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'Green' Businesses Reflect New Attitude


Many businesses around the world are "going green," combining entrepreneurship with an increasing concern about the health and future of the planet. These businesses aim to provide environmentally safe alternatives to long-established products and services. VOA's Robert Raffaele introduces us to one "green" businessman in Washington.

Eco-Green Living is an environmentally friendly business tucked away on a quiet street corner in the nation's capital.

Its owner, Keith Ware is a mountain climber who says his appreciation of the Earth's beauty has inspired him to do his part to save it.

"Green by my definition is looking out for everyone else,” Ware said.

Ware's store carries a wide range of products, including non-toxic paint, health and beauty aids and home appliances such as a tankless water heater that sells for up to $1,100.

Ware admits that some of his items are expensive, but he says the long-term savings they create are not lost on customers.

He says, "People in general are very, very good about going green. When given a product, and then an environmentally friendly version of the same product, and you tell them that it is environmentally friendly, they usually make the right choice.”

Ware says the growing popularity of eco-friendly products is starting to attract the attention of big business.

"I walked into a trade show one day in Chicago, and of course, it was a green trade show - and the first two companies that hit me are Dow and Dupont . I said they aren't my green companies, but there they were. But they realized there was profit in it, so everybody is going that way," he added.

Ware's biggest concern for the future of green businesses is that the people on the supply side get a fair price for their services. He says that will keep costs down for everyone from retailer to customer, ultimately providing hope for a healthier planet.

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