7 Hot CEOs and Their Cool Green Companies

Eric Hudson, Preserve. Photo courtesy of Preserve.

4. Eric Hudson: Preserve

People have seen the benefits of recycling for many years now, but very few companies have ventured into turning the materials back into useful products: This is exactly why Eric Hudson started Recycline in 1996, now known as Preserve. The company has grown to become a leader in the industry. #5 plastics are particularly challenging to recycle in some states, so Hudson found a way to reduce this waste while producing great-looking products. His first design? The well-known Preserve toothbrush. The company, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, has been growing quickly, and now products in the Preserve collection range from personal care to kitchenware to tableware. Perhaps what we love most about Hudson’s creations is that they are both made from recycled materials and recyclable through the company, which can transform them into plastic lumber.

Quayle Hodek, Renewable Choice Energy. Photo courtesy of EarthFirst.

5. Quayle Hodek: Renewable Choice Energy

As a leader in the wind-powered energy market, Quayle Hodek is the young entrepreneur of Renewable Choice Energy. Based in Colorado, Renewable Choice Energy has seen tremendous growth in the few years since Hodek founded it (with Shea Gunther), earning him a spot on Red Herring’s "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 35" list. Hodek’s clients include several movers and shakers in the industry, such as: Kettle Foods, McDonald’s, Disney, Vail Resorts,Toyota, and Whole Foods. Whole Foods alone has offset the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road. Hodek has been a long-time activist in the renewable energy sector, assisting in the creation of the Green-e Certification Program, and as his client list continues to grow, the amount of clean air we breathe will as well.

Summer Bowen, BTC Elements. Photo courtesy of BTC Elements.

6. Summer Bowen: BTC Elements

We love BTC Elements because the products are not only eco-friendly, but also gorgeous, modern, and ethically sourced. The online store was founded by Summer Bowen in 2005 and has been growing substantially ever since. Many of the items available at BTC Elements you can’t find anywhere else, which demonstrates Bowen’s smart, sustainable style. She hand-selects each item and keeps the life of the product in mind so that each lasts a lifetime in your closets. Bowen makes sure that all products have a detailed description of materials that are used and where it is made, so you'll know exactly what it is you’re purchasing. Based in Los Angeles, BTC is the acronym for "Be the Change" which is a reference to Ghandi’s quote "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." Bowen adds that "Elements" is a nod to the natural world that we aim to preserve and protect.

Stephanie Bernstein, To-Go Ware. Photo courtesy of To-Go Ware.

7. Stephanie Bernstein: To-Go Ware

With a long history in the LOHAS community and extensive experience with groundbreaking eco-friendly companies, Stephanie Bernstein started To-Go Ware in 2004 in Berkeley, California. Her mission is to sell products that provide a solution and are enjoyable to use, while telling a great story. We also like Bernstein’s description about why she started her business: "With the explosion of 'to-go’ culture, there is no shortage of disposable containers and utensils crossing our paths everywhere we go, and we've all started to feed the landfill more than we may realize." So if we can’t ditch our to-go addiction, Bernstein believes that we can certainly become more mindful and conscious of our impact. Bernstein actively participates in the media--hosting socially conscious television shows--and she has written and modeled for various magazines. Tea lovers may recognize Bernstein from Yogi Tea: She is prominently featured doing yoga poses on eight boxes.

More on Eco-CEOs
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From Egregious to Green: 5 CEO's Who Made An Environmental U-Turn
Five Young, Green CEO's
TreeHugger CEO Radio Interviews
Change Makers on Planet Green

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