By Jessica Thomas
Green Girl Atlanta consults with individuals and households to help them make environmentally conscious decisions to reduce their carbon footprints and make smarter daily choices.
Buckhead native Esther Ayers, 25, launched the business (www.greengirlatlanta.com) in 2007. It offers direction on a variety of services to fit individual needs, such as recycling, energy bill assistance, water conservation, green pet care, green baby and child care, green decor, paper waste reduction, organic foods, organic cleaning supplies, Energy Star appliances, junk mail reduction, eco-friendly paint, organic upholstering and green gardening.
Going green is not as time-consuming or difficult as people may think, Ayers said. Small decisions can make a difference for the environment, such as using a water filter for tap water instead of buying bottled water and using green-friendly cleaning supplies.
For example, Ayers recommends nontoxic Mrs. Meyer’s counter-top sprays and cleaners and 7th Generation laundry detergent.
“The green movement is just starting to get bigger everywhere, but Atlanta as a city is just moving a little bit slower to go green,” Ayers said.
Citing the city government of Los Angeles and its efforts to construct more eco-friendly buildings, Ayers said she wishes the Atlanta city government would follow suit. But while Atlanta as a whole has not necessarily embraced going green, she said more and more individuals in the area have.
“People are starting to realize that the earth is important and we can’t take it for granted,” Ayers said. “It’s vital to have a healthy home environment with a low carbon footprint to ensure children and pets are healthy.”
A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact of human activities on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.
While Ayers was living in Los Angeles and working for Creative Artists Agency in 2005 after graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she became fascinated by the greening trends sweeping America. But the turning point for her came in 2006 when she moved to Chicago and began working with “The Oprah Winfrey Show” as an assistant to an executive producer.
“The Earth Day episode [of the show] promoting green products and a sustainable lifestyle really interested me,” Ayers said. “I started self-educating and realized that so many people, especially here in Atlanta, needed to realize going green is simple.”
Ayers said another Atlantan, environmentalist Laura Turner Seydel, Ted Turner’s daughter, has influenced her work. “She has always been a role model of mine,” Ayers said. “She is really walking her talk. She is so passionate about helping the environment.”
Ayers not only started Green Girl Atlanta out of her Buckhead home, but she also does work with Green Business Works, a marketing and communications organization that produces environmentally friendly events. She recently helped put on the Green Business Works Expo, and she also started Go Girl Atlanta.
Go Girl is a personal assistant service, she said. “People need an extra hand, and it seems like they never have enough time to get everything done. (Go Girl) is an extra way to have some part-time help when you need it.”
Go Girl offers shopping, shipping services, pet services, house sitting, home services such as waiting for repair or delivery people), administrative and home office assistance, and other miscellaneous errands.
Whether helping the environment or simply filling life’s daily needs, Ayers is determined to be the girl Atlanta calls on.
So, for help in deciding how to become more environmentally friendly, or just servicing life’s needs, Ayers might prove to be the Girl Atlanta to call on.