Again this month, we're shining the spotlight on people who make good products and add more good to the world. Each month we ask one of our makers the same 6 questions, and each month we learn something new.
This month, we're featuring Kari Warberg Block, CEO and founder of EarthKind. Kari launched EarthKind from her kitchen table in 2007 developing naturally effective plant-based products to keep pests away from treated areas without killing or poisoning them. Kari was the first to help educate consumers about the truth behind pest control — and how to keep their homes pest and poison free. As a company, EarthKind is committed to social and environmental responsibility, believing that all companies should take the lead to protect the health of humans, animals, and the environment alike. Over the past decade, EarthKind's effective repellents have helped reduce the need for poison/kill pest control methods in the home by 8%! Today, EarthKind manufactures their products in North Carolina and provides jobs for handicapable individuals.
So, without further ado, here's our Q & A with Kari: What's Good:What does being eco-friendly mean to you? Kari:Eco is short for ecology, the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. We call it bio-collaboration at Earthkind, and it’s the science behind how our products actually work.
Friendly, is another word for kind, and it’s the ‘heart’ behind how our business works. We’ve always been that friendly brand developing solutions to solve your peskiest problems for good, without adding more problems — like plastic waste, dead bodies, poisons, or causing kids to see us behaving inhumanely. To take it one step further, we take time each day to ‘imagine’ a world in harmony with nature and one-another, and how we can help. It’s our North Star, guiding us so we can do our small part making it easy to live work and play in an earthkind way.
What's Good:What’s your biggest climate change fear/concern? Kari:My biggest fear around climate change is the inability to grow food. It’s predicted that we have just 10-12 crops left. We need to turn fear into compassion for saving our pollinators, and that’s what we’re doing at EarthKind. We’re the only pest control brand that’s strictly no-kill and using our business to educate people on the purpose of insects and rodents. People have no clue that killing ants kills the perimeter control that’s keeping termites and stink bugs out of their homes. We make it easy for people to keep pests out without killing or poisoning them, so they can go back outside and do their important work (without leaving behind a pheromone that attracts even more pests).
What's Good:If our readers could only do one green thing, what would it be and why? Kari:Understand that all living things have a purpose, have a niche (play a role) within our ecosystems. Nature doesn’t overpopulate or outstrip its resources. It doesn’t need any interventions because it works on the basis of contribution and bio-collaboration. Teaching this to our kids is important, and the primary reason we started the Harmony Hero Award which recognizes eco-teachers who get kids outside with hands-on activities, helping them understand the planet, and the contributions they can make. While the current situation is very serious, I believe in focusing on the positive things each of us can do vs. the "doom and gloom" messaging in the media.
What's Good:What’s the biggest ‘bad habit’ YOU have as it relates to eco/sustainable lifestyle that is a challenge for you? Kari:Hmm, I’d have to say convenience. I try to buy in bulk, shop locally, walk when I can, and cook the way my grandparents did. I have gone to full recycling of furniture, cars, clothes, houses. Yet, the food consumption is still a challenge. It wasn’t as challenging as a farmer when we grew everything ourselves, but it’s harder as a city dweller. I’m spending lots of time on this right now for both my family and our 50+ employees to see how we can collectively save time, money, and be sustainable in the process.
As a 5-year-old, I became disheartened with consumerism. I felt ripped-off in every way as a consumer. Ever since, I’ve been making my own products, questioning where my money goes, and scrutinizing the downstream impacts of my buying decisions. I detest the model of growing a business fast, just to sell out to the 1%. Nearly every founder & CEO I know that’s done it regrets what’s happened afterward and does everything they can to buy back their enterprise. Consumerism has left our landfills overfull, our soils polluted, and our bank accounts overdrawn. As an entrepreneur, I feel empowered to use business as a force for good in this world.
What's Good:What is your favorite part/aspect of EarthKind Products? Kari:The ethos of the community! This is how all good things start, with a group of like-minded, like-hearted people committed to the same goals. After all, the world we live in is a reflection of our hearts, right?
Thank you, Kari! We're inspired by your respect and understanding of ecosystems and the roles that every animal, plant, and insect plays in the world, and for the caring heart you bring to your business. Your good work is indeed doing very good things for this planet!
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