Meet Jared Littmann, owner of , which recently was recertified as an Environmental Steward by the city.
The certification is part of Annapolis' Clean and Green City initiative. To be eligible for the two-year certification, a business must earn enough points based on environmental best practices and pass a verification inspection.
For more information on the program, visit www.SustainableAnnapolis.com.
Patch: What are the green initiatives you have instituted for your business?
Littmann: The biggest one I'm working on now is a huge two-day only rain barrel and compost bin sale on March 17-18. For customers, it is a chance to
get started on collecting and repurposing rain water and organic waste
products at a low cost.
For the environment, it is a chance to reduce our collective impact on community waterways and landfills and relate (like transportation) costs. In the past, we've had many intiatives:
- A greener options program where we ID green items with green tags.
- A laundry detergent system that allows you to refill your used detergent bottle.
- A line of paint that is no VOC.
- Added complete line of CFLs, LEDs, and halogens to replace energy-intensive incandescents.
- Training of employees on green options.
- Organic and phosphate-free fertilizer.
- Green household cleaners.
- Customer demonstrations of greener options.
- Upgraded store-use lights and ballasts.
- Offering reel mowers.
- Offering CFL recycling for free to customers at my expense.
- Added solar panels to supply our electricity.
There are probably many more, and a few that didn't work out that I
Patch: Why did you decide to pursue your green efforts?
Littmann: It has been a lifelong pursuit. I have an environmental engineering
degree from Washington University and focused on environmental law
while getting my JD from the University of Maryland.
I was a civil prosecutor focusing on environental violations while an associate county attorney for Montgomery County. I've had an interest in green issues since high school and have had many other jobs and opportunities to develop my knowledge and contributions.
As a hardware store owner, I have a terrific opportunity to improve
our policies and reduce our footprint, and to help customers do the
Patch: Other than cost, what are the biggest hurdles to using even more green techniques in your business?
Littmann: Time is precious. I have many other plans I'd like to develop, but can only do so much at a time.
Patch: If cost and time were not issues, what green technique would you like to implement at your business?
Littmann: Funny you word this question this way—I had not read it before
answering the question above. I'm curious about geothermal energy for store use. For customers, I'd like to have more bulk refill opportunities.
I'd like to offer more recycling opportunities, like for electronics. I'd like to offer more customer-education opportunities.
Patch: If you had one wish to create a new green technique/initiative what would it be and why?
Littmann: It is not quite directly answering the question, but close. Many green
products, techniques, or policies are already cost effective. For instance, LED light bulbs save money over the long run.
But, these options would get less expensive if more people bought into them—products are naturally less expensive to make when more are made
because of the difference between variable and constant costs in manufacturing.
Hopefully that makes sense.