Lakewood resident Elena English grew up in Eastern Europe, just miles from the site of a disastrous nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, so she learned at a young age about safe gardening and harvesting for food in order to avoid radiation poisoning. “You had to find a clean patch of land and grow clean food,” she says. “Being what they call ‘green’ was a necessity.” These days, she says, there’s a whole lot of hype over green living and sustainability. Not a bad thing that people are excited about it, she adds. But with the marketing and gimmicks, it’s become an unfortunate misconception that environmentally responsible shopping is pricier, and that doesn’t have to be the case. That’s why she started Greenroost.com, a website meant to educate consumers, and give eco-friendly vendors an online market. Greenroost includes informative articles, mostly written by English, with a few horticulturally educated friends helping out. Vendors of sustainable products get a free listing with links to their website. Those who don’t have an online store can sell through Greenroost for a 10 percent commission. English approves and endorses all the vendors. There are two requirements — the product must be truly environmentally friendly, and it must be practical. “If they want to sell some complicated solar operated gadget for $80, it’s probably not going to happen,” she says, “It has to make sense.” English hopes to make a little money through advertising on the site someday, but so far, Greenroost has been an on-the-side labor of love rather than a profit-making venture.


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