By: Maureen Mariano, Meghan Pryce and Carla Vianna
When Jim DiEugenio, owner of Cartridge World, opened his business in Gainesville, he had two things in mind: his son and the environment.
“Most people have children, and what we should be handing down to them, which is just as important as our legacy, is a clean environment,” he said.
Like DiEugenio, local business owners in all sectors are keeping future generations in mind by reducing their environmental impact and embracing green initiatives.
Whether it’s through recycling, using eco-friendly products or delving into energy-saving practices and services, these businesses that are featured below have invested their time and money to make energy conservation and environmental sustainability their central message.
Name: Brave Space Design
Location: 1502 NW 6th St. Gainesville, FL 32601
About: This company designs and builds modern furniture in a sustainable way. They also do custom designs of furniture and sell pieces through its website.
What makes the organization GREEN: Brave Space Design uses a highly efficient manufacturing process. Woods are used from sustainably managed forests. Bamboo is the preferred material for manufacturing, since it grows much faster than trees. There are no toxic finishes used, all pieces are formaldehyde-free. Most importantly, the company strives to make furniture that will last and be handed on to others instead of eventually thrown away.
Name: Cartridge World
Location: 2132 SW 34th St. Gainesville, FL 32608
About: Locally owned Cartridge World was established in June 28, 2010 to remanufacture ink and toner cartridges at a cost savings between 30 to 50 percent less than the price Office Max and Office Depot sells its cartridges. By recycling and remanufacturing every cartridge, the business supports sustainable development for the planet’s limited natural resources.
What makes the organization GREEN: On average, it takes more than one gallon of oil to make one toner cartridge. Due to the fact that Cartridge World reuses the plastic shell of the toner cartridge, it not only saves that plastic shell from going into a landfill, where it takes up to 400 years for it to decompose, but also the company saves the gallon of oil it takes to make a new one. Last year alone, Cartridge World saved more than 10,000 gallons of oil just by reusing ink and toner cartridges.
Name: Citizens Co-op
Location: 435 S. Main St. Gainesville, Florida 32601
About: Citizen’s Co-op is a community owned market focused on local foods and organic products.
What makes this organization GREEN: All the packaging is earth friendly. There are no plastic bags in the store. They reuse materials as much as possible. There is a zero food waste policy, so none of the food goes to landfills. Instead, food reaching expiration dates are donated to feed those in need or composted for community gardens.
Name: Earth Pets
Location: 404 NW 10th Ave. Gainesville, FL 32601
About: Earth Pets is a locally owned pet food and supply store that provides healthy, eco-friendly and organic pet care products.
What makes the organization GREEN: Earth Pets offers a large variety of eco-friendly and organic pet products. It supplies allergen-free pet foods without corn, wheat, soy or by-product. Everything in the store is 100 percent natural including its shampoos, supplements and cleaning materials.
Name: Gainesville Compost
About: Gainesville Compost is a pedal-powered community compost network that offers a bicycle-powered food waste diversion service to local restaurants.
What makes the organization GREEN: Instead of taking waste to a landfill, Gainesville Compost members bike around town to collect food scraps from local restaurants, cafes and bars. They distribute the waste they’ve collected to partnering composting systems to turn it into sustainable soil for local urban agriculture, which benefits community and home gardens as well as urban farmers.
Name: Go Gator Green
Location: Haile Plantation Farmers Market SW 91st Terrace Gainesville, FL 32608
About: Go Gator Green is a unique gift store featuring a wide selection of hand-crafted, environmentally and socially conscious gifts.
What makes the organization GREEN: Go Gator Green is committed to selling local products and gifts that are renewable, sustainable and organic. Founded in 2008, the store offers environmentally friendly gifts made from recycled materials and sustainable items such as reusable water bottles and organic bath soaps. It also sells fair trade handmade products including handbags, totes and iPad covers that are made from seat belts.
Location: 322 Southwest 4th Ave. Gainesville, FL 32601
About: This business is the region’s largest green-building supplier. It offers consultations on sustainable product selection, and interior decorating and organizing services purchasing of materials, design, and LEED or Florida Green Building certification.
What makes the organization GREEN: Employees assist in the purchasing of sustainable materials, and LEED or Florida Green Building certification. The business looks to see that the products are produced with recycled content, can be recycled and have eliminated unnecessary chemicals. Additionally, they make sure that the companies where the products come from have proven their concern for the environment, their workers and their local culture through their own business practices.
