For small local businesses, the upfront costs of a going green can be daunting, but the money and energy-saving results are always well worth the price. EcoBizNYC, a program at New York’s Lower East Side Ecology Center, was founded to help local businesses green their daily operations. To date, 44 businesses have joined, and it’s growing every day. EcoBizNYC has just announced that six participating businesses will be receiving sustainability grants to help continue their green initiatives. The grants will be awarded this Thursday during an evening reception at Ciao For Now.
EcoBizNYC works with businesses within the Lower East Side’s Community Board 3 to help them reduce their environmental impact. It’s a completely free program that offers energy consultations and sustainability evaluations of water, waste, procurement, and HVAC, which help the green experts at EcoBizNYC make customized recommendations for sustainable upgrades and alterations. A rating system allows businesses keep track of their progress, and the grant program helps them achieve their green goals.
The first round of 2011 grants are going to Big City Records, B-Side Bar, Dusty Buttons, Kumo Sushi, Michael Mut Gallery, and Ost Cafe. All six businesses already strive for environmental sustainability with a wide range of green practices, but the grants will help them further their efforts. Dusty Buttons, a vintage clothing store, is currently one of three businesses rated by EcoBizNYC as “platinum.” So far, Dusty Buttons has offset their yearly emissions by donating to liveneutral.com and implemented a creative bag free program. They also switched to a green energy supplier and plan on swapping all their current light bulbs for CFLs.
Big City Records, currently certified “gold,” has several plans for the sustainability grant, including switching to reusable bags for customers, using post-consumer recycled toilet paper, and switching to reusable microfiber towels for cleaning surfaces and records. The bar B-Side plans to use the grant for water conservation efforts like joining the TapIt water network to commit to refilling customer’s reusable water bottles and installing low-flow aerators in the bathrooms. Michael Mut Gallery also plans to use the grant to implement water saving upgrades, as well as switch to eco-friendly cleaning supplies. The two restaurants receiving grants, Ost Cafe and Kumo Sushi, will both use the money to switch to energy efficient lighting. Ost Cafe will also start to compost, and Kumo Sushi will install water-saving technologies.
Funding for EcoBizNYC is provided by Community Board 3, Con Edison, and HSBC Bank.