Female entrepreneurs lead the charge on going green
From Hollywood celebrities to working moms, these women are making a difference.
Entrepreneurial women are paving the way in growing environmentally sustainable business ventures around the world. Below we take a look at four of these women.
Recently, Jessica Alba graced the cover of Forbes Magazine to promote her eco-friendly baby and household product venture, The Honest Company. Alba is part of a new cadre of innovative and creative women making waves in this industry.
The California-based Honest Company promises to keep toxins out of its products. It also promotes top-to-bottom environmental sustainability practices. One of the their long-term targets is to “have all our product, and our packaging, made entirely of plant-based materials.”
To meet her bio-packaging goal, Alba might consider talking with Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO and co-founder of Israel-based TIPA Sustainable Packaging. All of TIPA’s bio-based packaging is compostable – you can toss it into your composter, just like you can food, and it disintegrates into the environment within 180 days.
Nissenbaum’s idea for the packaging grew out of a conversation with her son. “One day I had an argument with one of my kids, how come he hasn’t returned his water bottle from school?” Nissenbaum told From The Grapevine. “All that waste, plastic bottles lying at the bottom of the ocean for hundreds of years. I asked myself: What can I throw into the waste bin without guilt? The answer was obvious – organic waste – for example, an orange peel. And like an orange peel, we will eat or drink the content of the package, disposing of the package into the organic waste stream. The package will then decompose and go back to nature. If that happened, I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about my kids not bringing their water bottles home.”
TIPA’s biodegradable product is coming to U.S. supermarket shelves soon for packaging for a variety of foods ranging from granola bars to potato chips. “I think that if we really want to take care of the environment ... it should be holistic to our lifestyle,” Nissenbaum said.
Beth Bell’s concern over toxins in the environment grew immensely when a close friend of hers became ill with cancer. “Yes, there were genetic factors involved," Bell said. "But when she got sick, she learned that regular household chemicals and what we eat, what’s in our food, and in our furniture and bedding and clothing has an impact as well as environmental toxins that we have no control over. I began to look at the issue as a whole and saw that it was all connected.”
Bell used her experience in Hollywood to start Green Product Placement, a company that promotes environmentally friendly products in TV shows. Bell’s recent successes? “We’ve had a few," she says. "The Repurpose compostable cups in the hands of Francis Underwood on 'House of Cards' and the cops on 'Law and Order: SVU' was one,” Bell told From The Grapevine. She also got a small estate wine featured on “Episodes” starring Matt LeBlanc, as well as an all-natural, non-GMO snack bar featured on the TV drama “Suits."
Vina Lustado, a residential designer based in Ojai, California, is revolutionizing the meaning of reducing your carbon footprint with her Tiny House Design.
Lustado’s passion for environmental design blossomed during a fellowship in Germany where she spent time studying sustainable and affordable housing. “I knew many people in Germany that lived with sustainability as a part of their lifestyle, a part of their culture. It became obvious that it shouldn’t be something that we should think about as an option, but something we should do in our day-to-day life,” Lustado told From The Grapevine. “We need to incorporate it into the way we live.” Lustado attributes part of the Tiny House’s popularity to not only its clean design, but also to its sustainability.
“I think people are looking to do something kind to the environment, kind to the earth, while still being able to live well. There was a phrase that caught my attention recently – simplicity is the new luxury – so I think maybe that’s why.” According to Lustado, you don’t need big bucks or fancy technology to live an environmentally friendly life. “The myth of green building is that it is too expensive, and I counter that. To be sustainable is to be economically efficient,” Lustado said.
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