From picking up after large-scale festivals, to changing out lightbulbs, to using more environmentally-friendly cleaning products, Good Land offers a suite of services that can help schools to businesses to festivals be more sustainable.
Good Land’s sustainable solutions fall into three categories: consulting, environmental services and events.
“We typically work with mid- to large-size corporations to help them save money operationally while becoming more sustainable,” says Mike Minnix, Good Land’s principal, chief consultant & dumpster diver.
Most businesses assume that becoming more sustainable comes with costly investments, which can be the case for infrastructure improvements like wind or solar, but there are several things businesses can do that don’t cost much, if any, extra capital. Lightbulbs are always an obvious starting point.
“Incandescent bulbs cost 10 times what LED bulbs do,” Minnix says. Cost-saving measures can even boil down to simple operational changes like sorting trash and recycling properly.
“[Corporations] are sometimes in shock of what they can actually save,” Minnix says.
Environmental Services put an eco-friendly spin on traditional janitorial needs. Services see through some of the operational changes facilities can make to improve their sustainability, like using more environmentally-friendly cleaning products and making sure waste is properly disposed.
Rounding out their offerings, “We do large-scale cleanups after some of city’s largest events,” Minnix says.
Good Land has worked with the Pride Parade and Festival, the Columbus Arts Festival, the Columbus Food Truck Festival and more to formulate and execute plans for the massive amount of waste that is produced when upwards of half a million folks gather in one spot. The organization also partners with groups like SWACO and Keep Columbus Beautiful to make events as green as possible.
Minnix has dedicated nearly a decade to pursuing sustainability through entrepreneurship. Seeing an opportunity in the industry, he left school to dive into environmental stewardship – something that wasn’t getting a lot of college classroom time. His initial venture was waste management company Eartha, Ltd. While the business saw internal legal battles and is no longer operational, Minnix says he has taken the knowledge he gained while at Eartha, and is bringing it to Good Land with a fresh start and different approach.
Minnix saw the you-do-what looks almost 10 years ago when he dumpster dove head first, but now businesses are starting to see the appeal. While everything Good Land does has the end result of helping the environment, “Not everybody has the same goals out of some of these programs,” Minnix says. “Some it’s to save money, some it’s to be more environmentally friendly, others do it for marketing.”
But Minnix says give it another 10 years and, “This is not going to be about sustainability or anything else. It’s’ going to be about good business. If you don’t do it, it will be strange.”
Already up to about seven full-timers in a little over a year since the first check came in, turning Good Land from hobby to business, the next years will see continued, measured growth. Growing sometimes means taking a step back until operations are ready to handle a project, but it all comes from a place of never compromising on Good Land’s level of service.
For more information, visit goodlandohio.com.
All Photos by Susan Post of Good Land’s office space at Chromedge Studios.