Which businesses should go green?


There’s been lots of buzz in Charlottesville this week about the goal of "greening" businesses. Better World Betty (a longtime ABODE contributor) and LEAP kicked off the Better Business Challenge, which seeks to get local entrepreneurs to slash their energy use, water use and overall environmental footprint.

Excellent idea, if you ask me! As private individuals, we can only have so much impact. We need the business and government sectors to flex their eco-muscles, too. (Recent eco-unfriendly developments notwithstanding, Albemarle County is a partner in the Biz Challenge, as is the City of Charlottesville.)

I’m glad to see that some of the businesses I patronize are already signed on, and I hope many more will get on board. I also liked reading about the conversation some local business leaders had about why they’ve committed to sustainable practices. It’s common sense that going paperless, for example, would save you money.

So here are my two cents. I’ve written before about one of my pet retail peeves: Stores that leave their front doors open while simultaneously running their A/C. Then there’s the habit of handing restaurant patrons 12 more paper napkins than they need. In my opinion, many local establishments are still missing the boat when it comes to preventing waste.

Whether or not a particular business signs on to the Challenge (and the worst offenders probably won’t), they still deserve to hear from their customers when they’re doing something dumb. Readers, what do you observe? Which local stores, eateries and services need to green up their act?