Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Rick Dubrow’s “On The Level” Column in the Cascadia Weekly; Published 12-26-07

“Do stuff” asserts a new Radio Shack ad.

Watching this on CNN, Paul Hawken instantly popped into my head.  In The Ecology of Commerce he writes that “….there is no polite way to say that business is destroying the world.”

Amen, Paul.

Allow me to write a new ad for Radio Shack:  “When you’re about to buy stuff, think again.  Consider the impact that your purchase will have on the planet. If, in the end, you decide that this purchase is truly necessary, there’s yet more to think about.  Because where you buy it has a considerable impact on the planet as well.  Look for, and support, the cleanest and greenest business that provides the stuff you’re about to buy!  Buy it here at Radio Shack if your research proves how green we really are.”

How will you know, or research, whether Radio Shack is green and worthy of your support when you lay down your hard earned bucks?  Do you simply believe the hype on ads that promote how environmentally responsible the advertiser is?  Might it be green washing?

Here’s one way to know. Turn to the companies that have been awarded recognition as EnviroStars; companies that want to do stuff well instead of just do stuff.  The EnviroStars program certifies companies’ efforts to reduce pollution and hazardous waste, and helps the public identify these environmentally responsible businesses in their communities.

Why not set up their website as a favorite and then refer to this business directory as one of your initial steps to research from whom you will do stuff well?

Over 600 EnviroStar businesses can be found in 60 cities throughout their 5 county program (Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Pierce and Whatcom).  Eighteen Whatcom County businesses have received between two and five stars, depending upon the intensity of their actions.  You can find them all online at www.envirostars.org or by calling 877-220-7827. This represents the largest number of businesses participating in a voluntary hazardous waste reduction program in the United States!

EnviroStars is an organization of local government agencies in partnership with the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance that provides certification, that ‘stamp of approval’, which says that a specific company is doing the right thing in managing its hazardous wastes and reducing its environmental impact.

Here’s a sampling of what some EnviroStar businesses are doing:

  1. EnviroStar marinas are preventing contaminants from reaching Puget Sound and local waterways
  2. EnviroStar dentists are reducing mercury and lead
  3. EnviroStar auto repair shops are reducing paint wastes
  4. EnviroStar dry cleaners are spreading the use of less-toxic chemical to clean garments
  5. EnviroStar printers are minimizing solvent and ink waste
  6. EnviroStar landscapers are reducing the use of pesticides

80% of consumers surveyed across 5 counties in the Puget Sound region said they preferred to support environmentally minded businesses (telephone survey conducted in Feb. 2007 by Evans McDonough Company, Inc.).

It’s one thing to want to do the right thing; it’s another to know how to do it! Here’s one step in the right direction:  go to www.envirostars.org and do your homework.

Do your part and do stuff well.

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