Archive for May, 2009

In it for the Real Green: Eco-friendly niche business

green leafAs strange as it may seem, it is only a recent societal development that has the average citizen dishing out some amount of concern for the well-being of the environment. Whether it was the media-storm of eco-friendly messages, gas prices sky-rocketing, or Obama’s new ‘green’ stimulus money, the American population as a whole can now be considered a tad-bit worried about our planet. Prior to this ‘revelation’, conservation and sustainable living were considered elitist left wing movements designed to take our eyes off of more important topics of conversation – like WMDs.

Now that Americans are green – what do we do about it?

US industry has taken terrific leaps and bounds to ‘green-ify’ its image – from the confusing eco-marketing campaigns for hip clothing apparel  to the pastoral package imagery of organic  foods.  The word ‘Organic’ itself has traveled generations in meaning and is now worth billions of dollars to companies like Whole Foods, whose brand fully depends on people thinking they are ‘greener’ by buying their food.   The truth  is, most companies like these are rapidly re-branding with the primary goal of getting a different sort of green.

There are a handful of companies which the public needs to keep an eye out for and support for being genuinely green-focused.  These are companies that are often targeting a niche environmental problem and are doing their jobs very well.  These businesses deserve the utmost support from both the private and government sectors – for our future truly depends on their continual evolution.

So what are a few of these companies?

  • Tesla Motors: Tesla Motors is truly an innovator in creating cars of the future that can have an impact on today.  Space enthusiast Elon Musk’s company has already created a successful electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster, that has caught the eye of many a celebrity.  The next endeavor will be the cheaper and more accessible Model S.  Hopefully smaller manufacturers like Tesla will have the support to grow and accommodate for many of the unemployed workers from teetering auto-industry giants.
  • Grid Alternatives:  Grid Alternatives is a California non-profit that provides power to communities in need through alternative energy sources like Solar Cells.  Companies like these not only address growing environmental problems, but also do so in a socially responsible manner that impacts communities across California.
  • Green Energy Technologies: The developer of the WindCube- a cutting edge wind turbine that is designed to be installed on commercial urban and suburban locations.  Technologies such as the WindCube represent an eco-friendly option for  city dwellers.   More of our population is now condensed within urban centers than ever before.   Transporting power over shorter distances will play an important role in stemming our energy-usage.

How can we support companies like these?

One way for other companies to support green technology is either by utilizing their products for enterprise needs, or by offering helpful services to them.   Large and small businesses  alike can consider making an investment in the future by purchasing something like a WindCube to supply their energy needs.

One great example of this  is Newton On Demand, a recruiting software company whose technology is currently powering the hiring and applicant management efforts of Grid Alternatives.  This is extremely important because finding and retaining the brightest minds for an eco-friendly company like this will put the green-technology sector one step ahead.  The more genius applicants that can be pulled towards helping our planet, the better.

The easiest way for the public to support companies like these is also to utilize their products or services.  Although most people still don’t have the cash (especially in the current economy) to purchase a new Tesla or WindCube, a non-profit like Grid Alternatives is largely supported through donations, where even a small amount can help.

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