Interview with Karen Moore - Owner of EcoHomeResource

This hub is a part of a series of hubs interviewing women entrepreneurs who have managed to set up and run successful small businesses while managing a family and a full time job. My aim is to share their success stories and provide inspiration to moms looking to start their own business.

Karen Moore is the founder and owner of EcoHomeResource, a website dedicated to inspire healthy and eco-friendly living since 2008. EcoHomeResource was chosen by the Time Magazine as one of the “Best Designed Green Websites”.

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Q1. What is the main goal of EcoHomeResource?

The mission for the website is simple: to provide a helpful and inspiring resource for people to find information on how they can make healthier choices for themselves and the planet.

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Karen Moore
Karen Moore

Q2. How did it all start? What sparked your concern about the environment?

I’ve always been interested in creating inviting and beautiful home environments. And it has been through this personal passion that I began to learn about the toxic and dangerous materials that are present in our homes…even those things that we consider “good” such as that “fresh new paint smell”. When, in fact that smell is leaching toxic chemicals into your home. And I began to learn about the alternatives that are available; from eco-friendly mattresses, zero VOC paints and organic materials used in everything from baby toys to furniture. The demand and the market for environmentally-friendly products & services continues to grow, which is incredible!

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Q3. "Your resource for creating a healthy home". Does EcoHomeResource cater only to creating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle within the home?

Of course, we start with the home environment because, outside of work, people primarily spend most of their time there and it has the greatest influence on their physical and psychological well-being. However, we truly want to be a resource for “earth-friendly” living, so we definitely include other content such as transportation, dry cleaning, organic food and gardening.

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Karen Moore
Karen Moore

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Q4. As an owner of a green website, what steps have you taken towards protecting the environment and creating a healthy lifestyle within your own home?

For me, living a life that is healthy for my family and the planet, it is mostly about all of the little decisions that I make every day. I think a lot of people believe that if they don’t have solar panels on their roof, then they aren’t making a significant difference. (I don’t have solar yet, but it is definitely on “the list”).

The small things I do…turn off the water while I’m washing the dishes, recycle, organic bedding, my walls are painted with zero VOC water-based paint, I replaced the water delivery with a water filter on my faucet, I open the windows instead of turning on the AC, non-toxic cleaners, replace light bulbs with CFL’s and simply turn off lights when they are not needed.

Simple, but I believe that the cumulative effect of simple acts can make a big impact…and imagine if everyone just made a few small changes in their daily lives?

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Installing solar panels
Installing solar panels

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Installing solar panels
Installing solar panels

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Q5. Do you have any recommendations for consumers shopping for earth friendly products? What should eco-conscious consumers be aware of when shopping?

I am so thankful that people are creating a demand for more eco-friendly products, from cleaning supplies to food. I do not claim to be an expert in this area, but I can offer a few tips. Beware of the word “natural”, there aren’t any governmental regulations around the use of this word and it is VERY deceiving! For cleaners, look for products that say highly concentrated, biodegradable and made from plants or other renewable sources. Avoid products that contain petroleum. Look for cleaning supplies that are reusable and are made with organic fibers instead of plastics. Some of my personal favorites are Meyers & Method cleaning products. And if you are switching out your old toxic cleaners with more earth-friendly products, I love www.Earth911.com as a resource for safe ways to dispose of just about everything.

When it comes to food…read the ingredients and remember that they are always listed in the order of amount, so if the first item is high-fructose corn syrup, PUT IT BACK! As often as possible, shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store, which is where all of the produce, dairy, etc. will be. Processed food is typically in the middle aisles. Always look for “organic” and if you have a farmer’s market close by, support your local farmers. If you are on a budget and going 100% organic is a bit challenging at the present moment, then the best rule of thumb is to go organic on those items with the thinnest skin (for example, I would definitely go organic on blueberries and you can pass on bananas)

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What suggestions do you have for consumers who are just starting out in the direction of healthy living?

  1. Do not be intimidated with all of the information out there. Take small steps, ask more questions and read.
  2. Do not feel bad about past decisions you’ve made. We all continue to grow, learn and have the opportunity to make a different decision each day.
  3. Share your knowledge. Pass it along…that is how we can truly make a difference.

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What is the future of EcoHomeResource? How do you plan to expand its resources to reach out to more people?

On EcoHomeResource.com, we will continue to provide new and relevant articles on topics that people care about.

Based on some of the feedback we have received from our visitors, we have created a new website called SaveGreenNow.com, which will provide great discounts on green products and services. Currently, people can sign up to receive an email notification when we are live in their city. We will launch on July 15, 2011 in Los Angeles and will open a new market every few months.

For eco-friendly businesses, there is an opportunity to have your product or service featured on the site. At no cost to the business, we will promote the discount offer to our database of conscious consumers. The business gets new customers and incremental revenue with zero upfront investment.

We have also created an Affiliate Marketing program, whereby a company or individual can earn income through promoting SaveGreenNow.com. Simply, place our banner ad on your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page etc. and you will earn commissions on every customer you send to us FOR LIFE.

If you are interested in either of these opportunities, please contact Priyanka@SaveGreenNow.com or Karen@SaveGreenNow.com.

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