Businesses Go Green For Eco-Friendly Challenge

Posted: Updated: 10/23/2013 6:09:52 AM

A competition ischallenging all central Virginia businesses to go green, and there are a numberof businesses in the area that are already heeding the call. They're savingmoney with innovative technology, and your company could be the next one tojoin and save.

The Better BusinessChallenge is put on by BetterWorld Betty and theLocal Energy Alliance Program. It's afriendly competition for businesses and other organizations, encouraging themto be more energy efficient while keeping track of their progress using onlinescorecards.

One of the businesses nowusing green technology to save some cash is Charlottesville-based softwarecompany Coxito. It runs its business on multiple serverswhich use a lot of electricity, not exactly eco-friendly. So the CEO Stein Grannow uses Green Cloud a company based in Icelandwhere the servers run on 100 percent clean energy.

Gran said when he moved toCharlottesville from Norway in July he was looking for a way to beenvironmentally conscious. "I came across the Better Business Challengeand it looked like a good program, so I joined," he said.

Also in Charlottesville,at the Vinegar Hill Café, they'reusing a "smart" vending machine provided by the Coca-Cola Company.The machine recognizes when people are using it and shuts down during hours thecafé is closed. It also turns the temperature down during off hours, since thedoors won't be opening and closing.

"Vending machines orlarge coolers are some of the largest consumers of energy in a restaurantconvenience store capacity and so it uses a lot of energy and it's running allday long, so for it to be able to take it down, especially at night when it'snot in use, that's a considerable savings," said manager Joel Schechtman.

Vinegar Hill also tries tobe eco-friendly by cutting down on paper and plastic use and instead usingflatware, silverware and ceramics. Schechtman said the Better BusinessChallenge is a wonderful community effort. "We want to share our vendingtechnology and try to get others involved in the same types of programs,"he said.

Now is a good time to signup for the challenge. On Thursday, organizers are hosting their second Lunch n'Learn from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at CitySpace. The discussion will be about ifsustainable businesses are more likely to make it during tough times. Anyone iswelcome to join.

Other businesses that havesigned up for the Better Business Challenge include Tandem Friends School, MainStreet Arena, Apex Clean Energy, Plow & Hearth, and Whole Foods.