Cliff Boley made the transition from the building industry to the solar industry in 2008 and hasn't looked back. He sees the green movement as the solution to social ills both large and small.
"Green works, everywhere, mean more American jobs, and a better America than was handed to our generation," says Cliff. "Going green means we do not have to send our children to war to fight for oil. Going green means we keep our money in our communities building a future rather than shipping it overseas while we watch our cities die."
Green America: What does your business do and what are your most popular products?
Cliff Boley: Blue Pacific Solar operates an online Web store for off-grid and grid-tied solar kits, home-power backup systems, and portable and home solar panels. Probably our most popular products are our off-grid solar kits for cabins.
What makes Blue Pacific Solar a sustainable, green business?
Cliff: All of our products are green, helping people use renewable energy with our solar chargers, kits, and products. We only use products that are UL-listed and approved along with other widely recognized certifying agencies that vary depending on the type of product. We recycle containers and use recycled material in our packaging whenever it is available.
What motivated you to start Blue Pacific Solar?
Cliff: I was in the building materials industry, specifically windows, up until 2008 when housing in America collapsed. Looking forward, it was clear I needed to go into a different direction because home-building in America was going to be gone for a very long time. Solar seemed like a natural evolution for me. I had set up a number of window factories so I had a working knowledge of electronics and home-building. I then went back to school and received my technical training on solar design and installation from an accredited technical school. We selected the name Blue Pacific Solar to evoke a vision of what things should be.
What have been some of the tough choices in maintaining high standards of social and environmental responsibility?
Cliff: I don’t think the so-called tough choices are tough at all. It’s a simple life choice to do you part to create a world you would be proud to leave your children and grandchildren. The goal is to treat and do business with people who share your ideals, and treat others and the environment as they would want to be treated. Leave your environment in better condition than was given to you. Speak truth to power rather than hide your principles because it is inconvenient. Fortunately in the solar world most people I work with share these principles in one form or another. (interview continues below photo)
What has been your proudest moment as a green business owner?
Cliff: Being a green business owner feels like we are just doing the right thing. It's so cool to watch the empowerment of people who are control their own energy generation rather than remain a victim of the system subject of rising energy costs and the negative cause and effect.
What advice would you give to other green entrepreneurs just starting out?
Cliff: Just decide to do it and do it. I should not have waited for housing to tank to do solar. I should have done it 15 years earlier.
What green product(s) can you not live without?
Cliff: My reusable shopping bags. We need to go back to recycled paper for our grocery packaging or bring our own bags to the store. Plastic bags have to go. We are suffocating the very life of the planet around us.