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The Green Giants

Twenty ways to make eco-friendly buying decisions.


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General Store
Earth Goods General Store

Earth Goods’ role in the community is to be a “Walmart with a conscience,” but also a unique resource to help people move toward a sustainable lifestyle, owner Thom Benedict says. For three and a half years, people have regularly come in to ask general questions—like about baby products—or buy specific products like green cleaners. “We’re open and receptive—even if we don’t have something that people need in the store, we’ll work to help them find it,” he says.

Benedict shares a few green “general-store” goods that often surprise folks, such as alternatives to clothing dryers—free-standing, sustainably harvested or reclaimed wooden drying racks or umbrella dryers. “That’s one of the first things I’d encourage someone to do if they want to minimize their ecological footprint,” he says. They also offer eco-friendly baby diapers and rain barrels for backyard water harvesting.
1249 S. 900 East, 801-746-4410,

Bath & Body Products
Bubble & Bee

Bubble & Bee came from Stephanie Greenwood’s concern that the many chemicals—neurotoxins, parabens and estrogenic compounds—in body-care products, even at health-food stores, are harmful, she says. Greenwood began making and selling her own products in 2007 at the downtown Farmers Market. Now, she’s distributed in local grocers, 29 national Whole Foods stores and through her Website and Bountiful store.

“There’s a lot of confusion in what is organic and what is natural,” Greenwood says. “We have the USDA Organic green seal on our products. ‘Natural’ is really not defined in any sense of the term—there’s no kind of certification.”

Bubble & Bee is a certified organic facility. They package in recycled materials, source locally where possible and sell concentrates to lower its products’ carbon footprint. When shopping for green personal-care products, Greenwood says to “Always read the ingredients and don’t just take the front cover for face value. Understand what those ingredients are [by looking them up online].”
297 N. 200 West, 801-560-7899, Bountiful,


With all this talk of “being green,” here’s some motherly advice to “eat your greens.” At Pago, sustainability tastes pretty good. Springtime dishes like Morgan Valley Lamb ravioli or Pago’s roasted beets should pique interest and perk palates. With a focus on artisan, local, and farm fresh, the dinner menu frequently changes due to the seasonality of produce. During summer, 90 percent of food and beverage is locally produced. Pago began Restaurant Supported Agriculture—similar to the community-assisted-agriculture model—upon opening in May 2009, but stopped last year when it began growing its own produce on a small parcel in Sugar House. Proteins, flours and eggs are bought locally year-round.

The building was remodeled to incorporate reclaimed wood and steel, along with paper stone—made from recycled paper. Pago’s extensive recycling program now includes one employee turning empty wine bottles into cocktail glasses.
878 S. 900 East, 801-532-0777,

Clothing & Accessories
Green the World

This one-of-a-kind Weber County store sells wares that don’t compromise cute and chic to be green and Earth-friendly. The shop offers a hodgepodge of items, with many brands to choose from, like Simple Shoes, CycleLogical and Park City companies Green Element and Locals Have More Fun. Ladies can adorn themselves with recycled jewelry like Silver Wear—bracelets made locally from sterling-silver spoons—or Fair Trade necklaces made from magazines by African women.

Owner Beth Bell encourages people to start by doing a little at a time—like a shirt and necklace, rather than a whole wardrobe—until customers reach a satisfactory shade of green. Green the World also offers quarterly classes, like making green cleaners for spring. Bell adheres to the three Rs—reduce, reuse, recycle. Bell encourages consumers who shop for green products to ask storeowners where the products come from and how they screen them.
4171 Riverdale Road, Ogden, 801-781-3931,

Automotive Alternative-Fuel Conversions
Alternative Vehicle Solutions

Family-owned-and-operated Lancer Automotive Group knew the auto industry’s future would not be tied to foreign oil dependency. In 2008, the company opened Alternative Vehicle Solutions, which is devoted to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicle conversions and fuel-systems design. It designs fuel systems for General Motors and other American manufacturers. AVS also sells, installs and repairs Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) components and aftermarket CNG Fuel Delivery Systems locally. For the average consumer, a full conversion with installation runs $10,000-$12,000, but the price is expected to drop soon, says marketing manager Bry Scherbel. The fuel efficiency remains the same, but fuel costs are much less. As of mid-April, regular unleaded gasoline was $3.59 while natural gas was $1.30. Scherbel adds that natural gas isn’t as hard on a vehicle, meaning less-frequent oil changes and a longer vehicle life. The state offers a tax credit of $2,500 for conversions. Converted vehicles also burn much cleaner.
255 W. 2950 South, 801-463-0444,

