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And the People & Planet Award Goes to…

Photo courtesy of greenwayrides.com

Green America, a non-for-profit that focuses on creating a socially just and environmentally sustainable society, recently announced three People & Planet Green Business Awards—$5,000 grants that are given to businesses who hold green travel and transportation in high regard. Greenway Transit joined Milkweed Mercantile and Bio-Beetle ECO Rental Cars in receiving an award.

Hailing from Durham, NC, Greenway Transit provides human energy-powered pedi-cabs in addition to biofuel-powered buses, shuttles and vans. The company has its sights set broader than Durham, though, looking for other university towns interested in sustainability and resiliency to replicate their model—described as “waste to fuel to transportation.”

As green ideals are incorporated into business practices more and more, it might seem difficult to identify which companies are truly dedicated to getting down to brass tacks to confront environmental issues. But when we reached out to Marc Dreyfors, founding manager of Greenway Transit, we found out that his company is truly fighting on the front lines for the environment and for social justice. In Marc’s words, “Being green is really, really dirty. Kinda more brown.” This guy is serious.

“Environmental justice comes from understanding that the earth is primary and we are derivative, and thus all life on the planet is family, is community.” Marc explained to me that Greenway could have invested in higher return business models and then reinvested in activism, but prefers to keep business and his set of ideals on the same page: “We are passionate about testing models of community-based resiliency, sustainability and promoting activism. Alternative energy and transportation is simply a vehicle for our expression.”

Alisa Gravitz, President and CEO of Green America, announced that Greenway Transit would be using the funds “to do community outreach on the benefits of biodiesel and on environmental justice issues.” This holds true to Greenway’s commitment towards building community—keeping energy local and employing Durham residents—while working towards leaving no carbon footprint and remaining financially competitive.

If you find the relationship between humans and their natural environments interesting, and want to tack on “green business” and “alternative modes of transportation” to that tall order, check out Greenway’s informational video, their Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.

Connect with Piper @PiperStullLane

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