GSI Member Since: 2008
You hear the buzz phrases – renewable energy, sustainable design, environmental protection. But is it happening in the Spokane region? More than 50 clean technology and energy efficient companies operate in the area, and we recently met with one small business that is placing solar panels, recyclable building materials, and eco-friendly products into our area one customer at a time.
Established in 1994, ECO DEPOT is Eastern Washington’s environmental building supply center – selling and installing solar PV systems, wind power generators, sky lighting, cleaning supplies, and recycled paint, flooring, countertops, and multiple other ‘green’ building supplies. More than 75 percent of its business comes from the end-user, typically the eco-conscious homeowner. ECO DEPOT would certainly like to expand its footprint with commercial users.
When business owner Nadine Sullivan first began, she revised her business plan three times with the support of SCORE
Spokane. As Nadine said, business ownership is not for the “faint of heart.” She knows full well the risk of starting a business. Her company is leading the way in Eastern Washington to provide ‘green’ products and services to the region. After her best year in 2010 and a tough 2011, she encourages her peers to hang in there.
The buzz word of “sustainability” can often be misconstrued, and Nadine explains her take on what it means – quitesimply, good stewardship to “leave something for the future.” As a former teacher, she knows the importance of leaving something for our grandchildren.
While the ‘green’ concept has been reused and recycled for decades, there are still many misconceptions and a strong need to educate and re-educate the community on the importance of sustainability. That’s why ECO DEPOT provides classes and makes personal visits to businesses.
What are the misconceptions? Many businesses think going ‘green’ is too costly, but in all actuality, going green can provide significant savings. Just ask Nadine. Her utility bill is one any business owner would envy. The 30 percent federal income tax credit available and money going into the pockets of businesses and homeowners who produce wind and solar power is impressive.
Education is not only needed to answer why to go ‘green’ but on the products themselves – and talk about some innovative lines. Ever needed a quick battery boost for your laptop or cell? The Voltaic Backpack Solar Charger includes 4 watts of solar power to charge multiple electronic devices. What about the fireplace that never gets used? The EcoSmart Fire Scope 700 doesn’t need a vent or gas connection, doesn’t emit smoke or soot, and runs on clean burning bio ethanol. What’s even better? The company’s MetroPaint is not only recycled but comes at a fraction of the cost and is made right here in the Northwest region.
As their motto states, “it’s time for ECO DEPOT,” and the message is clear. It’s time to be better stewards of our natural resources for future generations.
Buy Local and think of ECO DEPOT. It’s the only store in the region providing these eco-friendly products and services, and it practices what it preaches by buying local and investing in the local community.