Maybe – as a famous Muppet once said – it's not easy being green. But for Jonathan Rubenstein, there's no other way.
"I've always led a healthy lifestyle, so choosing a green route for our company is like completing the circle," says the owner of Paint JAR Inc., a Chicago painting and remodeling firm. "I love the outdoors and see it as a dwindling resource, so I try to do my part to lessen our impact on the earth. You can be part of the problem or part of the solution. I like being part of the solution."
Rubenstein is an industry leader in green business practices – a champion of environmentally preferred coatings and a member of the Chicagoland Clean Air Coalition, a group of businesses dedicated to reducing their environmental impact.
He's a stickler for reusing and recycling and educating employees on the value of green practices. The company holds several certifications in responsible practices and has a recycling option for latex paints and an EPA-approved disposal system for oil paints for its customers. Carpooling is mandatory for painters working on jobs more than 10 miles from the office.
After visiting the local Sherwin-Williams manufacturing plant, Rubenstein switched to the company’s GreenGuard certified products such as Harmony®, ProGreen® 200 and Duration Home®. In 2006, the Chicagoland Clean Air Coalition calculated that his company saved 22,000 pounds of VOCs with their use.
But it wasn't just their coatings; Rubenstein was also impressed with Sherwin-Williams' company-wide initiatives to reduce its impact on the environment, such as its wash-water management techniques and methods of recovering and recycling cleaning solvents.
Though not finance-driven, Rubenstein's earth-conscious practices have also been good for business in the exclusive North Shore and Gold Coast neighborhoods he targeted when he founded Paint JAR in 1997.
"Green construction, eco-friendly remodeling, and environmentally stable sustainable painting are our passions," says Rubenstein, noting that his company has reduced its ecological footprint by over 15 percent annually. "As a member of the Chicagoland Clean Air Coalition, we strive to reduce our impact on the earth. We honor this commitment to the environment by working with GreenSure products."
You can contact the company through its website, paintjar.com.