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Not Your Momma’s “Treehugger:” Female Founders Who Sustain

Tending to humanity is the mission of these three amazing female founders.
Forbes recently published a great piece about how sustainability is not just about saving our planet but about ensuring the human race survives and enjoys safety and good health. In the past, environmentalists were often viewed as “treehuggers” or impractical evangelists, telling others how to live. Today, we’re living in a world where celebrities and other public figures are using their reach and voices to encourage changes that will ultimately benefit all of us….women, men, and children alike!
Here are stories of just three “everyday women” who are taking small steps to reduce waste and sustain our world.
  • Founder/CEO Sharon Rowe and her company ECOBAGS have been moving the green needle one reusable bag at a time. Founded in 1989, the company was the first to bring European cotton market bags to the US in an effort to reduce plastic bag waste. Sharon was a pioneer in the space and she has continued to grow her brand and change consumer habits — one bag at a time. These sustainably-sourced, durable bags earned Rowe and team a B Corp Best for the World Environment nod two years running. And the bags are customizeable using — of course — earth-friendly dyes. Upping our green swag while being kind to the planet — what’s not to love?
  • I met co-owner and Managing Editor of Eco-Chick Lindsay Ellen Brown several years ago. Her passion for the environment and for making green living “cool” was genuine. She wasn’t just jumping on the green bandwagon because it was trendy. I recently had the pleasure of attending one of her educational/inspirational events called Our Sustainable Future which featured brilliant minds in sustainability and discussed how the circular economy will change design for the better. Combining her love of writing with her knowledge of sustainable living, she is changing other women’s habits one baby step at a time.
  • Even though you may be very careful when you separate your bottles from the rest of your trash, only 17% of glass that is recycled actually ends up being recycled. The rest winds up in landfills, according to Clear Intentions, a unique Colorado-based company. Founder Brittany Evans leads the operation that’s diverting glass from landfills and processing it into a high-quality crushed glass called cullet, used in the manufacturing of new glass bottles, terrazzo, and fiberglass insulation. Clear Intentions was awarded Small Business of the Year from the Denver Post and Recycler of the Year from the Colorado Association for Recycling.

Beware greenwashing! Since the onset of the “green” movement, organizations have been telling “little green lies.” Here are some ways to separate truth from fiction. Hats off too to WMEAC and Women in the Environment for their helpful guide!

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