For us, living an eco-conscious life isn’t even a question, but for many people, the idea of “going green” seems like a daunting task that they don’t have the time or energy to do. Enter, the personal environmental concierge. They’ll take your clothes to organic dry cleaners, run your errands by bike, and swap your toxic cleaners for all-natural versions, all for a surprisingly reasonable rate. As the green movement grows, personal eco assistants are becoming increasingly popular, especially in urban areas. New York City is home to several such businesses, including Eco-Concierge NYC and QiLiving.
Run by Letitia Burrell and founded just a year ago, Eco Concierge (stylized ECOncierge) is New York’s first lifestyle and personal management company that helped people live greener. They help with everything from making your home more energy efficient to sorting out eco-tourism vacations. The company has partnered with local businesses to offer services, and they take the time to explain new products to customers and why they are a better choice. Memberships range from $175 a month to $3,500 a year, depending on the level of service, or you can opt for à la carte service at $25 to $50 an hour.
Leeann Brzozowski, the owner of QiLiving, takes small steps with her clients so they don’t feel like they have to change everything. A regular client for QiLiving is Adrienne Smith, who runs a tour bus company, Harlem Hip-Hop Tours, from her home on the Upper West Side. Working with Brzozowski, Smith greened her home by redecorating with non-toxic paint, switching to recycled paper for her printer, and swapping a vinyl shower curtain for linen. Brzozowski even planned an eco-friendly birthday party for Smith at a popular club that included an open bar, hip-hop DJ, and 50-80 guests.
While some environmental experts say that small lifestyle changes don’t make any difference in the big picture, we still think it’s great that more businesses are dedicating themselves to greener practices. But as any faithful Inhabitat reader knows, you don’t need to pay someone to make your life for Earth-friendly. After all, what’s greener than doing it yourself?
lead image © Fleur Suijten