Green America’s Top Green Businesses of 2011


It's midnight...time for a Bedol water clock which doesn't require batteries or electricity? Find it at the top shop of 2011 - Sustainable NYC.

The votes are in. The People’s Choices for Green Business of the Year, awarded by Green America, has been selected from thousands of online ballots, along with nine runner-ups ranging from corn cob air fresheners to an environmentally-sound alternative to tampons. Among the countless worthy businesses, these were picked and though some are not new companies, they have some serious fans. The season’s shopping may be done but there’s more to these retailers than gifts.

© Sustainable NYC

The winning shop that took the top spot is Sustainable NYC, a green general store in Manhattan’s East Village at Avenue A and 9th Street. It provides local goodies, organic apparel, Fair Trade jewelry, recycled, re-purposed and biodegradable items, alt-energy products like the Bedol water clock, and BPA-free baby bottles, plus much more. Also the café serves up events for the community like electronic recycling, a vintage workshop and green think-tank, all in January alone. There’s a web store, too.

The nine Green Business of the Year finalists are:

EarthKind of Bismark, ND
Air fresheners of corn cob chips, odor-absorbing volcanic ash and essential oils in Sweet Clover, Pomegranate & Tangerine scents, plus other household goods.

© Warren Machine Company, Inc.
The animals have their say in "Goodbye Earth Hello Moon" by Gabriel Meil and Emily Rylander at Reach and Teach.

Reach and Teach of San Mateo, CA
A civil-rights-themed board game, a homophobia-combating book and other teachable moments" items, including puzzles, music, posters, DVDs, and maps.

Seven Hopes United of San Francisco, CA
Fair Trade jewelry, handmade duvet covers and kitchen items created by international artisans.

Divine Chocolate of Washington, D.C.
Only 100% certified Fair Trade chocolate and 45% is from worker-owned Kuapa Kokoo cocoa cooperative in Ghana.

Hazelnut Kids of Traverse City, MI
Imagination-stimulating fun toys of sustainably-harvested wood and organic cotton without plastic and toxic chemicals.

DivaCup of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
This reusable menstrual alternative replaces the more than six billion disposable tampons tossed annually plus plastic applicators.

Faerie’s Dance of Harbor City, CA
Sustainable soy, organic cotton and renewable hemp clothing and jewelry fashioned from recycled metals.

Bella Luna Toys of Rockland, ME
Another toy store owned by a Waldorf teacher and mother of two, sells playthings made of wood and silk – not plastic.

Purple Dragon Food Co-op of Glen Ridge, NJ
Mixed baskets of locally-sourced and organic fruits and vegetables packaged by members who work one hour every three months. Find a co-op near you in Green America's Green Pages.

Green America
offers tools for business owners to solve social and environmental problems and provides people with its extensive directory with a slew of categories for one-stop shopping for goods and services: eco-friendly car rental, bicycle roadside assistance, gardening kits, barter networks, bio-diesel haulers, Fair Trade flower arrangements, building suppliers, and green funerals -- as well as green coupon discounts.

If your favorite green company, store or service didn't make the 2011 list, nominate it next year, and visit it in 2012.

Tags: Awards | Buy Local | Shopping