Tomorrow’s Earth Day! Some of our Grasshopper team members will be out planting trees in the community. Do you have something big planned for your business?
In honor of the cause that deserves a whole lot more than just one day, we wanted to find small businesses that are making a difference for the environment all year round — and we didn’t have to look far.
With 82% of consumers factoring social responsibility into purchase decisions, businesses everywhere are making a commitment to sustainable business practices. Here are just a few of the ones we found.
1. Paladino and Company
Paladino and Company is a consulting business that specializes in consulting for sustainability. They don’t just help other companies go green — Paladino has sustainability in their DNA and everything they do is informed by it.
In addition to recycling and sustainable design at the workplace, they also encourage employees to take advantage of public transportation and invest in top notch video conferencing, so every meeting doesn’t require someone to get on an airplane.
“We find that our sustainable work environment and green culture attracts exceptional talent — people want to know that they work for a company that takes its social responsibility seriously,” Deborah Hanamura, Paladino’s Director of Marketing Communication, told us. “Sometimes our sustainability strategies are our best recruiting tool.”
2. Bio Clean Environmental
At Bio Clean Environmental, sustainability is their business. They create products that filter out pollution, keeping water, and the wildlife that depend on it, safe and protected.
In addition to their regular business, Bio Clean also engineers pollution treatment systems for developing cities that couldn’t accommodate them otherwise.
To find where this commitment to the environment stems from, you don’t have to look far — it’s written right into their founding principles: “Through our passion for preserving and improving the quality of stormwater, we strive to be responsible stewards of the environment; we lend that passion to all we do.”
If you’re starting to think sustainability has to be a key part of your business and product offering, not so fast. HairZing creates unique hair accessories for all different types of hair.
Their commitment to green operations come from using renewable and recyclable materials any time they can. For example, their products include bamboo beads instead of wooden ones and substitute glass for plastic whenever possible. HairZing also encourages input from customers about new suggestions and ideas to make their business even more environmentally friendly.
As PR Director Tiffany Ramirez puts it, “We’re dedicated to offering superior quality, gorgeous products without sacrificing the planet we share.”
4. Mountain View Vineyard
This next business, Mountain View Vineyard, has been called the poster child for responsible development. With such an immediate and direct impact on their environment, Mountain View takes this responsibility very seriously.
Outside, the vineyard uses all natural, sustainable methods, like mulching, to control insects instead of spraying harmful insecticides and other chemicals. Inside, their winemaking facility is run using geothermal and solar energy sources to cut down their impact on the environment, and they use LED lighting to save on energy usage.
Laurie Monteforte, Director of Community Relations & Marketing for Mountain View, describes the company this way: “We’re a small, family-owned operation with a huge focus on sustainability.”
Scrubz is a product of the recent emphasis on monitoring not only what we put into our bodies, but what we put on them, too. Roberta Perry first developed the product for herself — she wanted something all natural, easy to use, and above all, a product that works.
The company pulls raw materials exclusively from the U.S. and puts a huge emphasis on local vendors, helping their community and cutting down on emissions from shipping activities.
Her natural body scrub uses responsible ingredients, but that’s not the greenest part of this company. To cut down on packaging thats ends up in landfills, Scrubz offers a refill program where customers can return their empty, clean jars and get a refill at a discounted price. “I love when I see jars from years back return for a fill,” Roberta says.
6. Automatic Labs
Automatic Labs developed an app and adapter combination that appeals to drivers’ more financially-minded tendencies to help reduce our collective carbon footprint.
The adapter plugs into your car’s diagnostic port and syncs with the smartphone app to give you detailed info on driving habits, miles per gallon, and average gas cost. Even cooler, you can get suggestions for fuel-saving that can help you save up to 30% on gas.
Automatic has also partnered with their local Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission to promote a climate initiative program. The program aims to help driver save money while increasing safety and improving air quality.
7. Ciel Power
At Ciel Power, sustainability is their business. They consult homeowners throughout New Jersey to develop customized treatment plans that make homes more efficient and reduce their environmental footprint.
Internally, the company also works to keep operations as green as possible — even testing out using iPads for client presentations instead of 20+ page printed reports. Ciel partners with local communities to promote grassroots sustainability programs, and they work with the statewide New Jersey Sustainable Business Registry. They’re even participating in more than eight Earth Day events this year.
How to Jump In
There are so many quick and easy ways to increase your business' sustainability efforts. Here are a few simple ideas:
- Switch to LED light bulbs
- Make recycling a priority
- Experiment with doable ways to use less paper
- Charge your phone with sunlight
- Volunteer your time to plant trees
- Let employees telecommute (at least sometimes)
- Offer benefits to cover public transportation costs
- Research ways to make your product reusable or use recyclable materials
Forgive the cliché, but the companies above are living proof that sustainable business practices don’t have to be a huge deal or cost your bottom line. Your business can make a difference for the environment in a million small ways, which means everyone can play a part.
What green practices are you implementing?