2008 has been a year signifying economic depression culminating in the worst holiday retail season in years. However it has also been a year of entrepreneurs burgeoning a variety of exciting new green businesses. Ecopreneurist has covered many of them over the course of the year. Here is a review of our favorite Ecopreneurs of 2008.
1. Van Jones – Pioneer of the Green Collar Economy
Van Jones is undoubtedly the Ecopreneur of the Year. He has spoken out against our unsustainable economic model that is based on consumption not production, run on debt vs. savings and thrift, and environmental destruction vs. preservation. But he has also shifted the rhetoric to one of hope by building a new economy with clean energy power centers and a clean enemy corps.
Read Jennifer’s post Van Jones’ Ecopreneurial Vision for the full story.
2. Derek McLeish – Transforming Carbon Emissions into Fuel
Carbon Sciences‘s CEO Derek McLeish tells us that his company is the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform CO2 into the basic fuel building blocks required to produce gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other portable fuels.
Reenita gives you the full story in her post A Breakthrough Technology to Transform CO2 into Fuel
3. Paul Polizzotto – Creator of Green Media
EcoMedia, a NY based company originally started by an LA surfer turned environmentalist to protect local watersheds from pollution has now expanded to find ways to improve and protect the air, energy, and green space of places across the US.
Read Paul’s post EcoZone – Advertising that Greens More than the Message for the full story.
4. Andy Keller – The Bag Monster
Andy Keller had been using a huge ball of 500 plastic bags to show people at farmer’s market just how many plastic bags an average American uses in a year — and one day he decided to wear it. Thus was the spawning of the first Bag Monster costume.
Maryanne gives you the full story – Bag Monster Attacks – How One Green Entrepreneur Is Using Video
5. Larry Kaplowitz – Creator of Coconut Bliss
Kalpowitz created a healthy, non dairy ice cream on a biologically appropriate farm. Read the full story here – A Truly Sustainable Alternative to Dairy Based Ice Cream
6. Jack Short and Daniel Lyons – Founders of Factory Green
The dynamic, 20-something Missouri businessmen run Factory Green, where they roll out sexy and carbon neutral apparel, accessories, and housewares to college students, a demographic that isn’t too hot on green poster products like low-consumption washing machines or hybrid cars.
Olga gives you the full story – Factory Green: Young entrepreneurs roll out shirts with spunk
7. Shai Agassi – Personal Transportation Guru
Shai Agassi is a man with with a pretty big mission – to engineer a globally sustainable personal transportation system for the 21st Century. As the founder and CEO of Silicon-Valley based company Project Better Place , he aims to turn that dream into a reality.
Read Andrew’s post California Based Ecopreneur Aims to Bring Electric Cars to the Masses for the full story.
8. Catherine Flanagan & Jane Holt – Mompreneurs with a Home Energy Auditing Business
Take two professional women who are busy raising their families, a growing concern about the environment, and the need for a flexible business, and what do you get? Well, if you are Catherine Flanagan and Jane Holt, you launch a home energy auditing business called Green Homes.
Sarah gives you the full story – Home Energy Auditing Business Perfect Fit for Two Busy Women
9. Adam Neiman – Jewish distributor of Palestinian clothing
Peace in the Middle East might be a near impossible dream but on-the-ground-efforts are all the more impressive for it. Take the initiative by Adam Neiman, a Boston-based Jewish entrepreneur partnering with a Palestinian clothing factory. Neiman’s NoSweatApparel.com makes a ton of difference for dozens of Palestinians working the looms of an organic clothing factory in Bethlehem on the West Bank.
Angelique give you the full story – NoSweat Clothing Made By Palestinians, Distributed By A Jewish Entrepreneur
10. Bonnie Trust Dahan – Co-founder of Vivaterra
Bonnie Trust Dahan was motivated to start her business based on personal shopping preferences that made her want to market beautiful products made from organic, recycled, and renewable sources.
Read Leah’s post Green Business Founded on Desire to Meld Beauty with Social Responsibility for the full story.