Automotive Sharing
U Car Share

Do you normally bike or walk but need to buy groceries or get to a doctor’s appointment or a social engagement in another town? You can rent by the hour one of the UCars, located at the U and various Salt Lake City locations, the Phoenix-based subsidiary of U-Haul has more locations here than any in other city. The program helps keep cars off the road and, by extension, more harmful pollutants out the air. The mostly hybrid fleet can be rented by the hour for $4.95 plus a per-mile fee, but there’s a per-hour cap. “Renters” must be over 18 and restrictions apply up to 21.

Treasure Mountain Inn

“Protecting and preserving the planet is key to our longevity as a business and as residents,” says Treasure Mountain Inn co-owner Thea Leonard. Its mission is totally green, from the big-picture approach to the small details. The first hotel to join One Percent For The Planet, it donates 1 percent of its gross revenues to environmental nonprofits. 100 percent of the inn’s power comes from Rocky Mountain Power wind offsets. While they produce carbon, they’re actually carbon negative because a four-kilowatt solar system pumps energy back into the grid when unused. The inn is an EPA-certified Green Power Partner.

Additionally, the inn hires locally to avoid commuting. It has an extensive recycling program, offers organic food when possible and provides eco-friendly body care products. “You can make green choices without having to sacrifice. You don’t have to sleep in a tent,” Leonard says.
255 Main, Park City, 800-344-2460,

Business Consulting
E2 Business Program

Nearly 100 businesses in the Salt Lake area have made the commitment to cut back their energy consumption and reduce waste by enrolling in a free program offered by the city government. The e2 Business Program was started in 2003 to help businesses become more environmentally responsible and economically viable—the two Es that form the program’s name.

The service is free and the application is straightforward and thorough, involving assessments in energy use, transportation, recycling, etc. The wait for a consultation is about two weeks after the application process, says program coordinator Bridget Stuchly. Consultants do a site assessment, providing an outside eye to look for energy drains and places to improve efforts. Once a business adopts e2’s goals and demonstrates cutbacks, it receives accreditation. That’s good for profits, consumers and the environment—the triple bottom line.
451 S. State, Room 145, 801-535-6438,

Special Events
Live Green SLC! Festival

Now in its eighth year, the Live Green SLC! Festival is the largest green exposition in Utah, with more than 100 booths of green products, vendors and nonprofits featuring cutting-edge ideas and technologies from local and national organizations. As such, it is the premier place to network and pick up some knowledge that’s solution-oriented—be it about biodiesel or backyard chickens. But Live Green isn’t all business. A family-friendly affair, there’s music, food, a solar-powered beer garden and tunes spun by DJ Rocket Boy and the Solar Saucer—truly something for everyone.
May 7, 2011, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 400 S. 210 East,

Salt Lake City Green Drinks

Green Drinks started in London, England, with a few mates regularly discussing all things green over a pint at a pub. The idea spread worldwide, landing in Utah in 2007. Now co-run by Kirsten Gellella and Mary Rogers, the monthly networking event is hosted by rotating hosts, including Vertical Dinner, ReDirect Guide and Tracy Aviary, among others. “Our goal is not only to bring people together who are interested in a sustainable lifestyle, but to give them the opportunity to see other businesses that are green in the area,” Gellella says. Information for each month’s event can be found on the group’s Facebook page.
Various locations, fourth Tuesday of each month, Lake City

Zero Waste Programs
Momentum Recycling

Momentum Recycling is a little giant—a small company with lofty goals. It helps move organizations (not individuals) towards being zero-waste by collecting recyclables (blue-bin materials), organics (yard waste and food), glass, bulbs and batteries. Co-owner Kate Whitbeck says, “Depending on interest, we can provide in-depth consulting so [businesses] can further divert things from the landfill—be it minimizing materials or using them differently.”

Whitbeck says these services go beyond simply setting up a recycling container on location and involves hands-on business consulting. Look for someone who is “constantly giving feedback on progress and needed improvements, as in quarterly diversion reports.”
1909 S. 4250 West, 801-355-0334,