A year ago GenGreenLife.com launched as a social network site with listings of environmentally friendly businesses. It claims to be the “largest database of sustainable living resources, larger than any other website online.” Presently, it contains over 25,000 listings covering all 50 states and 350 cities. According to a September 8, 2008 press release, it is an “online community that makes local sustainable living easy for conscious consumers everywhere.”
Among GenGreenLife’s listings are over 15,000 recycling facilities, alternative transportation options, and cooperatives. The site also has a directory of over 9,000 eco-friendly businesses with an interactive map. It boasts that it has the largest green job board in the U.S., and the largest green events calendar.
“After we surpassed the 25,000 listings mark, I knew that we had achieved something remarkable,” said Founder and CEO Charisse McAuliffe. “It is a direct reflection of the population and their willingness to embrace the ideals of sustainability and localization. This is good news for people and even better news for the planet.”
In September, GenGreenLife announced its partnership with Co-op America in September, which makes it possible for users to see which companies Co-op America approved. Businesses must meet certain requirements to be approved by Co-op America, and then listed on GenGreenLife including being values driven, and socially and environmentally responsible in the way they source, manufacture and market products and run their facilities.
A model of sustainability
In its office, GenGreenLife is a model of sustainable business practices. It uses only 100 percent recycled paper, and encourages employees to print on the back of a used paper sheet for “all non-official internal documents.” Printed marketing materials are kept to a minimum because online media is focused on. When marketing materials are necessary, they print locally on recycled paper at a facility that is fully powered by wind turbines, plus use vegetable based inks.
Office products are purchased locally from companies “whose practices we can support with good conscience.” When items need to be shipped, they use boxes made from post-consumer waste.
A compost bin is on site and employees must compost everything than can be composted. Recycling bins are also in the office for glass, plastics, metal, paper and cardboard. Non-toxic cleaning supplies are used.
In order to be more energy efficient, most employees are provided with a laptop instead of desktop. Solar lighting and heating has been installed.
State of the Green Union, Autumn 2008
In October released its first State of the Green Union, calling it the Autumn 2008 edition, which highlighted trends in the environmental movement, plus recognized certain businesses and service providers that demonstrated positive trends. The next State of the Green Union will be the Winter 2009 edition.
For the three greenest trends of Autumn 2008, GenGreenLife chose organic everything, eating locally, and agri-tourism. The “organic everything” section focused on microbreweries, including New Belgium Brewing, a company Triple Pundit has posted several articles on, including New Belgium Brewery: Four Principles of Sustainability, and Green Micro-breweries.
The agri-tourism section highlighted farms and ranches that provide education about agriculture. Agri-tourism is defined by GenGreenLife as “technically any land based farm or business that allows the public to view or participate in its activities.”