Washington’s green business program, EnviroStars, has helped more than 150 businesses improve their sustainability over the program’s first year, including 18 Kirkland businesses.
The recognized businesses in Kirkland are Allysis, Black Lion Heating and Air Conditioning, Cactus Restaurant, Choice Insurance, City of Kirkland – City Hall, Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, JEMCO Components and Fabrication Inc., Lake Washington Christian Church, Livengood Alskog PLLC, Maelstrom Brewing Company, Neil Levinson Enterprises, Orion Education, PACE Engineers Inc., SRM Development, The Watershed Company, Twelve Baskets Catering, U.S. Cleaners and Waste Management Regional Administrative Offices.
EnviroStars is a free program that connects businesses of all sizes and types with local environmental assistance, utility rebates and resources. Businesses earn EnviroStars recognition by taking steps to green their facilities, such as replacing inefficient lighting with LEDs, composting food scraps and switching to safer cleaning products.
In its downtown Kirkland location, Cactus Restaurants is now officially an EnviroStar business. The restaurant is following environmentally friendly practices like composting all food scraps, farming locally, using compost made from their own food scraps, choosing recycled-content paper and reducing their amount of printing and switching to compostable straws and to-go packaging. Additionally, Cactus is making its building more sustainable by replacing lighting with LEDs, installing low-flow aerators in faucets, changing out equipment regularly to reduce its carbon footprint and using sensor-activated lights.
“It’s our responsibility to the community that we practice green and sustainable approaches to how we run our business,” said Bret Chatalas, co-owner of Cactus Restaurants. “It’s important to us that we are good stewards of the neighborhood we’re in — operate in a way that’s good for the community. It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do.”
Chatalas said everyone has the power and responsibility to make a difference. And that is exactly what Cactus is doing in all six locations.
“EnviroStars helps businesses implement best practices that save energy and water, generate less waste and pollution and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kirkland Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, who represents the city on the King County Cities Climate Collaboration, in a press release. “EnviroStars practices are good for business and good for Washington’s environment.”
The nonprofit, all volunteer Eastside Community Aid (ECA) Thrift Shop also took the steps to green their facility and operational practices.
Jody Orbits, president of ECA, said they recycle everything possible. From clothes to electronics, they recycle everything they can.
“Everyone needs to be doing it. Be stewards of this planet,” Orbits said about recycling. “We just all need to be doing it. Try to recycle as much as you can. Keep things out of the landfills. Every day, just try.”
To learn more about EnviroStars or to find a green business, visit, envirostars.org.