Natural Foods Merchandiser

40 Under 40: Jessica Jensen

Jessica Jensen Co-founder and CEO Low Los Angeles Age: 36

For environmentally conscious consumers, the most eco-friendly choices might not always be apparent. But whether they're remodeling a home or just reducing their environmental impact, Jessica Jensen has set out to help them make the best consumer decisions in a world awash with green marketing.

While Jensen worked in management consulting and ran marketing for Investor's Business Daily, her concern for the environment was growing. In 2003, when she and her husband, Jason Pelletier, bought a house in Los Angeles, they wanted to make it as green as possible. But the task was pretty overwhelming. " What should we do? How much would it cost? What products should we use?" Jensen recalls asking. There was no comprehensive place they could go for all the information they needed. So they decided to create one., the largest green home-improvement Web site, is the result.

What was your inspiration when you were starting? We realized that a lot of people had seen [Al Gore's global-warming film] " An Inconvenient Truth," and were starting to understand the environmental challenges we're facing, but they didn't know what they could do in their own lives to make a difference. We want to help people take positive environmental action in their homes and everyday lives.

What are you most proud of? The fact that more than 1 million people have visited our site in the last year and have, we hope, learned something they can put into practice to live a more eco-friendly life. We are striving to become the go-to resource online for anything related to sustainable living. We plan to attract 200,000 visitors per month to the site by the end of this year and 500,000 visitors per month by the end of next year. We will continue to bring outstanding educational information to our visitors. We have a daily blog, and getting comments and questions back from interested folks is really gratifying. It makes us feel like we're having an instant impact.

What are the biggest challenges facing the environmental-sustainability industry? The fact that everyone thinks that going green is too expensive. They hear, " Solar costs $30,000," and shut down. There is so much that people can do for free, or for less than $50, that has a huge positive impact.

What's the one natural product you can't live without? BioBag biodegradable dog-poop bags.

If Ben & Jerry's named a flavor after you, what would it be? Spunky Green Monkey, coffee-mint chip perhaps.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 8/p. 25

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