I just finished reading about six unique businesses that promote reuse and sustainability in the December 2010/January 2011 edition of Fast Company.
The first is The Loft Project in London where Clarisa Faria has turned her home into a high-profile supper club that helps up and coming chefs reach a new audience — particularly bankers and investors who want to invest in new talent (http://bit.ly/f05SL9).
Second is James Reinhart who started ThredUP as a nationwide kids’ clothing swap to help save parents time and money (http://bit.ly/eQ8OyQ) while keeping their growing kids properly clothed.
Third is Aayush Phumbra who started chegg.com to enable college students to rent textbooks for about 30% of the cost of buying them (http://bit.ly/igMUV1). If the cost of textbooks for one semester is $750, I know of few college students who wouldn’t want the opportunity to save $500.
Fourth are Jenny Fleiss and Jenn Hyman, cofounders of Rent The Runway which enables women to rent designer fashions for 10% of the retail cost (http://bit.ly/eXqjO9). Given the number of photos posted on Facebook and women’s desire not to be seen in the same dress twice, this is a great idea.
Fifth is Gagan Biyani who founded Udemy, the Academy of You, connecting teachers with learners (http://bit.ly/e0aJmx). Udemy is facilitating online learning on both an individual and group basis.
Sixth is Logan Green who created Zimride, a ride-sharing social network, currently used at 60 universities, enabling college students to determine who can provide a ride that they feel safe riding with (http://bit.ly/eXjMUF) while reducing carbon emissions by promoting ride-sharing.
While not mentioned in Fast Company, another great example of sustainability is Chipotle on Sapp Road in Greensboro, NC (http://bit.ly/hPne1R) that’s in a former retail bank location and uses the covered drive through teller area for as much outdoor seating as they have indoor seating.
I am also proud to be working with an Irish company, Bord na Mona (www.bnm.ie and http://www.bnm-us.com), that is promoting cleaner water, cleaner air and sustainable energy with its innovation on many fronts from wind energy, composting, wastewater management, water reuse and odor/VOC control.
Kudos to all of these people and companies for having the vision to promote the reuse of items that have plenty of life while also reducing waste and emissions that will help our planet.
What is your company doing to promote sustainability?