Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Only Natural Pet Store: 2007 People's Choice Award - part 1

Welcome to your unofficial guide to the 2007 People's Choice Award for the Green Business of the Year.

Here's a quick reminder if you haven't seen the introduction to this series yesterday. Co-Op America announced last week the 10 nominees for the People's Choice Award. Your votes are going to decide which business will win the award and everyone can vote on Co-Op's website until October 15. All of the nominees are really great and choosing your favorite one is not an easy task at all. That's where Eco-Libris blog comes to your help! I sent all the nominees a short questionnaire and I hope their replies will make it easier for you to compare them and decide which one is your numero uno.

The first nominee (the order is based on the order of returning the questionnaires) is:

Only Natural Pet Shop

Business description: a leading retailer of natural pet supplies for dogs and cats. They offer thousands of products from all the leading manufacturers of natural pet care products, including vitamins, supplements, medicine, food, treats, chews, bones, flea control products, grooming supplies, litter, cleaning supplies, and much more. All of their healthy, natural pet care products are consistent with a holistic approach to pet health.

Located at: Boulder, CO

Operating Since: 2004

The questionnaire (replied by Julie Dye, marketing director of Only Natural Pet Store):

1. What makes your business a green business?

Being an earth-conscious company is part of our mission. We offer products that are natural, organic, sustainable, free range, fair trade and cruelty free and purchase only biodegradable corn packaging peanuts and reuse all possible manufacturer packaging. And now we're zero waste, which means we recycle, reuse and compost to reduce waste as close to zero as possible. 100% of our electricity is from wind power.

2. What is your green characteristic you're most proud of?

Our zero waste program is very impressive. To process thousands of orders a week, operate an office environment with multiple teams and have over 30 employees, all of which only produces a small amount of garbage at the end of the week is fantastic. The employees work hard to make sure everything is composted and recycled properly.

3. What is your biggest achievement so far?

Getting employees to completely support and achieve our green goals and building support amongst our customers.

4. In what way do you think that you help people to take a green action and make a difference?

We make people aware of the choices they’re making—both in their lives and the lives of their pets. It helps them to understand the lifecycle of the products they order, the benefits of buying natural and organic products and the ease and importance of making such alternative, earth-friendly decisions.

5. Who is your green hero?

From a company perspective, I think the collective group of people who makes decisions every day with an environmental perspective in mind. These thousands of decisions add up to something forceful and effective. We don’t need one big hero, we need millions of small heroes -who chose to consume less, consume in a manner that is more gentle on the earth, not only to nature, but to the people who live on it. Once people understand it in one part of their lives, it spreads to other parts of their lives and to the lives of those around them.

Personally (as marketing director), I believe I would say Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has gone about in his quiet manner and really made a huge difference in New York State. I saw RFK Jr speak several years ago and it was incredibly inspiring.

6. What's your green dream for your business?

To grow, to bring natural and organic choices to the mainstream, to educate consumers to not only seek out healthy care and products (for their pets and their families) with an earth-friendly focus, but to spread the desire and demand eco-accountability from all manufacturers and retailers. That and world peace :-)

Next Nominee: Mountains of the Moon