Newsletter: September, 2009

The Vault, September 2009: Going Green to Make Green

Going Green
Green isn’t just a color in the crayon box. Today, it means taking it easy on the environment. And it has a big impact in business and industry, changing the way we think about everything from shoelaces to solar power!

Biz Kid$ was nominated for an Environmental Media Award for our episode on green business. To see clips from the episode, visit our Web site and go to episode 209. We also won an Emmy!

Fast fact
Going green may seem like a new trend, but did you know that automaker Henry Ford was a green pioneer? Scroll down to find out more.

Biz Kid of the Month: Patrick Leahy

Patrick is the founder of Shield of Green, a website that saves people time and money by helping them reduce their junk mail.

What inspired you to start your green business?
I was waiting for my report card to come in the mail. I had to walk a long distance from my home to the mailbox every day. I couldn’t believe how much junk mail there was with each mail delivery. I decided to offer a service to consumers to help them de-clutter their mailboxes.

What were some of the challenges you faced?
When a person designing my website subcontractor didn’t make the deadline, I took over and managed the website myself. One thing led to another and now I have a successful web design business.

What are you doing now?
I’m still serving my customers, but now from The Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania. I’m having a great time.

Green sweep

What have you done to help save the environment? What changes have you made in your business or your life to make the world a greener place? Let us know by sending an e-mail to

What does it mean to go green?
Every day, there are more and more people on the earth. And every single one of us uses resources and creates waste. Reducing the negative impact of our choices is called “going green.” Businesses have a big role to play. They can offer greener choices. They can also help raise awareness of environmental issues. Check it out:

  • Lawn care business: Burning fossil fuels increases the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, contributing to rising global temperatures. Reduce your “carbon footprint” by using gas-free push mowers.
  • House cleaning: Chemical cleaners harm oceans and rivers. Use all-natural products and use them in smaller amounts.
  • Salon: Personal care products contain harmful chemicals. Go all-natural–choose organic and plant-derived products.

Going green to make green

Green isn’t just good for the environment–it can be good for your business.

  • Compete more effectively: A green product or service could give you an edge over the competition.
  • Meet new markets: Selling your product from a green perspective can introduce you to new customers and businesses interested in making sustainable changes.
  • Charge a premium: Materials might be more expensive, but many people will pay more for green products.
  • Boost loyalty: Customers are more likely to stay with you if you share their values.

Ask John Paul

Q: How can I incorporate green technology into my business?

A: Let me begin my answer with another question: how many schoolteachers does it take to change a light bulb? I don’t know, but if it’s not changed during class, it will be added to the homework! Seriously, though, light bulbs are a great example of green technology that’s easy to use. Replacing your current light bulbs to high efficiency bulbs makes business sense because they last longer and use less energy–and that makes them better for the earth, too! “Green” technology is the wave of the present–and the future. Using some very simple strategies not only helps you protect the earth, but saves money as well. Tell me your bright idea!
John Paul

John Paul Pigéon is a 12-year-old financial guru from Fort Worth, Texas. Visit his Web site at Send your question to It may be selected for our next newsletter!

Fast Fact Answer

Henry Ford believed that future fuels would be made from plant sources and experimented with renewable materials. Crates used for shipping the Model A truck could be disassembled and used as the vehicle’s floorboards. In 1941, he even built a car made of plastic stiffened with plant fibers.

Info to Go

Check out these other green success stories:

  • Project Green Dorm: Designed to inspire high school and college students to live greener with helpful tips and ideas.
  • Dorm Sweet Dorm: Eco-friendly care packages for the college bound.
  • Teens Turning Green: A group of teens concerned about harmful chemicals in personal care products created this line of all-natural cosmetics.
  • Reverb: By working with the leaders in the entertainment business, Reverb helps bands and their fans rock out greener.