As soon as their kids were off to college, Karen and Al decided to downsize and move out of their large family home and settled into the idea of a home with a smaller, sustainable footprint. They explored the possibilities of buying an existing home and renovating it to fit their new lifestyle and eco-friendly inclinations. With lower real estate prices, mortgage rates, available rebates for energy-efficiency upgrades and appliances, and affordable design and construction companies, the decision was an easy one for them to make.
Our collection of success stories are designed to give you ideas on how to implement your own climate success story. Use the filters on the left to narrow down your search by audience type, action type, and more. Or read them all and get inspired today!
Meet the husband and wife green team — Marco Pietschmann and Bettina Limaco. Together the two started their small business, Green11, as part of their vision for the future of shopping. Green11 isn’t your average retailer. The duo has implemented a new retail model that minimizes consumer packaging, thereby significantly reducing waste from the traditional supply chain. This is all done through a revolutionary concept called the “closed-loop distribution model.”
For Advanced Transit Dynamics (ATDynamics), helping trucking companies cut fuel costs is how it gives back to Mother Nature. A small business dedicated to developing the best-in-class technology for the freight transportation industry, ATDynamics works with carriers throughout North America to reduce their carbon footprint. One way it has accomplished this is through its flagship product, the TrailerTail®. In 2010, more than 480 of these devices were installed on the back of tractor-trailers, saving more than 36,000 gallons of diesel.
Zan Media, San Francisco Bay Area film and video production specialists, caught the green buzz when producing their recent documentary on the California wine business, “A State of Vine”. Says partner/producer Christine Scioli, “We devoted a segment of the documentary to sustainability and saw time and time again the efforts made in the wine industry to become environmentally sensitive. It dawned on us that we took similar steps in the film and video business by becoming a 100 percent digital production company.”
Petaluma-based label printing enterprise and sticker manufacturer, Paragon Label and Mrs. Grossmans, are committed to producing the highest quality products for their customers in the most sustainable manner possible. Paragon Label and Mrs. Grossmans have been involved in conserving and recycling for more than a decade. Their green business philosophy is to continually improve and seek out innovative new options to reduce their carbon footprint.
Chartwell School, an independent day school serving grades K through 12, has demonstrated its dedication to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through its leadership in high performance school design and operations. Chartwell is committed to creating the best possible learning environment for students by providing exceptional daylighting, outdoor views, good indoor air quality, and thermal comfort. The campus is energy efficient, conserves water, is healthy, comfortable, well lit, and contains the features needed for quality education.
When school staff and officials at the Napa Unified School District got together with the Board of Education, they envisioned a campus that offered a dynamic learning environment. With the opening of American Canyon High School (ACHS) in fall 2010, they achieved just that and much more.
Concerned by the potential health hazards associated with the use of perchloroethylene (PERC), a traditional dry cleaning chemical, Hesperian Cleaners decided to go green. “I didn’t want to change it to another solvent or another type of chemical,” says owner Sung Han Lee. Therefore, five years ahead of the new mandated schedule to phase out PERC, Mr. Lee chose a new process called wet cleaning.
An independent Roman Catholic school serving grades preschool through 12, Sacred Heart School is the first school to obtain LEED Platinum certification under the LEED for Schools program. A platinum rating is the highest of four Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification levels.
For this contractor, construction and demolition are environmentally-friendly activities. Diamond D General Engineering’s owner, Spencer Defty, set out to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at his company by changing the way he ran his business. Defty implemented environmentally-friendly product and material uses as well as solid waste reduction strategies, energy effciency measures, recycling policies, and vehicle pollution prevention policies.
Blue Oak Energy is in the business of being green. Dedicated to providing high quality service to customers nationwide, Blue Oak Energy excels in managing solar projects every step of the way.
Through their hard work and perseverance, Blue Oak Energy has made enormous contributions to the growth of the solar industry in California. In 2008 Blue Oak contributed in the contruction of 7% of the entire US solar market and 23% of the entire California solar market which translates into the reduction 500 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
UPDATE: RSG IS NO LONGER IN BUSINESS, BUT THEIR CLIMATE ACTIONS ARE STILL VERY RELEVANT. (AUGUST 2016)
Rent-A-Green Box is a multifaceted fast growing company with green on the brain. Spencer Brown, who embraced the green philosophy, knew that over 20% of the population moves every year and noticed the excessive waste that went into every move from cardboard boxes that were used only once then thrown away to tape and Styrofoam peanuts. So he set out to change the way Southern California and America relocate their property without trashing the planet.. “His concern for sustainability at every aspect of the business was incredible and was matched only by his innovative solutions,” said E.B.
Sassan Rahimzadeh set out to create one of the most technologically advanced and environmentally sustainable dry cleaning services around. He succeeded when he opened the doors of Arya Cleaners. Understanding that people have many options when selecting their dry cleaning services, Arya Cleaners offers an environmentally friendly experience, along with state-of-the-art service.
Blue Star Refreshments is an office refreshment service provider located in Silicon Valley that has made the commitment to go green. They offer complete office refreshment services including coffee, snack, dairy products, fresh fruit, baked goods, and catering services, with an emphasis on a low carbon footprint, energy savings, less waste, and healthier snacking through their Healthy Snack Program.
Head tree-hugger and Christmas Caroler, Scott “Scotty Claus” Martin, was once ashamed by the discarded Christmas Trees that would line the streets after the holidays. Now, thanks to the Living Christmas Company, families can invite the same tree over for the holidays year after year.
The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has delivered credible environmental research since 1994. They have embraced climate friendly practices with a comprehensive approach to green their business and a commitment to promoting their achievements as widely as possible.
Premier Auto Tops and Interiors is one of the largest and most experienced upholstery companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1965 by Dan O'Neill and Bob Mestressat, Premier has been at the same location for 45 years and now implements sustainable business practices.
Lafitte Cork & Capsule is committed to improving the sustainability of their products as well as their operations. Lafitte’s Green Business Initiative grows out of their long term family commitment to create a sustainable business model.
Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV), a non-profit organization, has calculated its carbon footprint to be approximately 40 tons of CO2e per year. One of the core philosophies at SSV is that you can’t manage what you can’t measure, so both of SSV’s home-based offices set out to monitor and measure their environmental impacts, just as they require all SSV partners to do.
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