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April 19, 2017

Supporting Earth Day with the Small Business Revolution

Earth Day is dedicated to educating people about and activating the environmental movement worldwide. With more than 1 billion people now participating in Earth Day activities each year, it is the largest civic observance in the world. In celebration of this great cause, the Small Business Revolution wants to highlight three businesses that embody the change Earth Day hopes to bring to our future.

Yolanda Burrell inspects a frame of bees from Pollinate Farm’s backyard hive.

Birgitt Evans and Yoland Burrell are master gardeners with decades of combined experience and a singular dream to reimagine how communities interact with food. In 2013, they opened Pollinate Farm & Garden in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, California, to provide gardening supplies and tools that they hope empowers their customers with the knowledge and support to start an urban garden. Inspired, neighbors are literally breaking down fences to create collaborative farming spaces. Evans and Burrell use their Oakland shop as an educational experience, creating conversations that help people understand their food, where it comes from and how to grow your own. To discover more about this fascinating conversation on urban farming, read our earlier story about Pollinate Farm and Garden.

Gerard Maloney, owner of EarthHeat, went into trade school for plumbing and heating at the age of 15. “Working with my hands was going to be my avenue through life. And it paid off.”

Earthheat is the brainchild of Gerard Maloney, the owner of a plumbing and heating business in Duvall, Washington. Using a method called geothermal heating, Maloney’s technology captures the natural temperature of the earth and uses it to heat a space. Relying on a system of pipes to transfer heat from underground into a compressor, the resulting change in temperature creates heat energy that can be distributed into a home. This form of “green energy” has seen a larger adoption over the last decade, and Maloney hopes to bring their geothermal technology to more large-scale projects. See how “green energy” has revolutionized the heating industry at our interview with Maloney.

The Appalatch design team at work in their Asheville, N.C.-based workspace. The team at Appalatch designs, manufactures, and distributes everything themselves, eliminating the need for any costly middlemen.

After the success of a Kickstarter campaign, Grace Gouin and Mariano DeGuzman set out to change the apparel industry. With the help of a knitting machine the team bought after raising funds on Kickstarter, they could knit affordable and customizable sweaters on demand in as little as 30 minutes. All materials used for the brand are sourced from farms local their base in Asheville, N.C. By cutting out the middlemen and designing, manufacturing, and selling all the products themselves, they cut down on pollution typically caused in the apparel industry. DeGuzman and Gouin’s hope is that manufacturing will move back local where it can be done sustainably. Check out how the impressive duo is eliminating waste from the apparel industry here.

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