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.