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THE RISING BUSINESS VENTURES OF THE ECO-DESIGN MOVEMENT IN CALIFORNIA



Cerno

Founders: Bret Englander, Nick Sheridan, Daniel Wacholder

Industrial design and manufacturing company innovating modern LED lighting fixtures and furniture.



How would you describe eco-design?
There is no one simple answer to describe eco design; different designers achieve the creation of eco-responsible products through different means. Cerno is inherently extremely environmentally responsible because all of our products use high quality and extremely energy efficient LEDs. In addition to using LEDs, we are vertically integrated - meaning we design and build all of our products under one roof, which facilitates being in complete control of the entire process. This allows us to ensure we are sourcing our raw materials from primarily domestic and regional suppliers that exercise the environmentally responsible processes. 



What is your product and how is it better for the environment?
We make modern LED light fixtures; our lights consume seven to ten times less energy than an incandescent light source that emits the same amount of light. Globally, nineteen percent of energy use goes toward creating light, so in theory, if everyone adopted more energy efficient light sources, that nineteen percent could be significantly reduced.  

What stemmed your interest in eco-design?
It was the obvious and right thing to do. As a progressive design and manufacturing company, we believe it is our responsibility to know all that we can about the latest and greatest available technologies. When we started Cerno, high quality LEDs were just becoming available and positively disrupting the industry. We saw using LEDs as an opportunity to be pioneers as well as differentiating ourselves from other modern lighting designers who, at the time, were mostly still using 100-year-old incandescent light sources.  

Thus far, what is your biggest achievement in eco-design?
Our biggest achievement is that we love what we do and the products we bring to market are continually well received. Cerno is more than a lighting company, it’s three childhood friends realizing their dream, which is to work with your best friends and build products and a brand that we are truly passionate about. 
What changes would you like to see in the world in the next 20 years?
Awareness about climate change, alternative clean energy sources, and in general, eco-responsibility, which needs to become part of the education system. There are so many lessons that can be tied into respecting the natural environment. Kids and adults need to know the importance and impact they can have by simply turning off the lights when they leave a room, taking shorter showers, and buying products that use less energy that are manufactured using environmentally responsible practices. Education will be the most grass roots and effective way to influence change.



For more information on Cerno, visit www.cernogroup.com

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Its incredible beauty and reputation attracts millions of tourists each year. But no longer is Southern California just a stunning coastline filled with suntanned blondes, sunny skies, and the home to Hollywood glamour, as SoCal is now inhabited by some of the world’s most earth-minded eco-designers. With inspiration in plain view, these Californians are making an impact in the sustainable living movement:

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GreenUp

Founders: Will Roos and Jay Schapira

Developing products that help reduce waste and eliminate plastic pollution from our planet, using the latest in Green technologies to create durable, cost effective alternatives to conventional disposable goods.



How would you describe eco-design?
In our business, we are trying to integrate new technology into standard products (disposable cups, utensils, etc.). So the design component for us is really trying to show the customers that products they have been purchasing for years can be made with new technology to help the environment without the sacrifice of performance or cost. It's about replacement without compromise for the benefit of the planet.



What is your product and how is it better for the environment?
Our company, Evive, is a technology company.  Our product is a compounded additive that makes conventional plastic biodegrade in a matter of months, as opposed to decades. Our product is used in packaging as a value-added solution that helps brands deliver a product to their customers that won't wash up on a beach in 10 years. Our finished product company, GreenUp uses this technology in disposable products and will be launching a full line of eco-friendly household products with biodegradable packaging next year.



What stemmed your interest in eco-design?
Our interest in creating products is a direct result of the plastic pollution epidemic that seems to only be getting worse. We want to be a part of the solution when it comes to keeping the planet clean and wildlife safe. Our product is the best way to make a direct impact.



Thus far, what is your biggest achievement in eco-design?
Our team has created products that look, feel, perform and cost the same as conventional plastic. We have been able to accomplish this by vertically integrating our business from technology, to manufacturing, sales and fulfillment. This design (of our business) allows us to use fewer resources to create and deliver products. This concept is key to our core values. We have eco-designed our business to minimize environmental impact and the result is an operational structure that helps the planet (nearly) as much as our products.



What changes would you like to see in the world in the next 20 years?
More global cooperation when it comes it comes to solving global problems. The development of new technologies in the Green space is often hindered by archaic mandates and interest groups that vary by city, state and country. I would like to see these governing bodies have a more entrepreneurial view of emerging technologies. Government is, by nature, always a step behind when it comes to the environment. 



For more information on GreenUp, visit www.greenuplife.com

By Kelly A.  Shannon



Kelly Shannon is a native Californian & journalist who believes each of our unique lifestyles creates our very own way of life; from our preferences of art & literature to fashion & music. Deeply intrigued by the creators and innovators of trends, style, and vitality, she is also the Editor in Chief of MMJ.



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