It’s hard to believe that it was a year and a half ago that I wrote this post about the launch of a sustainability initiative in my community. No one could have imagined that just 19 months later, we’d be cutting the (green) ribbon on a beautiful newly renovated Community Center/Green Business Incubator in the heart of our city.
But it happened, and the DC and Maryland press turned out en masse to hear Seth Goldman, TeaEO of Honest Tea, Ike Leggett, County Executive, and other assorted dignitaries celebrate the launch of Maryland’s first Green Business Incubator and the Bethesda Green Center.
And how could I have imagined that my own business would be housed in this green and gorgeous new space?
Back in March of ’08, I reported that:
In what may be the first effort of this type, business, government, community, and non-profit leaders are coming together to develop programs that will reduce Bethesda’s carbon footprint, increase its recyling rate, and reduce landfill waste and pollution. And this is just the first phase of the project! In the second phase, Bethesda Green aims to encourage smart growth and green development and to green its business community.
Sounds like we more than hit our goals – with an outpouring of community support from everyday citizens, county government and area businesses like these sponsors.
Truly, amazing things happen when a community pulls together. If you’re in Bethesda, get involved! And if you happen to just be visiting the Washington, DC area, stop by for a tour of our Green Community Center!
Copyright OrganicMania 2009Filed under Bethesda, Consulting Business | Wordpress Comments (6) |
OrganicMania sat down with Anca to discuss how she’s helping businesses and consumers to go green and how she got her own green business off the ground. By the way, if you’re in the DC area, you can meet us both this Wednesday night (September 24th) at Bethesda Green’s Be Green event. Register for free here!
OrganicMania: You do many home eco-audits to help Moms and others go green. What is your biggest concern with conventional cleaning supplies and children?
Anca: Small children breathe in 50% more air than adults, so they’re very susceptible to airborne toxins. Many of the chemicals in fragrances used in common household cleaners are carcinogenic, so they’re hurting children’s respiratory systems.
OrganicMania: How much does it cost to do a home workshop or eco-audit?
Anca: We can do workshops with 10 people or so for $20 per person per workshop. For home eco-audits, we charge $200 for spaces under 1000 square feet and $300 for larger homes – these last about 1 ½ hours. I’ll get the questions ahead of time, figure out how advanced the client’s knowledge is, and then do a walkthrough of the client’s home. After the audit, I will I send them a follow-up report with recommendations.
OrganicMania: What kind of differences do you see between your consumer and business clients?
Anca: Businesses are quicker on the uptake. They’re understanding it and really doing more with it, especially since there are large potential savings, mainly through increased energy efficiency. Individuals seem to be overwhelmed with information. And unfortunately, some people don’t believe that one individual can really make a difference. That’s one reason I prepared a reference list called, “Ten Steps to Green Your Home.”
That said, there are a lot of individuals within companies agitating for change. I recently finished co-authoring a book, entitled “Sustainability 101: A Toolkit for Your Business,’’ which can be found on my website and soon on Amazon and other online providers. Our book can help employees guide their employers in the greening process. This book has also been distributed at ‘green events’ as a give-away, since the steps are straightforward and the book also provides resources that the reader can use.
Note: For more information on the book or on the tip sheet, email Anca at anca at eco-coach dot com. And Anca’s a blogger as well. Check out the Eco-Coach blog here.
Did you like this interview? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts! And be sure to check out the other OrganicMania interviews here. There you’ll find great talks with Honest Tea Tea-EO Seth Goldman, Mom Made Foods Founder Heather Stouffer, Big Green Purse author Diane MacEachern, Mothers & Menus founder Karen Gurwitz, and more to come!
Copyright OrganicMania 2008Filed under Green Ideas & Stuff, Interviews | Wordpress Comment (0) |
One of the best things about my green journey is the many fantastic people I’ve met. And over and over again, I kept hearing about Anca Novacovici, founder of DC’s Eco-Coach. So OrganicMania sat down with Anca for this two-part interview about how she’s helping businesses and consumers to go green and how she got her own green business off the ground. By the way, if you’re in the DC area, you can meet us both this Wednesday night (September 24th) at Bethesda Green’s Be Green event. Register for free here!
