Sam Geil is a man of energy and action. He’s spent the last four years leading the growth of the International Green Industry Hall of Fame. The Hall honors those who are creating a cleaner, healthier world. Individuals, organizations, and companies are all eligible for nomination and induction. This week the IGIHOF will induct its fourth class at a ceremony in San Jose, CA.
(Watch Sam Geil discuss the International Green Industry Hall of Fame)
The nominees this year include some of the green movement’s greatest leaders, innovators, and luminaries. Here’s just a few (see the full list here).
- Amory Lovins – founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and named by Time Magazine in 2009 as one of the world’s Top 100 Most Influential People
- Roz Savage – the first woman to row solo across three oceans to raise awareness about environmental issues
- Recyclebank – a rewards platform that provides incentives to people to take environmental actions
- Terracycle – a company that turns the concept of waste on its head by upcycling recyclables into innovative new products
- McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry - a firm founded by William McDonough, co-authors of Cradle to Cradle, perhaps the green movement’s most influential book on product design
In 2010, I had the honor to be inducted into the Hall as a member of the first class. There are so many deserving leaders in this green movement who continue to press on to build a better present and a bridge to an outstanding future. And I see a new wave of green innovators emerging who are using an increasing array of tools to rapidly bring green solutions to the marketplace.
It’s an exciting time to be in the green industry. There’s much work ahead of us and therein lies the opportunity.
When sustainability melds with breakthrough performance the world celebrates. From Zero Motorcycles for 2014 comes the Zero SR, a motorcycle that goes 0-60 in 3.3 seconds. As the company puts it, the Zero SR “is designed for riders who simply want to go faster and accelerate harder.”
Now, I know a whole of folks who want to go faster and accelerate harder. They may not care much for protecting the environment. But the electric motorcycle between their thighs will typically generate far fewer emissions than a gasoline-powered alternative regardless of whether the rider gives a hoot.
So whether you crave speed or an environmentally advanced way to get there and back, the Zero SR may be the solution you’ve been waiting for. Throw in the fact that its electric motor operates virtually maintenance-free and lazy environmentalists who have neither kids nor Jewish moms might be able to charge around town on one of these.
WHY IT’S GREEN: The 2012 Union of Concerned Scientist’s report “State of Charge” (PDF) notes that electric vehicles generate significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions than most vehicles on the road today no matter where in the U.S. those vehicles are charged.
BUY: Zero SR from Zero Motorcycles ($16,695)
The Northfield, Vermont-based company aptly named Darn Tough asserts its socks are the best in the world. Highest quality. Most comfortable. Guaranteed for life. I recently purchased my first pair. Several jogs, snow slogs, and serious sledding outings later, I wholeheartedly agree. I love these socks. And I plan to purchase plenty more.
At $19 for a pair (like the ones above) they are not cheap. But heck, they’re made of merino wool and guaranteed for life. For life, Yo!
There’s a sign on the wall in the Darn Tough factory. It reads:
Tough to argue with that sentiment.
WHY IT’S GREEN: Wool is considered environmentally friendly because its a renewable resource that is naturally grown from sheep.
BUY: Darn Tough Socks
I love me some spicy mustard and Lusty Monk hands down delivers. Made locally in Asheville, North Carolina, Lusty Monk is made exclusively of fresh-ground, hand-crafted, natural ingredients.
How to describe the taste. Hmm. When I was six years old I remember sitting in the sun room of my great grandparents’ house in Queens, NY. It was September. I believe a Jewish holiday. Four generations of my family were gathered around a tiny television watching the Yankees play the Red Sox in a rare one game playoff to see who would advance to play the Royals.
Every Yankees and Red Sox knows what happened. Bucky Dent, of all unlikely Yankees heroes, stepped to the plate in the seventh inning and smacked a three-run home run over the green monster to give the Yankees the lead. They went on to win 5-4 in another crushing example of why the Yankees will always be better than the Red Sox (despite any recent evidence to the contrary).
That game represents the most vivid and joyous sports memory of my early childhood.
So what does this all have to do with Lusty Monk mustard? While we rooted for the Yanks my great grandma brought in a tray of snacks including salami and mustard. Though I was just six years old, I must have wolfed down half the plate. Yum.
That great Yankees’ win, salami, and delicious spicy mustard were forever cognitively linked in my brain and intertwined with emotions of victory, security, and ultimate satisfaction. One bite of Lusty Monk Mustard brings it all flowing back. I love it.
Why It’s Green: Natural products are made primarily of natural ingredients – extracted directly from plants and animals – with minimal processing. They avoid synthetic ingredients such as artificial colors, preservatives, and sweeteners.
Buy: Lusty Monk Mustard
One of the many delights of moving to Asheville is discovering the numerous locally made natural and organic products. I think it’s fair to say that Santosha Chocolate is the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted. That’s not just the higher altitude of this mountain town talking.
My favorite, Single Origin Peru, packs all the benefits of dark chocolate into a 4 oz. bar that only has 6 grams of sugar. I mean, are you f$#@ing kidding me?!!! 6 grams of sugar! That’s insane for a chocolate bar.
From the company:
We make our Single Origin Peru with equitably-traded, shade-grown, Criollo cacao beans from Peru’s Piura region. The Criollo cacao variety is a rare gem that comprises less than 5% of the world’s cacao production. Raw cacao is one of the healthiest foods on the planet – full of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and living enzymes. We sweeten our chocolate with coconut palm sugar, one of most flavorful and lowest glycemic sweeteners available.
Thank you, Dan Row, you somewhat odd yet clearly visionary, knife wielding chocolatier.
Why It’s Green: All of the ingredients are organic.
Buy: Santosha Chocolate