Crash Pad, Flying Squirrel first 'GreenLight' businesses

Crash Pad, Flying Squirrel first 'GreenLight' businesses

January 31st, 2015 by Mitra Malek in Business Around the Region

The "Crash Pad" hostel located at 29 Johnson Street in Southside Chattanooga.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

People, planet, profit. They might not sound like they work well together, but a new local program aims to prove that they can.

In fact, The Crash Pad hostel and Flying Squirrel restaurant got "GreenLight" certifications this week.

The program, which Chattanooga-based GreenSpaces handles, shines light on local businesses that are environmental stewards. These stewards can also be more profitable through sustainable practices, according to the program.

What is GreenLight certification?

A voluntary program that highlights local businesses that operate as responsible environmental stewards, which also should save them money and improve their brands. The program asks businesses to look at utility efficiency, cleaning practices and landscaping, among other factors.

To participate, check or call Chris LeCroy at 423-648-0963.

The hostel and restaurant have numerable sustainable strategies, GreenSpaces noted. Among them:

* nontoxic cleaning programs

* sourcing from local vendors

* all LED or CFL lighting and renewable energy production

* Rainforest Alliance certified to-go food boxes

* water-efficiency through dual-flush toilets

* use of foot or bike transportation for errands

* native plants, which require no irrigation

GreenSpaces calls "people, planet and profit" the "triple bottom line." The nonprofit organization's mission is making the Chattanooga area more environmentally responsible.

"Sustainable business is not only about buying 'green' products," said Dawn Hjelseth, GreenSpaces director of development. "It means creating a culture that values healthy choices and a healthy environment for employees, using less by being more efficient and using efficient products. These can all have a positive impact on a business's bottom line."

The program is helping The Crash Pad figure out new ways to be sustainable and increase profits, said John Ying, general manager for the LEED-platinum certified hostel.

The Hunter Museum of American Art, Franklin Architects, 212 market and Lupi's are in the process of getting certified, Hjelseth said.

Contact staff writer Mitra Malek at or 423-757-6406. Follow her on Twitter @MitraMalek.