It’s Easy Being Green: Local Businesses GET ROLLING

photo by Erik Jensen

April’s Small Business Monthly in the East Bay Express features Laura McCamy’s contribution as an EBBC volunteer on businesses that like being green:

Check the article out on page 19. Here’s the full piece:

It’s Easy Being Green: Local Businesses GET ROLLING

By Laura McCamy

What do a grocery store, a law firm and a printer have in common? All three are local companies that understand the value bicycling brings to their green businesses.

Kirk Watkins, owner of Oakland’s Food Mill natural foods store, sees cyclists as natural customers for the fresh foods his store provides. “Our business is about the earth and so are bicycles. We go hand in hand.,” adding “I wish everybody was out there riding a bike.” The store opened its doors to cyclists even before bike lanes were added to MacArthur Boulevard in front of the store. Though there are now bike racks for parking out front, bicycle riders are still welcome to bring their vehicles into the store to have them safely stowed in back. Watkins appreciates the community sensibilities of customers who shop by bicycle. “It’s a bit of a slower pace. It’s just nice. They come in with a smile on their face.”

Wendel Rosen Black & Dean is an Oakland law firm and a certified green business. According to Bill Acevedo, the partner in charge of the firm’s green business group, helping employees who want to commute to work by bicycle was a no-brainer. “The first benefit, of course, is employee morale. If employees who want to use alternative forms of transportation like biking, if they can do it, they are happy.” The firm nurtures its bicycling culture for other reasons as well: “As a law firm, it’s a differentiator – it tells who we are as a firm.” Employees who share a love of cycling build camaraderie, which improves “the relationships that are vital to any business organization.”

One third of the 15 members of the Inkworks Press collective commute to work by bicycle. Inkworks offers indoor bicycle parking for its workers. Employees ride in from as far away as San Francisco to the shop on 7th Street in West Berkeley, where they print “everything from business cards to posters to books.” The collective uses bicycle delivery service Pedal Express for its local deliveries. And they see the value of cycling as a way to get to and from work. “The time of day when I ride is beautiful,” says pre-press operator Jonathan Winston. . “I arrive at work much happier.”

Bill Acevedo agrees: “In the summer, there’s nothing better than riding to work and watching the sun rise.”


Reminder: the East Bay Bicycle Coalition announces the winners of our inaugural Bike-Friendly Business Awards this Friday, April 2

Many businesses in the East Bay are gearing up for Bike to Work Day. Is yours? We are mailing out in the next week over 2500 Employer Toolkits for Bike to Work Day. If you would like us to send your company a Bike to Work Day Employer Toolkit, please contact: Dave Campbell, BTWD Coordinator and I’ll get one out to you. Time to GET ROLLING!
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bike to work day logo 2010

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