The issue panders to the usual “be green for money” pretense, presumably because profit garners an audience, but The Organic Mechanic is having nothing of it. They make an effort to reduce their environmental impact because they truly care, which translates directly to the quality and integrity of their service.
More on the biz in the following YT video. Spotless, quaint, attractive facility, adorable staff, a true model of thoughtful auto repair. Kudos!!
Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
LG began the certification effort today, with help from Ryan of Honeyman Sustainability Consulting, completing our first Impact Assessment. We scored 63 points (see results below) which is a remarkable baseline. The minimum to certify is 80 points, already putting us close based on our current business practices.
The next step is reviewing the areas ripe for improvement. The lowest hanging fruit will be documentation, tracking, and setting goals, getting away from the casual approach we’ve taken until now. This is the merit (and inherent rigor) of B Corp certification: it forces a business to formalize its positive efforts.
Our first goal is to reach 80 points on the Assessment, and receive the certification, in honor of our 5 year anniversary (celebration set for September 15th of this year).
Since its inception LG has garnered a community of supporters—“friends of Luscious” if you will—including EV fanatics, feminists, environmentalists, and green business moguls; people we’ve inspired for some reason or another and are moved to give back. Such is the story of our new solar array, courtesy of Energy Efficient Solar, a company of highly-intelligent, capable individuals who care about renewable energy but even more about people.
I first knew Marc Geller as the vice-president of the San Francisco Electric Vehicle Association. Then I learned of his advocacy through Plug-In America and his news blog Plugs and Cars. It was months before I met his colleague Will Korthof, owner and technical genius at EESolar. Over months of EVA meetings (which we host) and servicing their small fleet of natural gas and electric vehicles, Marc and Will entertained how to hook us up with solar power.
The day finally came on July 1st, 2008.
Will designed a modest PV array customized to our power usage at the shop (modest because we don’t consume much power in the first place). Comprised of eight Mitsubishi 185 watt modules, for 1.5kW peak output, it supports all of the equipment and tools running on 110v power, as well as charging for plug-in cars.
Most importantly, it fulfills our long-term goal for renewable energy at the shop at a highly competitive price; allowing us to meet this goal in the infancy of our business without affecting service prices.
For more information on EESolar, check out their website
Read about the solar project at Art’s Automotive, our wrenching kin in the East Bay
Last week in the checkout lane of SoMa Whole Foods there was a plastic bin of chapsticks with a big cardboard sign that said “STOP GLOBAL WARMING” as though to suggest that buying a chapstick would actually stop global warming.
Chapstick or hybrid car, it’s convenient to think we can buy our way to being green, or saving the Earth, or saving the human race, rather than actually changing our behavior.
When we must buy something, however, it is absolutely crucial that we look for the green alternative.
For LG’s office, the green alternative often comes from The Green Office, a “sustainable office products” distributor headquartered right here in San Francisco. Pictured is the latest order of printer paper, 100% post-consumer recycled content, of course. We don’t use much paper, but I purchased in bulk to reduce fuel for shipping.
Paper is just the beginning. Scissors with recycled plastic handles, recycled post-its, recycled pencils, and so on. Even when there isn’t a truly green alternative (rubber bands?) I feel good supporting their business. On the other hand, I collect a lot of rubber bands from parts and supplies we receive, so I don’t have to buy many, and that is the real goal.