Going Green! 5 Eco-Friendly Small Businesses in America Changing the Game
The idea of sustainability has become a very commonplace term in the last decade. More and more, we are becoming aware of the permanent effects our actions have on the planet, and we are increasingly aware of our personal responsibility to make better choices when it comes to making eco-friendly choices.
Not only do we have a personal responsibility in our homes and daily lives to be more proactive about the environment, but it’s also becoming more important for businesses to start making these moves as well.
Nowadays, companies could be losing out on a lot of business when their customers realize where their products come from or if they don’t at least try to practice sustainability. Often, consumers will go with a competitor who is doing more to work toward sustainability, even if it means spending a little more for their products and services.
New goals for sustainability have been set in the United States in terms of reducing emissions and greenhouse gases, and everyone from large corporations to small businesses will need to start adopting more efficient practices. The following are 5 eco-friendly small businesses in the U.S. that are changing the game for the better:
1. Andean Collection
The Andean Collection was founded by Amanda Judge, an individual with a master’s degree in economic development and a desire to make a positive impact on the world. This jewelry collection was founded to bring sustainable change to impoverish communities in South America, by helping them to create jewelry in a profitable market.
It is an eco-fair-trade jewelry company, where the jewelry is made from seeds that are harvested from the South American rainforest. The nuts are then processed and dyed in a way that is less impactful on the environment. The company uses environmentally friendly textile dyes for coloring the seeds.
Not only is the process of making the jewelry sustainable, but the company also helps to provide women in Ecuador with a way out of poverty.
2. Bennu, LLC
Bennu is a marketing company that provides services for a wide variety of businesses with an eco-friendly mindset. They only make and work with eco-friendly products and use sustainable business practices to lower their carbon footprint.
For example, Bennu works with a company that sells shirts and backpacks that are made with only 100% recycled materials, and they insist on working with certified plants that use decreased emissions and recycled materials.
3. Wash Cycle Laundry
The Wash Cycle Laundry company is a triple-bottom-line business (TBL) that, essentially, picks up your laundry, cleans it in a sustainable way, and then returns it to you—all via bicycle. The company uses natural, locally produced products, as well as high-efficiency washing machines to ensure that the process is eco-friendly from start to finish. The process helps to save on water, energy, and gas in order to beat out regular washing and drying machines that use up a lot more of all of these elements.
Aside from the eco-friendly system they use, Wash Cycle Laundry is working to form relationships with various non-profit job training programs and is the perfect opportunity for those who are having a hard time looking for employment. Those who want a job in a sustainable market that also includes some outdoor exercise are the perfect candidates. The company is growing to serve universities, gyms, salons, and spas and continues its outreach to improve other companies and the way they clean their laundry.
4. Tropical Traders Specialty Foods
This company works to provide vendors with a triple-bottom-business model that creates amazing honey. Tropical Traders Specialty Foods sells honey under the names Royal Hawaiian Honey and Bee Well Honey brands. Their honey is 100% raw and comes from a family-owned apiary on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The honey itself is certified organic and was named the nation’s first certified carbon neutral food. Honey made under the Bee Well Honey brand is harvested in Brazil and is also available as certified organic and Fair Trade Certified. Aside from the product being certified organic, the company ensures that they are certified carbon neutral and that the beekeepers involved are paid fair wages (fair trade).
The integrity of the company is to treat co-workers, bees, and the environment in a fair and respectful way. The success of their business relies on ecological awareness and preservation, and this small business uses their platform to share their world views and help others to become more aware of the effects of sustainability.
5. Liberty Bottleworks
Liberty Bottleworks is a green company that works entirely within the United States. Manufactured from 100% recycled aluminum, Liberty Bottles are the only product with their process completed entirely within the U.S. The equipment used for manufacturing uses less water and resources, and their waste water is cleaned for reuse. Any metal scraps are also melted down so that they may also be reused to make more bottles.
The basics of this company were to support the United States, create more jobs in the country, support U.S. suppliers and to do it all in clean factories. The goal is to be a zero-waste business, and, even after all of the eco-friendly actions that are already taken, the company still donates 5% of net sales of their Karma collection bottles to charities, including Keep America Beautiful, National Parks Conservation Association, and Canned Water 4 Kids.
It’s important for all business to take responsibility for their company’s carbon footprint and for them to have an understanding of the kinds of effects it will have on the environment. Even now, as many companies work to reduce their footprint, the planet still needs more help to reverse the effects of some of our poorer choices of the past.
Working with certified companies is important, in order to ensure that the businesses you’re supporting are providing you with products and services that you can trust. It’s a great idea to speak with companies you support to ask them about their processes or to offer some suggestions to help them reduce their impact on the environment for the future.