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Be Green

Wikipedia... with a conscience!

Image courtesy "Cool Green Business Ideas"

Kermit said it best: it's not easy being green

It can be costly; it's often more work; but worst of all, it's complicated. There's so much greenwashing out there i.e. people pretending their products or services are ethical and sustainable when they aren't. So how does a conscientious consumer identify the truly green products from the greenwashed ones? And if you're a business owner who's having trouble reconciling your ethics with your bottom line, take heart. Brenda Plant and her business partner, Tom Liacas (pronounced "Latch-as") have made it simple.

If you're a consumer...

In October 2005, Plant and Liacas launched Ethiquette. It's a web directory of almost 1000 sustainable products and services offered across Canada. It helps take the guesswork out of shopping green for various reasons:
* It's a sort of one-stop-shop for folks looking to support ethical businesses
* You don't have to worry about greenwashing because all the listings are vetted (i.e. the Ethiquette team checks each company out to make sure it matches up to strict guidelines.
* You can nominate a sustainable product or service that you love if it's not on the site already.
* You don't have to take Ethiquette's word for it: the process is very transparent. They tell you exactly why a particular product or service compares favourably with others in its category. No one is perfect, but you'll be making the most informed decision you can.

Image courtesy Maison Productive House

If you're a business owner looking to improve your best practices...

You'll want to log onto ethipedia.net
Ethipedia is the world's first online ethical encyclopedia. The idea is to showcase various sustainable businesses and discuss their challenges, victories, strategies and advice to fellow entrepreneurs. There's also a networking aspect-- often green companies work symbiotically to raise awareness and build clientele. Ethipedia gives corporate types the tools and space to exchange ideas, share wisdom, get together and learn from each other's mistakes. Plus, businesses like Mardigrafe and Maison Productive House enjoy the visibility and "pat on the back" from their community. It ain't easy being green, so Ethipedia gives those who're trying seriously a chance to gain some recognition (and hopefully some new clients!)

So that's what they're all about. Now I have a question to all you folks out there. Do you think these services are useful? Will you use them? And have you ever been ripped off by a company who was pretending to be green?
Leave me a comment or call (514) 597-5626

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