Environmentally Sustainable Businesses Develop Partnership
by Susan Post
Two local businesses owners are helping each another while advancing their respective missions to run environmentally sustainable operations. Rain Brothers and Eartha Limited are building bridges between both rainwater and recycling and demolition and compost.
The two businesses share an acre lot in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus. Being located in such close proximity has paved the way for each operation to find creative ways to take advantage of the other’s specialties.
Rain Brothers installs rainwater harvesting systems for both residences and commercial businesses; this adds an element of sustainability to homes and communities. A 1,000 square-foot roof can harvest over 600 gallons of water per inch of rain. That water can be used for irrigation, and, with the right system, drinking. It is also useful for cleaning recycling containers, as Eartha has found.
Eartha Limited specializes in food-scrap hauling and recycling for compost. With a focus on the food service industry, the company also collects and processes used restaurant oil, as well as offering options for recycling traditional materials like cardboard, aluminum, plastics and glass.
Rain Brothers installed the cisterns that collect the rainwater Eartha uses to clean their recycling containers.
“One of our best-practices in food scrapping is cleaning Eartha’s food-scrap containers after each service,” says general manager Lelia Cady, who is also in charge of business development for Eartha Limited. “Since we’ve moved in the middle of April, we’ve always had clean rain water. We’ve never had to revert to city water.”
It is a true opportunity to reflect on the values behind their company.
“We want to operate an environmentally sustainable business,” Cady says, calling rainwater a terrific component of such an operation.
The two businesses are finding other ways to partner using Eartha’s compost. Rain Brothers also specializes in deconstruction of homes that are scheduled for demolition. Post-demolition, Rain Brothers incorporates Eartha’s fertile compost onto the empty lots.
It is a partnership both businesses are eager to continue.
“We have the same vision of not only creating sustainable business, but also in creating jobs and employment opportunities in sustainable ventures,” says Rain Brothers Owner Jonathan Meier. “Anyone who share those two things, we welcome their partnership.”
Rain Brothers and other businesses are also vigorously working with Eartha to find a new compost facility.
Eartha is working with the Franklin County government and has placed two large collection facilities at Jackson Pike and Downtown Columbus. Cady has been impressed with the county’s leadership in the initiative.
Eartha currently has to haul their compost to Delaware, however. While they love the partnership, the miles are not sustainable.
“We need a more accessible, sustainably-located [Class 2] compost facility,” Cady says.
The winter months will give the businesses a chance to continue talks on how to further build sustainable businesses practices.
Susan Post is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus. She enjoys writing about her city and the people and places that make it special. Contact her at Susan.Post.firstname.lastname@example.org.