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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!

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