There are companies in the Upstate that embrace sustainability.
There are consumers who want to support them.
Often times, the problem comes with hooking the two up together.
Ed Wilmot, who has been involved in sustainability-related groups in the Upstate for years and who grew up on farms where things were done the old-fashioned way such as milking cows by hand and using old tools to do farm work, has developed an online directory of Upstate businesses and organizations that operate on sustainable principles.
“The demand is there,” said Wilmot. “There are those willing to pay extra because they realize that cost isn’t just the product but everything that it takes to get the product to them.”
But to Wilmot, sustainable doesn’t just mean environmentally-friendly.
“Sustainability is about protecting our resources, not just natural resources, but cultural and personal, too,” he said. “When something is sustainable, it is something that helps improve the quality of life.”
The directory doesn’t rate how sustainable businesses and nonprofits are.
“At least they are started on that process,” he said. “The idea is to let people know so they can at least be assured the businesses have started on that journey.”
Some of the businesses are more of the traditional “green” industries, such as Belue Farms, a family farm in Boiling Springs that uses sustainable farming practices to produce vegetables, fruit, free-range eggs and grass-fed locally raised Angus beef.
Others aren’t as traditionally “green.”
Dark Corner Distillery, the Upstate’s first micro distillery, uses local ingredients to produce “legal moonshine” and also sells other locally produced products.
Night Owl Chocolate makes chocolate bars out of organic, fair trade cocoa beans from around the world. The bars use all natural sugar and organic vanilla beans and do not have preservatives or additives.
Wilmot said the businesses in the directory have triple bottom lines: people, planet and profit.
The directory also features information on nonprofit organizations that are working to better the community through sustainability as well as a calendar of events that are sustainability-related.