Two Wyoming small business owners, Dr. Emily Shull of SIGHT LLC and Lindsey Bonadonna of be. LLC, are this year’s winners of the City of Wyoming’s Green Business Award. The award, conceived by Wyoming’s Environmental Stewardship Commission, puts a spotlight on businesses that strive to minimize their impact on the planet. This year’s award winners exemplify the spirit of the award with their business practices and by introducing their customers to environmentally conscious choices.

SIGHT, which offers eyecare and eyewear from its shop on Wyoming Avenue, has a multi-faceted recycling program. Not only does the business recycle waste generated in the office, it has a program that encourages patients to recycle their contact lens waste. SIGHT works with several eco-friendly brands that make glasses and cases from recycled material. The business also accepts used glasses, which it donates to a charity in Cincinnati that restores and distributes them to the less fortunate.

In addition to its recycling and conservation activities, SIGHT increases awareness by offering customers water packaged in recyclable containers made of a plant-based material. It also includes a free package of biodegradable laundry detergent sheets with every annual supply of disposable contact lenses purchased. The laundry sheets include a note explaining that it’s an effort to offset the plastic of the contact lenses. According to Dr. Shull, “We have sought to continually improve our sustainability efforts and have added multiple elements to our business to offset the environmental effects of our industry. It is an honor to be recognized with the Wyoming Green Business Award, and we vow to continue improving our sustainability efforts within the practice and reducing our environmental footprint in our community.”

Dr. Shull takes used contact containers to the recycling center on her day off.

Lindsey Bonadonna, owner of be., opened the neighborhood market on Wyoming Avenue earlier this year. The market offers grab-and-go meals, smoothies, snacks, and more. Be. strives to lessen impact on the planet by reducing the use of harsh chemicals. When Bonadonna assumed careship over the building in January, she had the floors refinished with a new, plant-based, zero-VOC stain and finish from Pallman USA – one of the first in the U.S. to utilize the product. It also has a machine that produces water with a pH that gives it disinfectant properties, which can be used as a cleaner and degreaser. While there are times it is necessary to use traditional cleaners, the market uses this chemical-free technology when possible.

The market reduces waste by paying close attention to the food’s life cycle. For example, each Monday, they freeze all remaining fresh fruits so it can be used when the shop reopens on Thursday rather than throwing the unused food away. Be. uses food containers that are recyclable and/or compostable and encourages customers taking food-to-go to toss the packaging in the recycling bin. The market purchases sugar cane straws from Sustainable Sips, a local company, to help reduce plastic.
On receiving the award, Bonadonna said, “all of as at be. are reminded of how even the tiniest of actions, done consistently and with intention, add up to big impact and inspire even more action. Receiving this award means the world to us as it affirms that we are on the right path to creating a more sustainable business that honors both our human and environmental resources.”

be.’s smoothies are served with sugar cane straws to help reduce plastic.

“Both winners see value in lessening their business’s impact on the earth,” says Sarah Flem, Environmental Stewardship Commission member. “And they increase the reach of their efforts by making it easier for others to conserve and recycle,” Flem adds.

The 2023 Wyoming Green Business Awards will be presented at the October 16, 2023 Wyoming City Council meeting, with a reading of a proclamation. Previous winners of the award include Winning Edge Mobile Sharpening; Ron’s Bike Garage; Sally L. Noble Architect, LLC; Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; Tela Bar + Kitchen; and Wyoming Community Coffee. Look for the Wyoming Green Business Award logo on the doors of local businesses and their websites.