Student creates eco-friendly online store
April 12, 2015
Greener Square, the brainchild of Gallatin junior Jake Madoff, is a new online shop that centers itself around the idea of product knowledge. Through the website, Madoff sells products ranging from clothing to food produced by environmentally conscious companies. Each item comes with information on how sustainable, organic and locally sourced it is as well as a background on the company that manufactured it.
“The first step in creating a website like this was building a stable, attractive and universally useful concept,” Madoff said. “Since I’ve been passionate about environmental science and ecological health for a couple years now, I knew I wanted to create a website that combined aspects of both.”
Madoff said he hopes Greener Square will be able to inform its consumers about the environmental impact of certain products.
“The project is only beginning; I would like to expand and add more products to the site,” Madoff said. “My goal is to share this perspective that we may live and thrive in ways that are conducive to our healthy and happiness, while performing behaviors that are good for planet Earth.”
Market Square, a pop-up tradeshow in which various brands and labels sell their goods in a community-based environment, was one of the main inspirations for Madoff. He translated this concept into an online platform for the exchange of environmentally friendly goods.
“On a practical level, I’ve been inspired by the Market Square; such a concept, one that involved individuals, forms of exchange and lifestyle connotations, has always been incredible, at least in my opinion,” Madoff said. “More conceptually, I was inspired by the potential to facilitate planet-healthy lifestyle choices.”
Madoff recounts that the process of creating Greener Square mainly involve researching consumer attitudes toward the environment and developing a familiarity with the topics of sustainability, animal welfare and food studies.
“The project had a lot of ups and downs,” Madoff said. “I would say one of the biggest challenges was in regards to the research. It’s hard to compile all this research and make it presentable and accurate. It takes quite a bit of vetting and time.”
LS freshman Nini Khvedeliani said the website is a hands-on way of practically solving some of the imperative environmental problems.
“We often speak about saving the environment and natural habitats, but rarely are able to practically apply these ideas,” Khvedeliani said. “The website practically addresses and helps solve some of the prevailing environmental issues that are rarely ever done.
Madoff added that he has future plans for the website, including increasing its product database and expanding its blog to provide a greater forum for discussion.
“I want to feature a greater array of companies and products on the site; this entails bringing on more people to help with content curation and product research,” Madoff said. “I also hope to expand the blog and give it a unique voice.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 13 print edition. Email Dhriti Tandon at [email protected]