Published on March 27th, 2010 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg0
Green Businesses that Break the Mold (PPB #33)
Lily Jane Hart is a resident at Dancing Rabbit, and the owner of LatinTutor.net
Close your eyes and imagine the prototypical green business. It probably involves producing a green product – something organic, something handmade or something recycled – or some combination of the three.
But there’s a base of businesses that have formed and grown here at Dancing Rabbit that provide green services. I’m sitting in the middle of a bustling example – the Milkweed Mercantile. It’s true that the general store portion of this eco inn sells fabulous products that are organic, handmade and/or recycled. They also sell products that encourage the buyer to live greener – I’m thinking mostly of books, but scanning the room for other products like reusable shopping bags, canteens and rechargeable batteries. But the thrust of this business, and the reason it’s full of people at this very moment, is the green hospitality service it provides.
Skyhouse Consulting is another example. They provide services, web design, development and hosting. It’s likely that none of these services strikes you as particularly eco, until you consider that they’re provided by people whose home and business is powered by solar electricity and who eat predominantly vegan, organic and local food.
LatinTutor.net is another example of an eco business in disguise. Learning to read and translate ancient texts doesn’t scream eco – but consider that neither the authors or the readers used fossil fuel in the process of writing or reading and it casts Latin tutoring in a much more earth-friendly light. I’m the proprietor of Latintutor.net and I strive to make each of my lessons student-centered. This attitude of “What can I do to serve the other person?” is readily compatible with “What can I do to serve the planet I inhabit?”
A key part of Dancing Rabbit’s sustainability education is that every little bit helps. Change your bulbs to compact fluorescents*, bike instead of driving, cut down on your consumption of meat, bring a reusable bag* with you when you go shopping, and you’re moving in the right direction. These business have taken it a step further by doing what their owners and employees would be doing anyway – providing quality services – but doing it in an eco-friendly way.
Help support this kind of business development (and teaching others about it) by making your donation to Dancing Rabbit.
*Links to sustainablog’s Green Choices store