Arcata Chamber’s Green Business nominees make their case

Joellen Clark-Peterson
Arcata Chamber of Commerce

ARCATA – Every year, the Arcata Chamber of Commerce offers its Business Leadership Awards in six categories:

Business of the Year, as decided by the City of Arcata’s Economic Development Committee; Small Business of the Year; Nonprofit of the Year; New Chamber Member of the Year; Hospitality and Tourism of the Year; Green Business of the Year; and Beautification of the Year.

The 2019 awards will be presented at the Chamber’s Annual Business Leadership Awards dinner on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center. Get tickets here.

Green Business

The green business category recognizes local businesses who strive to conduct themselves in a more environmentally conscious way.

This year’s nominees:  

What do you bring to this category?

Six Rivers Solar

Miguel Godinez, Norm Ehrlich and Dan Johnson of Six Rivers Solar

Dan Johnson
Part Owner/Operations Manager 

When Norm started the business 40 years ago, solar wasn’t an industry yet. We found energy solutions where there previously hadn’t been any. Now that the solar industry has matured, we are focused exclusively on renewable energy and battery backup.

We have an upcoming program that allows a customer to track their own carbon footprint and the impact their solar has on the environment. For example, I put solar on my new house 18 months ago and I’ve saved almost 18,000 pounds of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of planting 446 trees. 

And that’s just so far! We are creating a carbon tree where you can see your overall carbon influence, including anyone you have referred who gets solar. We want to show how reaching out in the community can exponentially affect climate change in a positive way.

 This and the next three – five years is a great time to go solar.The equipment has matured, the tax credits are still there, and the state has rebates to help you afford batteries. 

Most solar companies offer long warranties, but we are the only one that has been around longer than our warranty periods, meaning you can count on outstanding service for the life of your investment. We are also the only ones with a retail store, so if you ever need something, you know where to find us.

Plastic Uniquely Recycled (PUR)

Jenifer Sherman-Ruppe of Plastic Uniquely Recycled (PUR)

Jenifer Sherman-Ruppe

I recycle plastic here in Humboldt county and turn it into jewelry. It’s an amazing place to do any kind of recycling because of the people who live here. PUR is a flagship business – you can take something free and everywhere and elevate it out of the waste system.

I take Type 5 plastics that are collected at local businesses, including prescription bottles and cannabis containers. I shred and wash them and separate colors into jar, then use molds and a heat process.

I’m continuing to get businesses and people involved: Getting people to return their prescription bottles and take the labels off. Getting businesses to sell the jewelry back into their stores and promote it. As PUR makes more money I can get larger ovens and more molds, and recycle more!

The next step is to make fence posts. I have the mold figured out. The material would be made out of silage – it’s used to wrap hay bales. Right now it’s not being recycled and it’s hard for the diary people to get rid of. That’s my second project, but it needs a lot of funding. The best part is that the farmers need these posts!

Local Worm Guy

Lloyd and Stacey Barker of Local Worm Guy.

Lloyd Barker

We provide many of the most active and responsible businesses in our area, a service that allows them to accomplish their goals of mitigating their environmental impact. Without our services, the hundreds of yards of material we divert every year would end up being shipped away, toxified, and buried in the landfill. 

The transformation into pure and rich soil takes a while, but it is tangible and represents hundreds of thousands of pounds of greenhouse gases that are not being released into the atmosphere, but instead are put to work by biological processes that improve, rather than harm, our environment. 

We keep track of all of the material that we collect from our customers, allowing them to accurately see and share their accomplishments in a meaningful way. 

Without our services, our community would not have a business that is actively collecting, receiving, and processing compostable food waste material, and the over one million pounds of compostable material we have processed since 2015 would be lost forever to the landfill. 

As we continue to grow and improve our operation, we are always looking for suitable ag land to rent. We also hope to increase the number of curbside compost partners that we have around the area and eventually have many more people who use their five gallon bucket to make the world a better place, starting in their own kitchens and homes.





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