plastic Packaging with Biodegrables One Meal at a Time

Hey Bernardo, thanks for taking the time to talk to the Green Home Blog.  Bioplanet sounds like a fascinating story, and I know we have a lot of restaurants using your products.  I spent some time reading through your site this afternoon. Half the cleantech sector is focused on developing cellulosic biofuels to replace crude oil, and here you are plugging away turning cellulose fibers directly into replacements for plastic packaging products.  How cool is that!

Name:

Bernardo Herrero
Executive Director
Bioplanet
www.bioplanet.us

Company: Bioplanet Corp

What’s your personal definition of greening?

Less impact to planet earth in everyday life.

How did you get started in green business?

Developed disposable plates that wouldn’t harm the environment when tossed away and didn’t reach the ladfill, or can be eaten by wildlife.

Why did you choose to supply Greenhome.com?

Nice broad website that puts our products in our target market’s eyes.

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

Use our own products as disposables in office and personal use.

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

Go green not to show it off, go green because you really care to leave the world a better place to live in.

What’s your personal favorite of your products that Greenhome.com carries?

Regular bamboo and bagasse line.
 
What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

More awareness from business in the foodservice sector that customers want green products in their operations.

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

Not big, but a difference; until the whole world changes to green, then the big difference will appear.

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

All know, but not entirely and deeply enough to push market and economies of scales towards that. Also know green products are expensive, so a lot of consumers don’t pursue much.

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

Fuel for machinery that has the same throughput than fossil based fuel and lower cost.

Thank you

Bernardo Herrero
Executive Director
Bioplanet
www.bioplanet.us

Our Green Executives Speak Out

The Green Home Blog is very excited to begin profiling the owners and executives at a few of the companies making and supplying the green and ecofriendly products you’ve come to know and love from us. 

Many of our friends and suppliers have been in the green business since way before it was cool, and we thought you’d like to hear from a few of them about what they think being green means, and their vision, passion, thoughts, and advice.  So we’ve been interviewing a few of them, and we’re looking forward to sharing what they have to say.

If you’re a long time customer or supplier and you’d like to be profiled or want to share your green story, just drop us an email at marketing@greenhome.com, and share a few of your thoughts or answer the interview below.  We can’t publish everyone, but I guarantee we’ll be reading your perspective even if we don’t get it up the blog.  And if you’re a media type and would like to meet one of our suppliers and learn more about their products, just drop us a line and we’ll facilitate.

Name:

Company:

What do you or your company do?

What’s your personal definition of greening?

How did you get started in green business?

What do you and your company do in your own life and operations to walk the walk?

What is the best greening advice you can give our customers?

What’s your personal favorite of the products that Greenhome.com carries?

What’s been the biggest change in the green sector since you got started?

Do you really think green products make a big difference and why?

Do you think consumers now are aware green products exist, or is there still a lot more education to do?

If you could invent a green product that doesn’t exist, what would it be?

 

And for those of you don’t yet, join the discussion on how to be greenest on twitter and facebook, and tweet us or post your best green thoughts there as well.

www.twitter.com/greenhomey

www.facebook.com/greenhome