Sit and deliver

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It only took 40 years for the green movement to produce soft toilet tissue. Yeah, four decades after the world’s first Earth Day, the green movement has finally taken root. The reason is simple: performance.

As much as consumers want to keep polar bears from drowning and trees dotting the landscape, 90 percent of U.S. consumers won’t use scratchy toilet paper. Therein lies the rub.

Even while environmental awareness is at all-time high and consumers are willing to spend more for greener products, those products must perform as well or better than their non-green counterparts. If the Toyota Prius’ top speed was 50, it wouldn’t be so widely driven. Sixty miles to the gallon or not, not many people want to roll down the freeway in the slow lane, even with all the tax rebates and free toll stickers.

Enter Seventh Generation. In the past 20 years, it’s gone from the fringe to the mainstream by producing high-quality green household products, like diapers, trash bags, laundry detergent, dish soap, paper towels and bathroom tissue. Products that perform as well or better than equivalent products in all ways, except they keep tons of trash out of landfills, keep chemicals away from people and save all kinds of resources throughout the product stream. According to the counter on the Seventh Generation site, the company’s products have saved 370,592 trees and 965,146 gallons of petroleum.

It’s not only the products that need to work. The economics need to work, too. Firmly rooted in sustainability, Seventh Generation is a company on the rise with $60 million in annual revenue and growth at 20-30 percent each year.

And now, that Seventh Generation has cracked the soft, green toilet paper code, the sky’s the limit.

About The Author

Sweet connects all the dots of Shannon’s life, combining her passion for the environment and human rights with her love of travel and women. Obsessed with finding a way to make the economics of doing good in the world work, Shannon strives to create a successful and green business run by happy employees for blissed-out guests. It’s her favorite kind of situation—a win-win-win. Recently, Shannon was named one of the “Advocate Magazine’s 40 under 40″, Go Mag‘s “Women We Love” and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association‘s Travel Innovator of 2010. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys sleeping, hiking, building treasures from trash, chasing her little bear and burning brush. She lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her son, Theron aka little bear, and dog, Reggie.

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