North Florida Green Chamber makes going green easy for members
Operational for just over a year, the North Florida Green Chamber has a mission to make it “cool and convenient” to be green, says Christina W. Kelcourse, founder and executive director.
The chapter focuses on educating business owners about sustainability issues and making it easier for businesses to use sustainable practices.
“A restaurant owner who makes pizzas supports his family by making the best pizza sauce,” Kelcourse says. “He’s not looking at low-flush toilets or adding solar.”
In January, the chamber began a program to make it easy for businesses to shop for sustainable products. The Buyers Club includes 30 to 40 eco-friendly products available to chamber members.
To determine which products to offer, the chamber worked with restaurants, catering services and other businesses.
Many of the products are geared toward reducing the number of single-use plastics in restaurants, such as soup containers, coffee cups, coffee stirrers and gloves.
Some products, however, can be used in any office environment. Trash can liners, cleaning supplies, paper towels, napkins and water bottles for customers are big sellers.
To find the right distributor, the North Florida Green Chamber vetted applicants from around the country. “Research was done to make sure the products were actually eco-friendly,” Kelcourse says. In the end, the chamber chose Auburn Supply Group in Tampa.
Kelcourse says she’s glad the chamber could “keep it local” by using a Florida distributor because it adds an extra layer of local to a concept that was born in North Florida. Now, Kelcourse is working with the U.S. Green Chamber to roll the program out to other cities.
Says Kelcourse: “It’s very cool that Jacksonville and North Florida are leading the way on this.”
Read more in Florida Trend's June issue.
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