Name: The Jones B-side
Location: 203 SW 2nd Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
About: An offshoot of The Jones Eastside, which was established in 2006, The Jones B-side opened its doors on Sept. 24, 2012. The downtown restaurant focuses on serving local and sustainable meats.
Why it’s GREEN: The Jones has always, from its inception, kept a profound commitment to sourcing sustainable, organic and locally grown produce and meats. It has a working relationship with many area farms, one of which has dedicated its produce for The Jones. In an additional effort to keep its local economy thriving, the restaurant carries and offers other locally produced products, from honey and kombucha, to coffee, breads and Florida distilled spirits at the bar. The Jones also composts its kitchen scraps and grows herbs and edible flowers. The most recent eco-effort The Jones has made is to start charging customers for filtered and clean water. The owners took the initiative to install a state-of-the-art filtration system and start charging a nominal fee for water service.
Name: Karma Cream
Location: 1025 W. University Ave. Gainesville, FL 32605
About: Karma Cream is a locally owned café that serves organic and fair trade ice cream, desserts, coffee and other beverages with a cozy atmosphere and good karma inside.
What makes the organization GREEN: The items on the menu of this dessert café are made with all organic dairy products. Due to the limited use of synthetic ingredients during production, the freshness and taste of the desserts is apparent in all of Karma Cream’s products. It also has lots of vegan options available.
Name: McGurn Management Company
Location: 101 SE 2nd Place, Suite #202 Sun Center East Gainesville, FL 32601
About: The company is a community real estate owner. It manages and leases properties.
What makes the organization GREEN: There are solar panels on just about all the properties owned by the company. The company has worked with GRU to economize its properties’ lighting. Better quality and Energy Star-rated AC with lower electrical requirement is provided as well. Overall, McGurn strive to decrease its carbon footprint.
Name: On the Spot Dry Cleaning
Location: On the Spot just opened its fourth store at Hunters Crossing located at 5221 NW 43rd St. at the Chevron station. For other locations, please visit its website at http://www.onthespotgainesville.com/locations.html
About: On the Spot provides customers with a convenient dry cleaning experience without damaging clothing or the environment.
What makes the organization GREEN: On the Spot is the first and only green cleaner in Gainesville. Its operations don’t emit petrochemicals, smog or greenhouse gases. The company also doesn’t produce hazardous waste, contamination or have to deal with multi-million dollar cleanups. The water used is also nontoxic.
Name: Parisleaf Printing and Design
Location: 3302 W. University Ave. Suite B Gainesville, FL 32607
About: Parisleaf is an independent design and printing firm with a goal of helping people become more sustainable.
What makes the organization GREEN: Parisleaf plants one tree for every follower gained through social media, 10 trees for every print order and 100 trees for web orders. So far the company is responsible for planting more than 25,000 trees. It is committed to utilizing recycled materials, vegetable-based inks and water-based coatings. Paris Leaf’s production plants also uses 100 percent wind power to run its facility.
Name: Perry Roofing Contractors
Location: 2505 NW 71st Place Gainesville, FL 32653
About: The organization does commercial and residential roofing. It also provides service repairs for roofs.
What makes this organization GREEN: This business works with cool roofing, which allows heat and UV rays to reflect off its surface. Energy costs of the house or business are decreased significantly. Additionally, it installs vegetative roof systems, where customers can plant a garden on top of the roof.
Name: Pristine Clean
Location: 7065 NW 22nd St. Gainesville, FL 32653
About: Pristine Clean is Gainesville’s first fully environmentally conscious cleaning company. Founded in 2009, it serves both residential and commercial properties for interior cleaning needs.
What makes the organization GREEN: Pristine Clean uses non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products. Ashley Jackrel established the company with the goal of creating a sustainable business. Although it’s not the cheapest or easiest option, she said going green is the best for our future. The company recycles and reuses whenever possible, but it doesn’t compromise on clean. All of Pristine Clean’s reusable cleaning cloths are washed in an HE/NSF certified machine for sanitization. The company’s employees do not use a disposable duster, and they don’t carry around toilet brushes from house to house, or office to office. Its next step is green transportation.