Getting to know your ‘green’ community businesses

Julio Alberto Cruz

This past Sunday, the Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce held its first Sustainability Summit, providing several topics on going, being and moving to a ‘green’ lifestyle, but only as consumers but as a community.

One thing is for sure when it comes to sustainable businesses. It is about the 3Ps – people, planet and profits.

Fair Trade is a perfect example in dealing with the right people in honest ways. Some businesses might not be Fair Trade but they are socially responsible and even active when it comes to dealing with human rights, education, creating access (e.g. food) health, and community impact (the most important).

Dealing with the planet is obvious. It is all about climate change, improving it that is, working appropriately with waste, toxins and ensuring safe ways that impact our environment.

Profits are important because face it, money needs to be made to only survive but to continue practicing sustainable habits. Practicing ethics, fair wages to employees, and the people that make the products is very important.

Look for your community businesses to be transparent, some even have their info online, which they should, and others in their stores and the rest have its employees informed of what they do in case you ask them. (Check out Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park, which deals with food).

As consumers, we have to make sure our local stores that say they are ‘green’ to truly be green.

If you see a store stating they are Fair Trade, organic, ethical, locally made, etc., double check.

For those that are not sustainable and you would really like them to be, talk to them.

As a consumer it is your right to do so and find out what is going on in you community. It is a conscious way of living.

Check out CERES, a network of environmental organizations and businesses, where you can see the measures that business should follow.

For example, one of the speakers, Randi Ragan, spoke on how she follows those measures for her GreenBliss EcoSpa.