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Voting Opens November 1 for $5,000 Green Small Business Quarterly Award


Finalists to Compete for Green America Award Recognizing Green Entrepreneurs With a focus on sustainable, clean energy

WASHINGTON -- A public voting period opens tomorrow (November 1) for finalists of the second quarterly Green America “People & Planet” award recognizing America’s best green small businesses. Each of three winners will receive $5,000.

Voting for 10 finalists is open to the public online beginning November 1, 2012 at http://www.greenamerica.org/green-business-people-and-planet-award/index-voting-form.cfm until 5 p.m. on November 30, 2012.

The quarterly “People & Planet Awards” recognize innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. This round of the Awards will focus on green businesses that also have a strong commitment to renewable, clean energy. Votes will be tallied and three quarterly winners will be announced during the week of December 21st.

The 10 final contenders for this round of People & Planet Awards are: Angel Wind Energy, Onarga, IL; Brighton Car Wash, Naperville, IL; City Roots, Columbia, SC; Clean Currents, Silver Spring, MD; Cooperative Energy Futures, Minneapolis, MN; CozyPure, Norfolk, VA; Green Canopy Homes, Seattle, WA; Mosaic, Oakland, CA; Pacific Biodiesel, Kahului, HI; and Third Sun Solar, Athens, OH.

  • Angel Wind Energy, Onarga, IL., http://angelwindenergy.com. Angel Wind Energy is a family business with a commitment to clean energy through its line of wind and solar energy equipment for residential, commercial, and educational facilities. Not only does it sell clean energy equipment, but its offices are powered a by solar electric system, two wind turbines, a waste-oil heating system, LED lighting and low-flow water aerators. Angel Wind Energy is a member of the Illinois Green Economy Network and participates in national and local organizations to encourage the use of alternative energy. In the past, it has donated items to help electrify a community library and lighthouse in a small fishing village in Belize.
  • Brighton Car Wash, Naperville, IL., http://www.brightoncarwash.com. Brighton Car Wash is leading the charge in responsible energy use in Naperville, IL with its commitment to reduce energy consumption and water waste. It has installed a wind turbine to generate some of its energy, has reduced natural gas consumption by 70 percent with its solar thermal system, reduced electricity use by 60 percent with Energy Star motors, lighting and timers, and reduced water use by over 20 percent through responsible metering and adjustments.
  • City Roots, Columbia, SC., http://cityroots.org. City Roots is the first and only urban sustainable farm in Columbia, SC. Located on a three-acre site, it grow 75 varieties of fruits and vegetables, keeps bees for honey and plant pollination, raises chickens for eggs and has an aquaponic system that combines hydroponics and aquaculture. City Roots’ main building is Platinum LEED certified, its solar-heated greenhouses are recycled, and ventilation has been designed so that no air conditioning is necessary. The organization volunteers, gives tours, and sells its products at local farmers markets and through its year-round CSA. All deliveries are made in a hybrid vehicle.
  • Clean Currents, Silver Spring, MD., http://www.cleancurrents.com. Clean Currents is a green electricity provider that goes the extra mile to build a more sustainable community. Clean Currents sells only Green E-Certified wind and solar energy to residents and businesses in Washington, DC, Maryland, and central Pennsylvania. Through renewable energy purchases by both businesses and residential customers, Clean Currents offset 288,430,788 pounds of CO2 emissions in 2011. It also installs solar panels and solar thermal units on homes and businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region, further supporting the growth of the clean energy industry
  • Cooperative Energy Futures, Minneapolis, MN., http://cooperativeenergyfutures.com. Cooperative Energy Futures is a member-owned cooperative founded in 2009 that helps Minneapolis communities work together to make energy efficiency and clean energy accessible, easy, social and fun. It works with communities to lower energy bills, generate energy revenue, improve home comfort and create a healthier community and planet. Cooperative Energy Futures hosts home energy workshops to provide training in how to reduce electricity use, natural gas consumption, and water waste. These workshops are available to low-income families. Additionally, Cooperative Energy Future specializes in bulk buying of energy upgrades. When groups of homeowners or renters contract for installation of home energy services as a group, it reduces costs and simplifies the process for residents. Cooperative Energy Futures envisions a future where teams of people in every community are working to produce, manage, and wisely use the energy that they need to thrive.
  • CozyPure, Norfolk, VA., http://www.cozypure.com. CozyPure is a bedding company that manufactures green products using only renewable and sustainable materials. It has designed and installed a 100 percent on-site renewable energy system and has a “Net Zero Energy Building”. By using energy efficiency, a geothermal HVAC system, and solar and wind power, the company uses no additional energy to what is generated or maintained on site. CozyPure is the only organic and green bedding manufacturer in America to utilize a trio-system of wind, solar and geothermal on-site to produce 100 percent of the power for its factory, offices, warehouse and retail store.
  • Green Canopy Homes, Seattle, WA., http://greencanopyhomes.com. Green Canopy Homes is a successful for-profit business model focused on inspiring resource efficiency in residential markets by retrofitting existing homes and building new net-zero homes. With every fixer home that it acquires and rebuilds, third-party auditors show that more greenhouse gas emissions are prevented from going into the atmosphere than the average car produces in one year. Those emissions reductions remain in effect year after year after year, and they are achieved using with a non-outsourced workforce and existing technologies.
  • Mosaic, Oakland, CA., https://solarmosaic.com. Mosaic is on a mission to open up clean energy investing to the public and fundamentally change the way energy is financed. To date, over 400 people have invested nearly $400,000 through its crowdfunding platform to finance six solar power plants. Together, Mosaic’s first six projects created 120 kW of clean solar energy, produced local jobs and are predicted to have saved community organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars on their utility bills. The beneficiaries of these solar projects range from People’s Grocery, a food justice organization in Oakland, CA to The Murdoch Center, a vibrant community center in Flagstaff, AZ.
  • Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, Kahului, HI., http://www.biodiesel.com. Pacific Biodiesel Technologies has been a pioneer in the biodiesel industry for more than 15 years. It was created in response to serious environmental and health concerns surrounding unmanageable quantities of cooking oil at the Central Maui Landfill. Robert King, then owner/operator of a diesel engine dealership that maintained the landfill’s generators, proposed converting the restaurant waste into biodiesel to fuel the generators. This was the basis of the business. To date, Pacific Biodiesel has developed over 13 processing facilities on the U.S. mainland and in Japan. The newest facility features the most advanced zero-waste technology in the nation. Pacific Biodiesel is produced, processed, and distributed locally, uses biodiesel to fuel vehicles, and is making green sustainable choices in all aspects of the business.
  • Third Sun Solar, Athens, OH., http://thirdsunsolar.com. Third Sun Solar has emerged as a clean energy leader in Ohio, and has been featured as a fast growing company for four consecutive years on the INC. 5000 list. Part of the company’s daily practice involves careful energy conservation, intensive recycling, and the purchase of carbon offsets for its fleet of service vehicles. The company has grown from a tiny start-up to a provider of megawatt-scale systems for corporations, universities, non-profits, small businesses, governments, and homes. Its PV solar installations are known for excellent craftsmanship, innovative use of materials, and tendency to exceed power generation forecasts.

Judges for this award include: Katie Galloway & Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Elysa Hammond, Clif Bar; Penny Bauder, Green Kid Crafts (summer winner!); Cheryl Newman, Honest Tea; Eric Henry, TS Designs; Reed Doyle, Seventh Generation; and Fran Teplitz and Andrew Korfhage, Green America.

Future rounds of the quarterly small business awards from Green America will focus on workplace innovations, healthy food, and other sustainability practices

About Green America
Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems.

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