Last week was a hot one in St. Johns. The temperatures exceeded 100 and the St. Johns Bridge, which never takes a bad photo, exceeded the usual expectations of beauty with the addition of dangling Greenpeace volunteers, pennants waving in the breeze, and blue lights shining through the night. If the Bridge were a woman, she would have been Halle Berry dressed for the Oscars.
I walked down each morning and each evening to see and to marvel. I work from home, designing websites for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. My skills are in demand, and it’s not often that I take time during the work day for a walk. Still, for this event, I took the time.
I went even though I am conflicted. Yes, I walked there in sandals made, at least in part, from petroleum. Yes, I own a car. Yes, my home uses oil to heat. Of course, I am conflicted.
Growing a business is somewhat like growing a garden. It requires an economy that is loamy and workable, the fertilization of your creativity, ideas or seeds that are fresh and the favor of fortune shining on your work. It also requires the hardships of chilly rain to strengthen your resolve and business savvy.
The past year blessed me with all of the above while growing Waterlink Web! I know that this economy is workable because small businesses ready to succeed are coming to me. Each new website that I design and develop brings out more creativity. None are alike. Just as each client and his or her business is unique so are the websites I make.
Website design and development is a field constantly changing and adapting to new technology, new coding languages and new design requirements. Every day I gather these fresh seeds while I study, research and learn about the latest techniques and search engine optimization updates.
Fortune has also favored me in 2014 as one client lead to another and contacts and referrals blossomed into friends. There were hard times, of course. Weekends when I stayed in the office, days when the demands of children, husband and home took priority and, of course, occasional technical difficulties. I am grateful for 2014 and look forward to 2015.
Waterlink Web is a green company partially powered by a solar array and located on a Gold Certified Backyard Habitat property. This is not a new thing for us, nor is it something we have “advertised” in the past. It is just our way of life and another example of our commitment to the community.
Controversy surrounds “green washing” or as Wikipedia puts it, “… when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being ‘green’ … than is actually spent on environmentally sound practices.” Another excellent resource about green washing is StopGreenWash.org, a site sponsored by Greenpeace.
Waterlink Web is green because it inherits the philosophy and practices of my husband and myself, Mary Ann Aschenbrenner. We went “green” over 20 years ago when we stopped using chemicals and pesticides in the garden and lawn, choose native plants for landscaping and began composting kitchen scraps.
Today we operate a small apiary of organically tended honeybees, raise chickens for eggs and, just over a year ago, put up the money to install a solar array on our roof. While it will take about six more years for our solar array to completely pay for itself, we see the results every month in a smaller electric bill. Some months the solar array contributes half of the electricity used, more frequently one-third, but even in the winter months, when we see short days and rain in Western Oregon, it still contributes.
As a green interactive agency, Waterlink Web is proud to build websites for small businesses and non-profits that share our values of sustainability and community involvement. We know that how we treat each other and the earth is the legacy that counts.