Jennifer Smith lives in a very small town in South Carolina called Hickory Tavern. In her neck of the woods, environmental issues aren't really on anyone's radar, but that hasn't stopped Jen from starting a thriving new green business that she operates right from home. Jen is a green virtual assistant. What makes her business green? Well, she not only does things that a standard assistant would do like making calls, managing databases, updating websites and sending email, but she also looks for ways to help businesses go green, such as using paperless contracts, green web hosts, and eco-office supplies. Jen is also a mom of three who cares deeply about taking care of the planet. Here's how Jen is going green:
Me: What inspired you to go green?
Jen: It was a combination, but most important was when I watched my best friend since high school die of cancer a year ago at 32. Who knows what caused it to happen, but it made me start to think of the foods we eat, the chemicals we put in our earth, water and ingest and it really started to scare me.
Me: How do you and your family go green?
Jen: We recycle, try to buy organic. We use recycled batteries and try to conserve energy. We recycled and reused a 1980 trailer, we completely gutted it and bought lightly used appliances and furniture, sent what we could to the metal scrap. It was a huge project, but it is pretty amazing to remember what we started with and what we made of it.
Me: What eco-innovation or invention would make your life easier?
Jen: I don't know about an invention or innovation, but I would just love eco-friendly products to become more mainstream and lower in cost. There are so many things I would love to do on my property, I wish it had been just as feasible to put solar panels on my property then having to run brand new power lines down to the property. I hope that one day sustainable options will be just as competitive as today's mainstream products.