Going green is in the bag
Going green is a hot topic these days. And one entrepreneur is taking his ideas to really cool places.
Jonathan Miller, a former Alexandria resident who graduated from Jefferson High School in 2000, opened a grocery delivery business in Vail, Colorado that is now one of the largest in the country.
Miller moved to Vail for the snowboarding, and discovered a niche for grocery delivery in the ski town.
His business, VailDelivery.com, mostly focuses on grocery delivery for tourists. Visitors can order groceries on his website and find them waiting in their condo or hotel when they arrive.
One of the most unique features of his business is its effort to save the environment.
The company delivers all of the groceries in reusable bags. Using this strategy makes a huge difference, Miller noted. The reusable bags keep about 100,000 plastic bags out of landfills in just one location. The petroleum that would be used to make these bags is enough to drive a car 7,142 miles.
Vail Delivery also gives away reusable bags at trade shows. And customers who order from Vail Delivery get reusable bags to take with them. Every year it gives away enough bags to potentially save one million plastic bags. With the petroleum that would be used to make these bags, you could drive a car 71,420 miles.
Besides being good for the environment, Vail Delivery decided to employ the bags because, "We want people to know it's us. We have our own vans and uniforms and the bags are just another way to let people know who we are." said Miller.
And Colorado's ski towns don't shy away from a little competition. The Colorado Association of Ski Towns (CAST) is holding a contest to see which ski town can save the most plastic bags. And Miller is doing his best to help Vail come out on top.
VailDelivery.com has been so successful that Miller is looking to open another location in Aspen this year, an accomplishment that he is "very proud of." He is also working on Resort Delivery L.C.C. He hopes to find new owners to take his platform across the country and possibly to an international level.
Miller's advice for other companies who are considering "going green" is that they should take the risk.
"It can cost a bit at first but it's worth it." Miller said. "Going green is a great way to put yourself a step above your competition. It can help a business get more clients and help keep clients happy. And it makes a big difference for the environment."
"You can also get a bit of free promotion in," he added.