Small businesses recognized for contributions to healthy homes
Three green businesses that have shown leadership to improve sustainability and healthy living in the home were recognized in Green America’s quarterly “People & Planet Award.
Green America recognizes innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that deeply integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. Each of three winners will receive $5,000.
The winners are: Green Broom Brigade, Lompoc, CA; Community Forklift, Edmonston, MD; and Ecohouse, Galloway, OH. Winners were selected by the public during a month-long open voting period online at Green America’s website.
“For most Americans, the home is their biggest investment. Therefore, it’s also their chance to make the greenest possible statement about who they are and the world in which they want to live. This quarter’s winners of the People & Planet Award demonstrate everyday how green home building and products can make a huge and positive difference in our world,” said Alisa Gravitz, president, Green America.
The winning companies are:
Green Broom Brigade, Lompoc, CA. The Green Broom Brigade is a professional cleaning company and cooperative that sources exclusively environmentally friendly cleaning products and methods. The Brigade also employs an all-female workforce, composed of company co-owners. Green living and financial empowerment are thus joint tenets of the Green Broom Brigade.
Community Forklift, Edmonston, MD. Community Forklift is a reuse center for home improvement supplies. The company collects unwanted and salvaged building materials during building demolition, then provides them to the public at very low prices, and donates them to individuals in need. Discarded building materials make up 40 percent of our nation's solid waste. Community Forklift is on the frontlines of finding better ways to recycle and reuse these products – whether for the arts, for job training, or for strict recycling.
Ecohouse, Galloway, OH. Ecohouse is a leading solar electric systems installer and comprehensive energy auditor in central Ohio, helping more than 3,000 homeowners and small businesses reduce their energy use and environmental impact since 2008.
Kevin Eigel, president of Ecohouse said: “Ecohouse would like to thank everyone who voted for us. We are happy to be recognized for our work of helping central Ohio homeowners and businesses to go solar and reduce the impact of climate change. We thank Green America for the gift of $5000. We will use this money to help put up a solar electric system for Third Hand Bike Co-op (a non profit that make cycling accessible for everyone in central Ohio), and to expand solar in central Ohio."
Kevin Eigel, the owner of Ecohouse, designed and built a passive solar, super energy efficient home in 2002, and added Solar Electric and Solar Thermal systems in 2009. "Renewable energy and energy conservation is not just a job. I am committed to reducing energy use because I care about how future generations will be impacted by our actions today,” Eigel said.
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; Reed Doyle, Seventh Generation; Jonathan Reinbold, Organic Valley; Jenny Burns, Honest Tea; Bena Burda, Maggie’s Organics; Lindsay Dahl, Safer Chemicals/Healthy Families; Alline Anderson, Milkweed Mercantile; Andrew Korfhage and Fran Teplitz, Green America.
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Gary Wollenhaupt / Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.