Vote for the Green Business of the Year

It’s that time again!  Green America’s annual popular vote to elect this year’s most inspiring green business.  What defines green business is subject of some debate, but Green America’s criteria and pioneering work in the field have helped set the standard for triple bottom line metrics.  One of last year’s winners, Dharma Merchant Services, for example, processes credit card purchases.  What sets them apart from other merchant account providers is that they use clean energy, recycled office products, and give “10% of gross profits to charitable organizations that care for sick, underprivileged, underrepresented and exploited people, animals and land is our way of showing respect and care for all aspects of our community.”  They also practice a zen-like spiritual business practice as described in Sacred Commerce, by Matthew and Terces Engelhart.

This kind of Triple Bottom Line business is what usually wins the Green Business of the Year award from Green America’s members. And it’s exactly that spirit of community participation that makes this award so great.  According to Jeff Marcous, co-founder of Dharma Merchant Services, “Having been recognized by Green America is a validation that how we are doing our business is as important as what we are doing in our business.  And more importantly, it is the tribe and culture of Green America’s members that determine the winner and the spirit of community that it fosters.”

Voting is not limited to members, however, so get on the site, check out these ten incredible green businesses, and cast your vote!

Voting begins today and ends October 6th.  Vote here!

The top ten nominees this year include:

1. Brittanie’s Thyme
Cedar Springs, MI |
“Small, upcoming company providing USDA-certified organic skin-care that is safe, economical and truthfully green. No excess packaging, reasonable prices, great natural products for your skin (and they work!).”
—Freyja G., La Grange, IL

2. Digital Hub
Chicago, IL |
“I work with dozens of printers as a marketing professional. Digital Hub stands out in its choices to voluntarily reduce its carbon footprint and preserve the Earth while continuing to deliver a great product.”
—Nicholas Q., Homewood, IL

3. Ecobunga
San Carlos, CA|
“This site works to help consumers save money and to encourage purchasing of greener products. They really work hard to find the best green deals and keep the site up to date with the latest green discounts.”
—Elizabeth L., Swissvale, PA

4. Faerie’s Dance
Harbor City, CA |

“This one-woman company offers affordable, beautiful, sustainable organic clothing, all beneficial for the consumer and environment (with the widest range of eco-intimates I’ve ever seen!)”
Trisha F., Raleigh, NC

5. gDiapers
Portland, OR |
“50 million diapers get tossed each day and each one takes up to 500 years to biodegrade. Ick. Home compost, toss, or flush the biodegradable gRefill for the smallest footprint on earth. gDiapers break down in 50-150 days.”
Rob D., Lake Oswego, OR

6. Grounds for Change
Poulsbo, WA |
“Fresh roasted high quality coffee. Organic, Fair Trade, shade grown, carbon-free certified, 1% For the Planet. They are always looking for ways to reduce their business’ impact on the planet and improve the lives of those that live on it. ”
Jodi R., Bethel Park, PA

7. Hazelnut Kids
Traverse City, MI |
“This is by far my favorite green toy store: incredible customer service and a great selection. Easy- to-navigate site, divided for browsing by age, brand, category. Eco-friendly and a tree planted for every toy sold. ”
Mare D., Sag Harbor, NY

8. Stay Vocal
Norwell, MA |
“Not only are they re-styling t-shirts that will just be thrown away, they ALSO package in recycled boxes! Repurposing stuff that is landfill bound is a great thing to do… best re-use project I’ve ever seen. ”
Jennifer V., Las Vegas, NV

9. Theo Chocolate
Seattle, WA |
“I’m continually amazed at how deeply Theo cares about their community making sure the farmers are being paid well through transparent processes, letting farmers voice their needs, and educating the public about Fair Trade.”
Cat G., Corvallis, OR

10. We Add Up
Wickliffe, OH |

“They use 100-percent certified organic cotton for their tees, are a carbon-neutral company, offer carbon-free shipping, and they donate 12 percentof their sales to environmental non-profits.”
Hollie Ann H., Canton, OH

Vote today!


About the author:  Scott Cooney is the Principal at, a membership community and small business advisory site for companies exploring Triple Bottom Line strategies, and author of Build a Green Small Business (McGraw-Hill)

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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