An Example of How to Go Green with Integrity: Act2GreenSmart bags

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recycled PET messenger bagWhen is a soda bottle not a soda bottle? When it is a messenger bag. A tote. Or a laptop sleeve. Last year, the founders of Shoreline, an established maker of laptop jackets and sleeves, decided they would blend their environmental concern with the now practical alternative to petroleum based fabrics, recycled PET (aka plastic soda/water bottles) fabrics.

And they succeeded, after much persistence, coming out with what would be the replacement for their current line, called Act2GreenSmart. A brave move for a company making a comfortable living on their existing line. Everything, save the zipper and the strap, was made from recycled PET.

They could have stayed this safe, practical course, transitioning from one core to the same, green version. But since then. they’ve continued on, deepening their knowledge, and expanding their line, to include a broader range of users. An unexpected treasure that came out of them being frequently asked green related questions at the college bookstore conventions they presented at is their GreenSmart Glossary. From “compostable” to “petroleum derivative” they not only define these terms, they give both an optimist’s and a cynic’s perspective on each term.

This is reflective of the founders, who take a hopeful yet practical look at each consideration when it comes to their products. For example, neoprene is commonly used in bags, yet it offgasses and is a petroleum derivative. (go look those up in the glossary! And ask them to add ones you don’t know.) A supposedly greener alternative is out there, and they could have jumped on it, eager to be seen as green. But it’s only green but for the fact it doesn’t use petroleum, and could cause other environmental issues. So Act2GreenSmart chose to wait, and their patience may pay off in not too long.

So now, a little more than a year from the time they had just decided to go green, they are well on their way to their goal to have sold the last of their non green line by the end of this year, fully committed to products that are eco friendly and drastically reduce their impact on the environment, both in what goes into them and how much energy is used to make them. Have a look at their front page, they’ve calculated, down the bottle what a difference they’ve made.

And still, they continue to look for ways to improve their products, with some intriguing developments to come in 2009. Stay tuned…

Read more about going green:

First Steps to Greening Your Existing Business : Ecopreneurist

Nobody’s Really Going Green : Ecopreneurist

What Should an Eco Entrepreneur Do When The Big Boys Go Green? : Ecopreneurist

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