The Sustainable Environment Advisory Committee, a city organization that works to create a greener St. Joseph, partnered with Missouri Western State University to present the first annual Green Business Awards recently.
The awards were given to three businesses in town that foster sustainability through environment-friendly practices. Diane Waddell, moderator of the Sustainable Environment Advisory Committee, said it is a way to incentivize more renewable practices.
“It’s happening all over, honestly, the world,” Waddell said. “We’ve been a little bit slow on this and that’s the reason we’re so excited.”
Nesting Goods, located Downtown on Felix Street, was named the greenest shop for reusing and recycling products.
“Our business model is somewhat sustainable because we specialize in the remake of old pieces into something new that people would want to have in their home,” said Cris Coffman, the owner of Nesting Goods. “We also have antiques.”
Manic Snail, also Downtown on Eighth Street, has changed locations multiple times during the pandemic to only use the space that is needed. The store won the greenest office award.
“Manic Snail is honored to be recognized by the St. Joseph Sustainable Environment Advisory Committee,” said Dana Massin, the owner of Manic Snail, via email. “Our business still has a long way to go to become the greenest it can be, but we are committed to making the pursuit of greener practices part of our ongoing business plan.”
Rare Nutrition, which doesn’t have any physical locations yet, won the greenest plate award. The company, founded two years ago, creates healthy and nutritious food options for health and long-term care facilities across the country.
“We do a ton of recycling because we do go through a lot of reusable plastics when we do our manufacturing,” said Mark Modlin, the founder and CEO of Rare Nutrition. “All through the development of the past two years, we’ve done a lot of recycling as well and making sure that everything we do use is reused in some way or disposed of correctly.”
Modlin said creating these awards was a great step for the city to take and it incentivizes other businesses to increase sustainable efforts.
“I think it’s great the city is doing something like this, recognizing people, not just us, but a lot of other businesses in town that are taking part in it and taking the initiative to do something to give back to the environment,” Modlin said.
But these awards aren’t only important for businesses. They also help shoppers be more mindful of their own environmental efforts, organizers said.
“It’s maybe not the first thing that you think about whenever you’re shopping, because when we’re shopping, sometimes it’s just like, ‘This is my list of needs,’” Coffman said. “But it might make someone be a little more aware if they start to see things, such as these awards, being posted.”