Startup Friday: Two Moms Give Birth to Their Green Baby:

startup-friday1.jpgLaunching for Mother’s Day 2009, aims to help Moms bring healthier and more environmentally-friendly living to their families, their communities, and their world.
GreenMoms started as a San Francisco Bay-Area group of women who met regularly to discuss their childrens’ health, eat eco-friendly vegetarian food, go berry-picking, and generally get active in their community. Melinda McNaughton, the group’s founder, said that, “Once the group got going, it felt so good to have a network of people to share successes and challenges that it made it much easier to stay motivated to make green changes. We’re constantly inspiring each other with new ideas.”
greenmoms.pngMcNaughton and business partner Janice Solimeno thought the idea of “Meeting Locally, Supporting Globally” was such a good one, they decided to take the group and turn it into an online community.
Community is the key word, as the site encourages groups to form in their own area, and to use the resources on the website, including the innovative GreenMometer, to share ideas and live healthier and more sustainable lives. The site is growing rapidly, and groups are forming in such far flung places as Israel, Alabama, and Idaho.
Bringing sustainability to Moms may be one of the most crucial bridges the green movement must make. Moms, especially new Moms, tend to be very interested in many aspects of green business as a result of widespread acknowledgment of the effects of harmful chemicals (agrochemicals in food, lead paint in Chinese toys, BPA in baby bottles, etc.). If the green movement is to move beyond the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northeast (and into red states), reaching Moms is very important. One of the best ways to reach them is through peer-to-peer interactions, exactly the kind that GreenMoms tries to facilitate on a local level.

The ethos of the site is “come as you are”. McNaughton and Solimeno acknowledge that there are many shades of green, and that people may be coming to the site and forming groups that aren’t quite as eco-literate as others. The beauty of this kind of website is that the tools like the GreenMometer make it really easy to go from curious to eco-savvy in no time, and with just a little effort.
Baby steps, if you will….
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and hopes that someday, the green economy will simply be referred to as…the economy.
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Scott Cooney, Principal of and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.

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