For anyone out there who wonders how your shopping dollars can help protect the environment, look no further than Kat Schon. The co-owner of a small business in Portland, Oregon, Kat has shifted not just one, but thousands of dollars into products that help protect the planet. And she’s done it at work as well as at home.
Simply what Kat does at her company, Portland Store Fixtures, could qualify her for star status in the Big Green Purse “One in a Million” campaign, our effort to engage a million women in shifting $1,000 of their household budget to more eco-friendly options. Portland Store Fixtures sells new and used fixtures for anyone interested in running a retail establishment. The company’s mantra is:
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Give those “experienced” fixtures a chance to shine.”
Kat and her partner Penney are always on the look-out for gently worn display cases, fabrics, and even mannequins that another proprietor can put to good re-use. Since 1998, they’ve helped hundreds of stores get up and running, often by using recycled materials.
To keep her staff of seven fueled, Kat has organized a weekly organic food delivery to the office. “We signed on with a company called SPUD that efficiently delivers food and allows us to pick what foods we will receive every week. We pick organic, locally grown fruit and vegetables because it keeps the dollar local and out of the gas tank.”
Plus, says Kat, “We shop organically and have done so for the last two years. We also buy (personally and for the business) non-toxic cleaners, recycled products and reuse everything! We sell used store fixtures so we really take the "reuse" part seriously. Our invoices, letters and faxes are all on already printed on one side paper. And then we will use them for scrap paper!”
Kat estimates she’s shifted $28 per week for the local organic food delivery, and $200 per week for more eco-friendly grocery and cleaning products.
But the purchase that really propelled her into the “One in a Million” pantheon?
She recently bought a $22,000 Prius, the gas-saving hybrid car that can get as much as 50 miles out of every gallon of gas.