MagazineSeptember 2004Green Business in the Southeast

Green Business in the Southeast

You’re doing all you can to keep Mama Earth Green, but what about some of the businesses around our region? Here are some of the most progressively eco-friendly businesses in the Southeast.

Pisgah Brewing Company, Black Mountain, N.C.: Pisgah is the first and only certified organic brewery in North Carolina, which means all the ingredients were grown without toxic and persistent pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Also, no genetically modified ingredients go into the brewing process and all of the soil used has been chemical free for at least three years. Why bother with organic beer? According to a study by Cornell University, at least 67 million birds die each year from pesticides. Not to mention the damage done to ground water from traditional farm runoff. Pisgah Porter at your local bar: $3.50. Taking a stand for the environment by drinking Pisgah Porter: priceless.

Burt’s Bees, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.: The popular line of natural cosmetics, always branded with the pleasantly-grinned bearded fellow, originally started in Maine, but now resides in the North Carolina Triangle area. The company avoids unnecessary chemical fillers and artificial colors in exchange for homemade concoctions like Grapefruit and Sugar Beet Shampoo.

Big Frog Mountain Corporation, Chattanooga, Tenn.: This alternative energy supplier sets you up with the equipment and support you need in order to live the sustainable energy independence dream. They’ve got the goods to get you going with wind turbines and micro-hydro, but their mainstay is solar. Go hog-wild and convert your entire household to solar or start small with a solar-powered attic fan.

Half Moon Outfitters, Charleston, S.C.: The popular outfitter is renovating their distribution center to be so environmentally friendly that it will attain the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design highest level of certification. There are only eight buildings in the entire United States that have attained this level of certification: the six-month project will turn a former Piggly Wiggly into a lean, Green machine. The distribution center will include rainwater collection and irrigation, a solar energy system, paints and carpets manufactured without volatile organic compounds, recycled and sustainable building materials and furnishings, and skylights that will eliminate the need for artificial lighting. Half Moon plans to use their new green distribution center as a model for their next outfitter store.

Planet ReWorks, Richmond, Va.: Planet ReWorks specializes in giving the world’s junk another life: all of the boutiques products are made from recycled or reclaimed items. Messenger bags made from highway billboards? Bowls made out of old records? Sounds good to us.

Honest Tea, Bethesda, Md.: The small company makes refreshing organic teas bottled au natural without all the preservatives and high fructose corn syrup. Steadily growing over eight years in existence, owners Seth and Barry provide a refreshing alternative to the mass-produced beverage giants, focusing on sustainable agriculture and a way to improve the American diet.

Eastern Village, Silver Spring, Md.: Just a few miles from the Whitehouse, Eastern Village is the first LEED-certified co-housing structure in the United States, meaning it’s on the forefront of green housing practices. Builders reused an old office building and much of the new building materials were recycled from other projects. They turned the old parking lot into a green space, they gather rain water for landscaping, and the roof is now planted with grass.

Tree Huggin’ Treats, Asheville, N.C.: Yummy organic, vegan, and wheat- and gluten-free candy. Try the Peppermint Phatty.

Places to Go, Things to See:

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