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

Faces of the Green Pages

Conversations with Today's Green Business Leaders

December 2007 - "We Bake Brownies to Hire People."
Greyston Bakery, Yonkers, NY

As a long-time member of our Green Business Network™ (almost 14 years!), Greyston Bakery has been green since before green was cool. What's more, Greyston follows both sides of the green equation, bringing both environmental and social concerns to the table when making business decisions.

It's right there in Greyston's motto, the proof that in their mode of doing business, the ultimate goal is not about money. "We don't hire people to bake brownies," says Greyston. "We bake brownies to hire people."

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November 2007 - Keep Our Planet Earth Green
Project KOPEG, Boise, ID

“I feel that we in the green movement have a tremendous responsibility to educate and convert people’s habits from being consumers to being Earth stewards,” says Mike Green, one of the founders of Project KOPEG.

Mike should know. His business model is devoted to doing just that. His Project KOPEG works to empower groups, individuals, and businesses to raise funds by collecting electronic waste. It's a win-win-win proposition that cleans up communities, raises money for worthwhile causes, and educates the public about responsible waste streams. We asked Mike to tell us how it all came about.

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October 2007 - A Decade of Fair Trade Coffee
Café Campesino, Americus, GA

With the flood of new Fair Trade products entering the US market recently (bananas in 2004, sugar in 2005, vanilla in 2006), it can be easy to forget that Fair Trade coffee has been here since the 1980s.

Tripp Pomeroy and his partners at Café Campesino are about to celebrate ten years in business, and so in honor of Fair Trade Month, we asked him to tell us the story behind Café Campesino, and his business's journey toward sustainability. (Take note: It all began with a pile of dirt!)

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September 2007 - Soap Star
A Wild Soap Bar, Manor, TX

If you're typing her e-mail address, you'll write to "soapgranny," and when you get a reply, she'll list her title as Soap Bartender. Clearly, Maggie Hanus, the brains behind A Wild Soap Bar, knows (and loves!) her soap.

Surf to her Web site, and you'll find soap made with everything under the Texas sun: sunflowers, yucca root, wildflowers, pecan pralines, wild carrots, mesquite, and much, much more. We asked Maggie to tell us more about the importance of all-natural soaps, and she gave us a wealth of helpful resources that we're pleased to pass along to you.

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August 2007 - Supplies for a Greener Workplace
The Green Office, San Francisco, CA

After overseeing the campus sustainability program at New College of California, and helping to develop other green business ventures including a community supported agriculture program and a line of sustainably harvested redwood furniture, Alex Szabo put his GreenMBA™ to work launching TheGreenOffice.com in 2005.

Shortly thereafter, he joined Green America's Green Business Network, which Alex says helps connect him with the suppliers of green products that are appropriate for his virtual shelves. We asked him to tell us more about how TheGreenOffice.com has grown in the last two years, and what he thinks about the greening of the mainstream marketplace.

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July 2007 - Important Paper Work
Twisted Limb, Bloomington, IN

Do you ever find yourself wondering what to do with your scrap paper? Green business owner Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese lists dozens of creative re-uses for scraps, organized for different professions, on the Web site of her own business, Twisted Limb. For librarians, she suggests bookmarks and recommendation slips. For caterers, place cards and labels for dishes on the buffet. For retailers, hang tags for merchandise.

As for Sheryl herself, she built an entire business out of collecting others' scrap paper, and using it as raw material for her creative and beautiful recycled paper products: invitations, notepaper, baby announcements, guest books, and more. We asked Sheryl to tell us more about how her business came about.

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June 2007 - Green Travel Around the World
Crooked Trails, Seattle, WA

Traveling in the Chaing Mai region of Northern Thailand in 1999, Christine Mackay found herself embarrassed by the type of tourism she encountered in the villages of the hill tribes.

"I give them credit for being honest," Mackay says of the organizers of the offending tours. "They didn't say, 'Meet the hill tribe people,' or 'Benefit the hill tribe people.' They said, 'See the hill tribe people,' and that's exactly what we did." Upon her return, Mackay, together with friend and fellow travel enthusiast Tammy Leland, resolved to build a better way to travel. We asked her to tell us all about it.

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May 2007 - Sewing Peace
No Sweat Apparel, Boston, MA

"My mission is to prove that there is a different way to do the garment trade and to do it right, " Adam Neiman told The Jewish Advocate last fall, explaining how the death of an older family member in 2000 inspired him to launch No Sweat Apparel in 2001. Life is short, says Neiman, and "if you want to do something, make a difference, make an impact, then don't wait."

We asked Adam to tell us more about the philosophy behind his business, what's next for No Sweat, and how a simple T-shirt can help change the Middle East.

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April 2007 - Heated Conversation
SolarRoofs.com, Carmichael, CA

"My original vision was to make the world a better place for my children, even before I had them," says Al Rich, solar thermal innovation leader (and founder of SolarRoofs.com). "I joined Co-op America [now Green America] in the mid-1980s because of our mutual concern to better humankind and its environment through economic action."

We asked Al what sparked his interest in solar power, what's kept him energized for nearly 30 years, and how you can reduce your dependence on fossil fuels with a solar water heater at home.

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March 2007 - Cornering the Market
Conscious Corner, Clarksville, MD

Do you know where to find an organic cocktail in your town?  How about a sustainable chew-toy for your dog or a wedding present made out of recycled trash?

Jody Cutler and Jeff Kaufman started Conscious Corner, a green retail hub in suburban Maryland in 2000 to meet just those kinds of needs.  They recently joined Green America’s Green Business Network™, and we asked Jody to tell us more about her business for the premier installment of our new Faces of the Green Pages column.

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Read interviews from 2008 »

Read interviews from 2009 »

Read interviews from 2010 »

Read interviews from 2011 »

 

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