The green noise has become deafening. There are over 300 green ’seal of approval’ marks that can be registered now. How on Earth can you discern what is green and what is green-washed?

It takes a bit more time and focus, but the short answer is, look at the company, not just the products.

Ecowood Displays has been providing green retail displays since 1995. We started out with the exclusive use of reclaimed wood and we were the first fixture company to add formaldehyde free panels into our list of materials. These panels are produced 90 miles from our plant, which qualifies them as a local product. That was over five years ago. Now everyone is using these types of materials and saying, ”Hey, look how green we are!”. Trade magazines are so full of green colored advertising, printers must be running out of green ink!

So let’s look at ECOWOOD as a company. From the beginning we have embraced the Triple-Bottom-Line business model and have incorporated it into our vision and mission on a day to day basis. We live it and breath it. In addition to green operating practices, our programs include:

*1% For The Planet – One percent of our sales is donated to approved environmental groups. Customers over a certain sales level are encouraged to choose who we donate to. All other donations go to local environmental groups chosen by our employees.

*Green America (formally Co-op America) approved Green Business. This is the real deal and has been for over 25 years. Ecowood was nominated for the 2008 Green Business Leadership Award.

*Sharing The Wealth – program for employees that includes wages & benefits above the local average and paid time for community service of their choice.

*The Green Library – We have assemble a collection of books, articles and other media that can be borrowed by our staff to help them learn about living greener lifestyle.

*Local First – all material purchases are made within 300 miles whenever possible.

*Blue Sky wind power program with Pacific Power – 100% participation for our power use.

We are planning to build a 100% energy independent facility on our current corporate campus so we can bring our production facility home (it’s one town away). The design includes a geothermal radiant heating system, solar power and a rain collection system to supplement our well use.

We believe in putting the planet first, because without it, there are no people, nor profit, for anyone.

We are living proof that green can be done. So ask your vendors about theirprograms and what those programs entail. It won’t take much to see who is truly green.