West Hollywood, while a small city on a map, has had a big impact on setting the bar for environmental awareness when it comes to holding businesses accountable.
In 2007, the city adopted one of the nation's first mandatory green building ordinances to ensure that new residential and commercial buildings would save energy, conserve water, reduce waste, and create an overall healthier living environment for residents.
From solar-paneled boutiques to all-organic eateries, many Weho businesses are making being green a priority.
opened its flagship store in West Hollywood last year, selling 100 percent zero-emission electric motor scooters and electric bikes made using green technology.
These can be powered either in the traditional manner, using pedals, or by electric power. Once that power kicks in, the bike can travel at more than 20 miles per hour on electricity, all without gas or creating emissions.
When it comes to fashion in West Hollywood, is a destination on North Robertson Boulevard, just south of Melrose. The 4,000-square-foot boutique, created by the people at , opened in 2008, and has made “going green” the new black ever since.
The futuristic eco-concept, with its prominent solar-paneled roof, can not be missed. Inside, the store boasts a paperless receipt system, and even a paperless bathroom, bringing the badet back into style.
on Santa Monica Boulevard could have been just another burger joint, but instead, chose to serve only 100 percent organic products when they opened their first store in West Hollywood in 2008.
“Fast food was sort of a horrendous enterprise,” said co-owner Andy Soboil, a private chef for many years. “I wanted to come up with something that was accountable and responsible.”
The alternative fast-food restaurant also serves organic, free-range turkey and grass-fed beef. Their packaging is made from renewable resources that are recyclable, compostable or biodegradable, said Soboil.
Even the building design has kept green in mind, since O! Burger uses AFM lead-free, zero VOC Safecoat paint—the same kind used in schools and hospitals—and their wooden panels are reclaimed from a farm.
The Zoom Room on North La Brea Avenue, a canine training center and social club, is also environmentally friendly—from the design of the building to the products they sell. The building has bamboo and linoleum floors made from recycled materials, and the gym floor is made of recycled car tires.
The company also strives for a nearly paperless environment, with the gym’s schedule available online and displayed on an iPad, rather then printed out on paper, said COO Mark Van Wye.
“Our clients are so involved in responsible pet ownership, and that sense of stewardship naturally extends to the environment,” said Van Wye.
Many of the toys that the Zoom Room sells are made from recycled soda bottles or even fire hoses, and are American-made, he said.
“By providing toys that are essentially indestructible, they may last for a year, or two years or even longer, and that really reduces the amount of items in landfills,” Van Wye said.
Here is just a small sampling of sites where you can search for and learn more about green businesses:
- National Green Pages
- The Green Earth Directory
- Newsweek’s Green Rankings 2010
- Facebook: Supporting Green Companies
- Rainforest Alliance