John Ivanko

John Ivanko, with his wife Lisa Kivirist, is the co-author of ECOpreneuring, Rural Renaissance and Edible Earth, innkeeper of the award-winning Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast, national speaker, freelance writer, and copartner in a marketing consulting company.

Triple Bottom Line: The DNA of a Green Business Starts with People

People, planet and profits (at least some). That’s what the triple bottom line means for green businesses and a truly sustainable society. The triple bottom line is not greenwash, a PR campaign or the “principles” part of a Sustainability Report. It’s the DNA of how a green business operates. It’s measured by such things as trees planted, living wages paid and problems solved (not created). This is the first of a series of blogs that explore various facets of the…

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Ecopreneurs Practicing “Intelligent Fast Failure”, like Green Biodiesel LLC

Civil and environmental professor and ecopreneur-inventor Jack V. Matson, PhD. dedicates his life to practicing “intelligent fast failure,” an expression he coined to capture the essence of innovation. It’s captured in his irreverently titled book, Innovate or Die: A Personal Perspective on the Art of Innovation. As an ecopreneur, he started an environmental design firm, Matson & Associates Inc., housed in a green office building and personally holds two patents on water purification products. In Innovate or Die, Matson suggests…

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Operating a Small, Sustainable Business: Resources for Ecopreneurs

Of the nearly 26 million business firms in the US, about 97 percent have fewer than 20 employees according to the US Small Business Administration. These small businesses account for about half of the non-farm Domestic National Product, or GDP (not that my wife and I agree that this is the best way to measure prosperity and well-being), and generated 60 to 80 percent of the net new jobs over the past decade. While big businesses fired, laid off, downsized…

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The Simplicity of Ecopreneuring

“Simple living” continues to garner much pop culture hype, sparking books, magazines and a slew of self-help opportunities to assist you to declutter, scale back and slow down. Environmentally conscious and sustainable living fall under the simple living radar, but where does ecopreneuring or running a green business fit in? My wife and I incorporated numerous “simple living” strategies into our business over the years. While our lifestyle may exude quintessential simple living elements — from canning applesauce to crafting…

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For Ecopreneurs, How Minding Your Own (Green) Business Preserves More Green

There are many financial benefits of becoming a business, depending on how you structure it. Not only are businesses taxed after their expenses have been deducted, but many legitimate deductions are available to a small business that reduce its reported earnings. The IRS tax code specifies the following related to business expenses: IRS Code Section 162(a),Trade or business expenses: “There shall be allowed as a deduction all the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in…

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Stabilizing Earth’s Atmosphere a Priority for Ecopreneurs: Share Animation Video with all Stakeholders

It’s not just any number: 350. Returning to 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our Earth’s atmosphere is the level that most of the world’s scientific community agrees as the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. When industrial revolution began, it was 275 parts per million. Today, we’re far above that at 385 parts per million and continuing to rise at an accelerating pace, often contributing to the extreme weather, shrinking glaciers and numerous other…

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Strategies of Abundance for Green Business Ecopreneurs: Part 3

This is the final post related to Strategies of Abundance for green business ecopreneurs. The first two addressed how banks have a stranglehold on our lives (Part 1). Part 2 addresses the KISS principle (keep it small stupid), relocalization movement, and thriving on natural capital. Following are a few more strategies we’ve employed, like many other ecopreneurs. Strategy # 5: Enough Is Enough A key facet for many small business ecopreneurs is the recognition of living within our ecological and…

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Strategies of Abundance for Green Business Ecopreneurs: Part 2

This is the second post related to Strategies of Abundance for small business ecopreneurs. My first post addressed why paying the bank is often an unwise decision. Strategy # 2: KISS Principle: Keep It Small Stupid While the mantra today might be get big or get out, be a millionaire or — for the more socially responsible — “getting to scale” without losing the values the business was founded upon, we’ve discovered the more human-scaled our operations and practices, the…

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“Strategies of Abundance” for Green Business Ecopreneurs: First, Stop Paying the Banker

This is the first of several posts describing “Strategies of Abundance” for ecopreneurs and green business owners. Even in financially tough times, these Strategies of Abundance reflect interrelationships between personal finance and business, especially for small business owners. The key for ecopreneurs is how they use their business to make the world a better place. Profits from a green enterprise are the catalyst for ecopreneurs to achieve their Earth Mission, whether to restore ecological integrity or make photovoltaic systems affordable…

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