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Fri, April 19

Green businesses unite to improve offices and codes

TCBN/Nathaniel Kastelic --- 
MacRae Nicoll, owner of High Desert Rain, puts a second coat of paint on a 550-gallon rainwater catchment system at a Prescott home.

TCBN/Nathaniel Kastelic --- MacRae Nicoll, owner of High Desert Rain, puts a second coat of paint on a 550-gallon rainwater catchment system at a Prescott home.

PRESCOTT - A passionate group of entrepreneurs is working to make its green mark on the Prescott region.

The 23 members of the 2-year-old non-profit Green to Gold Business Network aim to promote sustainable "green" businesses, and educate others about how their goals contribute to a healthier local economy.

The group chose to register as a 501(c)6 non-profit so it can make political statements if it wants to, said Mary Lin, marketing and public relations director for Prescott College, which is one of the Green to Gold members. Lin co-founded the Green to Gold group with Jan Bryan, a local financial planner.

"We thought it was important to be able to advocate for green business," Lin said.

Other members include Arizona Public Service, a leader in green energy production, and Prescott City Council Member Bob Luzius, who wanted to educate himself about green business. Several architects and builders are members, too.

Most of the members also belong to the national Co-op America Business Network and work closely with the statewide Sustainable Arizona, Lin said. A northern Arizona chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is in the formative stage. This past year the Green to Gold group organized a Green to Gold Conference and during Earth Day festivities in April, it conducted an expo to talk to the community about what members do as green businesses.

The members meet quarterly to help each other improve business practices and brainstorm about ways to get the word out about their mission.

"We don't believe there's any such thing as a perfect business, and we're not the green police," Lin said.

Some of their goals are simple. D's Pet Service uses biodegradable pet grooming products, and Realtor Rob Israel leads buyers to environmentally friendly homes, for example.

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