Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Winners Announced in “People & Planet” Green Small Business Contest

$5,000 Prize Awarded to Three Companies in Hawaii, Missouri and North Carolina for Dedication to Supporting Green Travel and Transportation

December 12, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC -- Three winners were announced today for Green America’s quarterly “People & Planet Award”, which recognizes America’s best green, small businesses. Each of three winners will receive $5,000. The winners are: Milkweed Mercantile, Rutledge, MO; Greenway Transit, Durham, NC; and Bio-Beetle Eco Rental Cars, Kahului, HI. Winners were selected by the public during a month-long open voting period online at Green America’s website.

Green America’s “People & Planet Awards” recognize innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that deeply integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. This round of the Awards focused on green businesses that have taken superior steps to make transportation and travel greener and more sustainable.

Alisa Gravitz, president, Green America, said:

“We are so inspired by the winners of the newest People & Planet Award.  These businesses model creative and viable ways to make the travel and transportation sectors serve the green economy, whether through their use of clean energy, green construction materials, or organic food.”

The winning companies’ are:

  • Milkweed Mercantile, Rutledge, MO, http://www.milkweedmercantile.com/. At Milkweed Mercantile, philosophy and business are intertwined. Milkweed Mercantile operates as a for-profit bed and breakfast and café that demonstrates to all visitors the viability and aesthetic beauty of sustainable solutions. All vehicles at the Milkweed Mercantile compound run on biodiesel or 100% electricity, all building materials used to construct the facilities are renewable and/or sustainable, and all electric power comes from the wind or the sun. Overnight guests at the Eco Inn B&B stay in a beautiful straw bale building that proves the utility and insulation of green solutions.  Guests are also invited to dine at the Milkweed Mercantile Café, where they are served seasonal, local and organic meals that incorporate the key philosophies of the organization.
  • Greenway Transit, Durham, NC, http://greenwayrides.com/. Greenway Transit, LLC, is the first and only green transport company in the Southeast U.S. Its for-hire fleet of vehicles run exclusively on human energy or biofuels (biodiesel, veggie oil and ethanol-E85), and the goal of Greenway Transit is to offer price competitive transportation options that keep energy and jobs local. Specially retrofitted Greenway Transit vehicles can be rented with drivers by the hour, half-day or day.
  • Bio-Beetle Eco Rental Cars, Kahului, HI, http://www.bio-beetle.com/. Bio-Beetle Eco Rental Cars has a simple ambition: to be the most environmentally friendly rental car company in the world. Bio-Beetle has made a strong case for that title by procuring a fleet of rental cars fueled entirely by bio-diesel, electric, or state-of-the-art hybrid technology. Bio-Beetle also offers its customers a host of additional services, including free airport pick-up, that make driving the greenest rental cars on the planet, the most convenient, too.

Alline Anderson, founder of the Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn, said, “All of us at the Milkweed Mercantile Eco Inn at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage are humbled and incredibly grateful to have won a Green America People & Planet Award. The funds will go a long way in our efforts to demonstrate that a sustainable life is about joy, community, a real sense of connection, hope, and, or course, great food. We’ll finally be able to hire a gardener for our demonstration garden, providing our guests with a friendly place to get their hands dirty and learn about small-scale gardening. Additionally, we will be able to take our line of jam and pickles to the next level by supporting more local farmers and gardeners, making website improvements, and designing and e-publishing our cookbook.”

Marc Dreyfors, founding manager at Greenway Transit, said, “Greenway Transit is honored by the People & Planet Award and by the support that brought us here. We owe a big thanks to our partner restaurants who provide us with waste veggie oil, our environmentally conscious investors, our community partners and supporters, and our drivers and staff as well as our wise customers who prefer riding clean and green. We will use the award to improve the messaging of our biodiesel buses to better educate our riders about the benefits of community-based alternative energy and environmental justice.”

Pamela Miedtke-Wolf, co-founder of Bio-Beetle Eco Cars offered “Bio-Beetle ECO Rental Cars is honored to be selected as one of the winners in the People & Planet Awards. We believe the whole planet wins when people make green choices in their everyday lives. We are trying to make it easier for those on Maui to do just that. Being green is a way of life. It’s about every aspect of business and home.”

Future rounds of Green America’s quarterly award for green businesses with 50 or fewer employees, will focus on a commitment to a green and healthy home and “green kids.” The businesses that the public vote on are determined by public nominations and an expert panel of judges: Katie Galloway and Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Elysa Hammond, Clifbar; Eric Henry, TS Designs; Reed Doyle, Seventh Generation; Jonathan Reinbold, Organic Valley; Jenny Burns, Honest Tea; Bena Burda, Maggie’s Organics; Tom Saxton, Plug-in America, Andrew Korfhage and Fran Teplitz, Green America.

ABOUT GREEN AMERICA

Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems. http://www.GreenAmerica.org.

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