green media

A Greener Ripe featured in Business Week

Posted on August 12, 2009. Filed under: air quality, green business, green media, green operations, green services, Uncategorized |

photos by Brad Trent

Business Week’s new feature “When Going Green Isn’t About Marketing“, by Amy Barrett, gets at the heart of what Green Living Consulting preaches daily – it’s possible to green your business in a way that saves money and reduces your impact on the environment. Our client Ripe has demonstrated how you weather a tough economy in both a fiscally and environmentally responsible way by greening up your operations.

Ripe, a DC-based web and graphic design studio, has been in the creative world for many years and continues to be a leader in innovative design practices, increasingly incorporating sustainable design into their products and services. But that’s not all. They have embraced sustainability as not just something they should consider when designing, but in every aspect of their business – from how they get to work (see Maryam’s bicycle below right), to how they light, cool, and heat their office, and even what they use to clean it.

Ripe also looks for opportunities to giveback, for example by donating laptops to the One Laptop per Child Foundation, whose mission is to create educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning. Tomas, owner of Ripe, even subsidizes alternative transportation for his employees – something not unusual for DC given the number of federal employees that receive transit benefits, but for this 5-person design firm, that’s a major commitment.

The studio’s design also incorporates sustainable materials: bamboo floors, low-VOC paints, and recently added Sansevieria plants, which are a big favorite of ours for cleaning the air naturally indoors. This plant is great because it is low-light tolerant, requires little water, and absorbs many of the toxins in the air that we don’t even know are there (See NASA study excerpts on how house plants absorb potentially harmful gases indoors).

Ripe was also the first design firm in Washington DC to adopt the Design Accord – a global coalition of designers, educators, and corporate leaders, working together to create positive environmental and social impact. Adopters of the Designers Accord commit to five guidelines that provide collective and individual ways to take action.

Ripe also recently received its Green Living Consulting certification, in which they rated SILVER in our Scorecard Assessment for their green actions across our 8 pillars of sustainability. We can’t wait to help them reach GOLD and keeping climbing the green ratings from there.

be well. live green.

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Green Living Consulting client Taylor Gourmet featured in Dwell

Posted on July 29, 2009. Filed under: green business, green media, green operations |

If you are not a design enthusiast, you may not be a subscriber of Dwell – the at home in the modern world magazine. But if you are a green enthusiast that also enjoys modern, sustainable design then Dwell will have plenty of reading and viewing pleasure for you. The current issue – September – features one of Green Living Consulting’s clients: Taylor Gourmet, a Philadelphia hoagie deli and Italian market in Washington D.C. Owners David Mazza and Casey Patten are featured because they live above the deli, having converted a former beauty parlor on H Street NE into a mixed-use live/work space that embodies urban, and green living (click here for the online feature).

GLC couldn’t be happier to see them featured (pages 92- 99) for multiple reasons:

a) We love when our clients get good press for their business successes, which often include their green initiatives, or are at least due in part to their efforts to lessen their impact on the environment while also delivering top-notch products and services.

b) Casey and Dave chose the H Street NE district to build their home and Italian deli. The H street NE corridor – which starts roughly at the boundary of North Capitol (near D.C.’s Union Station) and extends to 15th street NE – used to be a thriving commercial district prior to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, which sparked riots that caused destruction from which the corridor has not since recovered.  A transition is underway, however. New restaurants and bars have invigorated parts of the H Street corridor, often referred to by DC residents as the Atlas District (the streets from about 11th – 14th NE) because of the historic Atlas theater, a former movie theater that now houses a Performing Arts Center. The Rock-n-Roll hotel also reels in young, hipsters who want to spend their evenings in a grungy bar listening to bands that they didn’t have to spend a paycheck on to hear.With a trolley car scheduled to be installed and other redevelopment efforts planned by D.C.’s Office of Planning, whispers of this corridor becoming a once-again thriving district are not unrealistic, and probably not too far off.

c) H Street is near and dear to our heart. Green Living Consulting not only has shared office space along the corridor, we are also part of a major initiative with DC Greenworks and H Street Main Street organization to Grow H Street NE Green – starting with educating the local business community on the benefits of greening their operations and taking advantage of government grant programs to add green roofs. Our hope is that if other businesses along the corridor witness the benefits that implementing green practices has both for their pocketbooks and reputation as well as the environment, as Taylor has demonstrated, then they will be motivated to make even small changes that collectively will serve to have a big impact.

d) We would be lying if we weren’t also thrilled at getting a name mention on page 98 of the feature article, given our love for Dwell and almost all things both modern and green!

be well. live green.

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Green Living Consulting speaks with Athletic Business magazine

Posted on July 1, 2009. Filed under: green media | Tags: |

Green Living Consulting was recently interviewed by Athletic Business magazine regarding the green movement in health clubs. As Andrew Cohen, author of the article “Eco Logical”, points out that health clubs, and many business in general, started focusing on green practices and the marketing of their green efforts a few years ago. “Then came the global economic meltdown, and going green immediately took a backseat to staying in the black.” The article mentions our work with two of DC’s health clubs – VIDA Fitness at the Verizon Center and CycleLife USA in Georgetown.

One thing we’d like to emphasize that was not clear in the article is that we do support LEED (which is a little misleading from the author’s statement that green consultants sometimes dismiss LEED because of its cost). Where we see a bridge in our services and rating system with what LEED provides is the tranistion from construction and design to the everyday operations. We look at some of the interior design and infrastructure to assess at what point a committment was made to integrate “green” – whether in building design, furniture, wall and flooring selection, etc, to practices and products used to support the services once open for business. For example, in a health club, we like to see a committment to good air quality considering that people are coming to a club to get in shape and improve health. If a club member is inhaling VOCs (volatile organic compounds often found in paints, carpeting and other synthetic materials) while exercising, they could be increasing their risk of cancer or other illnesses as those toxins are exposed to their body. There are a number of ways to improve air quality post-construction and design, including ensuring adequate ventilation, adding air purifying plants, and using non-toxic cleaning products on all surfaces and machines.

There’s much more to the green side than good air quality, and so we target a number of areas that create a overall sustainable operation. For health clubs, integrating green practices is a way to cut operating costs as well as create a healthy environment good for people and the planet.

be well. live green.

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