ReadysetDC’s Matt recently spoke to Daniel Velez, Managing Partner of Greater Goods located at 1626 U Street, NW to discuss their eco-friendly store to highlight DC’s green industry. How Green Can We Become? Read on to find out what Matt and Daniel discussed about Greater Goods’ products and services in the District:
Matt: Do you think people in DC have become more eco-conscious in recent years? Why?
Daniel: I’m not sure but I think so. It’s complicated because DC, like any city, has the poorest to the wealthiest walking distance apart, so generalizing it isn’t easy. There has definitely been more focus by city leaders on these issues.
Matt: Are there any new or exciting green products that you wish everyone knew about and used?
Daniel: I think that we finally have an excellent LED light bulb, Pharox, that looks good for everyday use and is the same as a 60watt bulb. They’re extremely low energy and last a really long time.
Matt: What is the best way for people in DC to go green on a budget?
Daniel: It depends on where you live and how you live so I’m not sure. An easy change is changing out your cleaning products to ones that don’t have phosphates and volatile organic compounds. We’re a mixed rain/sewer system, meaning whenever the sewers overflow they go directly in the rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. If you don’t pay for electricity you can’t reap the benefits of energy savers.
Matt: How long you have been in business and why did you decide to start Greater Goods?
Daniel: We opened in November of 2007. I decided to open it because I wanted to shop there.
Matt: Can you provide a basic summary of products and services you offer?
Daniel: We offer cleaning supplies, baby and kid’s toys, energy savers, water savers, kitchen and bath accessories, water bottles, organic gardening, and we offer general contracting services.
Matt: What emerging trends do you see in the green products and services industry?
Daniel: We’re seeing more interest in homeowners upgrading their homes with small efficiency improvements, like painting their roofs white and insulating.
Matt: One last question: what does being a local, small business owner mean to you and why is it important to think local first?
Daniel: Being a small business owner means that you don’t actually know very much about days off or vacations, but you still love your job. It’s important to think local first because you may be surprised by the quality and prices in small stores.
Upcoming “Green Living Classes” Meetup:
Green Cleaning: Thursday, June 17, 7pm – Many common household cleaning products contain chemicals that can have adverse health effects. Have you thought about making your apartment or house more environmentally friendly and healthy but don’t know where to start? Would you like to buy some ‘green’ cleaning products but aren’t sure which are the most effective? Come find out how to get started.
Composting Made Easy: Saturday, June 19th, 11am – Composting is the decomposition of organic materials to make an earthy, dark, crumbly substance that is excellent nutrition for your houseplants, garden or street tree. It is the best way to recycle your yard and kitchen waste, and is a critical step in reducing the volume of garbage needlessly sent to landfills for disposal. Soil and healthy plants depend on compost. Join Cindy from Eco-Coach in learning how to make compost with no smell, no fuss, and no muss!
1626 U Street NW
Washington DC 20009
M-F: 12-8, Sat: 11-8, Sun: 11-6
Photography by Matt