Jennifer Kaplan

Jennifer Kaplan writes regularly about sustainable food and wine, the intersection of food and marketing and food politics for and is the author of Greening Your Small Business (November 2009, Penguin Group (USA)). She was been named one of The 16 Women You Must Follow on Twitter for Green Business. She has four kids, a dog, a hamster and an MBA - find her on .

3 Simple Ways to Reduce Business Junk Mail

Each year 100 billion pieces of direct mail —equaling 4.5 million tons of materials—are printed and mailed in the United States. This represents 100 million trees and does not even take into account the resources necessary to produce, print, and ship. The real tragedy is that 44% of that mail goes directly to landfills without ever being opened, representing 2 million tons of solid waste and 44 million trees——all for nothing. Why must it be so? The DMA estimates that…

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CA Chambers of Commerce Members Prove Energy Efficiency is Profitable

Small Business California has published a new booklet 32 Examples of Chambers of Commerce & Chamber Members in California: Leading the Clean Energy Economy. The booklet profiles local California chambers of commerce and their members who are demonstrating how recovering profits through energy efficiency can help strengthen the chamber, its business members and the community. From the Booklet: I [Hank Ryan, Executive Director of SB-Cal] set about researching where local California chambers of commerce and their members could help demonstrate just how recovering…

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First Net-Zero Affordable Community to Break Ground

Bravo to the Capstone Development Group. They are setting out to prove what we know to be true: Alternative energy saves money and that makes sense for everyone. Using solar panels and wind turbines to eliminate customer utility bills, this affordable housing project proves that green communities do not have to be only for the upscale. From the Capstone press release: The long-awaited promise of affordable, net-zero, green living will finally become reality in a St. Louis suburban cornfield in…

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How Social Networks Influence Consumer Behavior

Ask ten people about how to make Twitter work for a company and you’ll likely get ten answers.  But, as Lynn Miller of OrganicMania said to me recently: [laughing] “There’s really no science here.”  And while there’s no science, the tenets of classic consumer behavior may shed some light on the why. I teach consumer behavior and use the text book Consumer Behavior: Building Marketing Strategy.  The book tells us: …even in an individualistic society like America, group membership and…

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Turning Smelly Food Scraps Into Gold

This is a guest post by Julie E. Gabrielli, NCARB LEED, a green business advisor, founder of and author of the greening business action list with a twist!. Keith Lasoya, founder of  Waste Neutral, owns an organics waste hauling company that collects source-separated “all food” scraps (pre- and post-consumer) waste in the Baltimore, MD metro area. Simply put, Waste Neutral turns smelly food scraps into rich compost. Founded in January 2008, the company has a simple mission. As articulated…

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7 Questions For A Greener Competitive Advantage

If you’re like most business owners, you want to provide value to your customers in a way that gives you an edge over the competition. That means seizing opportunities to provide offerings that deliver more value to your customers than your competitors deliver. Remember, your commitment to the environment is a competitive advantage. By being green, you can attract customers who value your environmental offerings. If you’re looking for ways to enhance your competitive advantage with sustainable business practices ask…

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The Catch-22 of CSR & Economic Recovery

This is a guest opinion post by John Friedman. True economic recovery in the United States is caught in a Catch-22. The economy is stuck in ‘neutral’ while employers hold off on job creation until consumers start spending again, while consumers (particularly those who are out of work or fear for their jobs) are not comfortable enough to start spending until unemployment goes down. Despite the efforts to cast blame on the actions of a few companies and individuals, people…

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12 Great (Free) Energy Efficiency Resources

After on my post last week on on-bill financing, I was asked if I knew of similar programs in other states or federal programs doing similar things. First, I should note that I believe OBF is the most significant energy efficiency opportunity available to small businesses and many are totally unaware of it. That said, here are a bunch of additional free resources available to businesses interested in improving energy efficiency.

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Small Businesses Become Advocates for Change

This is a two-part post on how small businesses are making a difference in environmental policy. Changing business practices is only one piece of the greening puzzle. Turns out that the time you invest in making a difference may be as valuable to environmental progress as installing new light bulbs. Small businesses can have a big impact on promoting change—not just within their businesses, but by working together to change attitudes, influence policy makers, and promote innovation. Think nationally, think statewide—and…

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