OrganicMania: Why did you start Eco-Coach?
Anca: I’ve always been passionate about the environment, and I got to the point where I had to ask myself, “What do you want to do with your life?”
It was always in the back of my mind. I didn’t want to continue not to help the environment…I was working as a consultant with pharmaceutical and telecom companies. I enjoyed the work that I was doing but I also wanted to use my skills to help businesses and individuals be more eco-friendly. I had a few other green ideas before Eco-Coach, and when I saw other people making them a reality, I thought, “That’s it. I have ideas, and others are acting on them. I’ve got to do this.”
OrganicMania: So once you made that decision, how did you turn your idea into a real business?
Anca: I spent the first few months looking at strategy and direction. My first official business client was a business just down the street. I went in and spoke to the owner of a restaurant whom I knew was socially minded and I thought he might be interested in greening the place. From there, it was all word-of-mouth.
OrganicMania: I know you serve consumer clients too, in addition to businesses. What is the split in your customer base between corporate and consumer clients?
Anca: It’s about 65% corporate and 35% consumer. Actually, on the residential front, I started with a workshop for Moms on going green and having a healthy home, which was very well received. This was even before the first business client. One of our most popular services is a workshop on how to green the home. Another is our in-home eco-audits, where we walk through the entire house and go through steps people can take to go green. Sometimes individuals will organize workshops at their homes, and people get together with ten or so friends to do it. We offer these at Greater Goods in Washington DC. We also do individual consultations and coaching for those that feel they need additional support. Many of our clients on the residential side are Moms with newborns or small children who are interested in making their homes healthier for their children.
OrganicMania: A lot of Moms struggle with getting things clean, while trying to avoid harsh, toxic chemicals. It’s especially frustrating when places like daycares and after-care facilities insist on using Clorox bleach and other nasties. Do you have any suggestions?
Anca: Yes, hydrogen peroxide is a great disinfectant. You can use it instead of bleach. Vinegar and water is another good option, as is Borax. These are all low-cost green solutions. There are also products made by brands that work well and can be found at your local health food store.
Check back tomorrow for Part II of the OrganicMania interview with Anca Novacovici, founder of DC’s Eco-Coach.
Did you like this interview? Leave a comment and share. And be sure to check out the other OrganicMania interviews here. There you’ll find great talks with Honest Tea Tea-EO Seth Goldman, Mom Made Foods Founder Heather Stouffer, Big Green Purse author Diane MacEachern, Mothers & Menus founder Karen Gurwitz, and more to come!
Copyright OrganicMania 2008Filed under Green Ideas & Stuff, Interviews | Wordpress Comments (2) |
We all know businesses are trying to go green. Some are even going to incredible lengths to run “green promotions” that are really not authentic representations of their businesses. This type of self-promoting “eco-PR” will likely only get them nailed in the blogosphere as “green washers.” It’s a shame, really, when the right green path can consist of very simple steps, even for the smallest local businesses.
It came to me on my morning walk. As I passed by the local church’s summer camp, I noticed that the kids were drinking water from styrofoam cups.
How many kids across the US are drinking from styrofoam rather than recyclable or biodegradable cups? Wouldn’t it be great if local businesses could step up and donate eco-friendly cups to the camps? The kids would learn a valuable lesson about environmental stewardship, and the businesses would get a three-fer: helping the local community, building goodwill, and taking a simple step to help the environment.
No one needs crazy “green campaigns” that consume more resources than they save. If you’re a small business owner, take a walk, clear your head, and look around your community. You’ll probably come up with your own great green ideas.
And if you’re a parent dropping your kid at camp, tell me – is your camp a bit “greener” this year? Or are things the same as they’ve always been?
Copyright 2008 OrganicManiaFiled under Green Ideas & Stuff, Parenting | Wordpress Comments (3) |