The “Why” behind Go Green Go

If you read last month's update you know “HOW” Go Green Go came into existence. If you are new to Idea Café or have just stumbled upon this blog – you need to go back and read the “Evolution of Go Green Go. It’s a spellbinding and thrilling account of how Go Green Go came into being…….Ok, so I tend to exaggerate just a little.

So, without any further delay – on to the next riveting chapter in the Evolution of Go Green Go – the “WHY” behind the “HOW” of the company. On the surface, one would tend to answer the question of “Why?” with “That’s a no-brainer –to make money.” Not so fast. While that may be the main purpose of most companies, it was not the defining motive to start Go Green Go.

The first inkling of starting any kind of business entered my mind when I realized that I did not want my husband to be in the construction business in the midst of the frigid New Hampshire winters. I needed to think of a great business idea to bring him inside during the winter months. Well, that was 20 years ago – he still works outside in the frigid New Hampshire winters.

The real impetus behind starting the business occurred when my husband and I started to volunteer for WorkcampNE. WorkcampNE is a non-profit organization that does home repairs for the elderly, low-income and disabled residents of our communities. For the sake of not boring you with the details of the organization you can visit if you want more information.

To continue on - We would volunteer for 2 weeks each summer to help run a camp that would use 200-300 student and adult volunteers to work on about 50 home sites. The repairs included weatherization, painting, building wheelchair ramps and installing new roofs on some of the homes. Currently WorkcampNE services the New England area but is actively pursuing growth in other areas of the country. WorkcampNE is quickly becoming a full time commitment. As the need to help people continues to grow - the tug on our time also continues to grow and the tug on our finances is also stretched to the limits.

We soon realized that in order to provide help to the under-resourced residents of these communities we needed to have an adequate income stream. With both of us being self-employed – this provided quite a challenge. “How does one create an income stream when one is volunteering?” Did I mention that neither of us are independently wealthy? Minor detail – but nonetheless true!

This is the motivating force behind the development of Go Green Go – we decided to develop a company that would have the potential of providing funding for WorkcampNE and the work that it does for the residents of our communities. The mission of Go Green Go is to give back to the community on all levels, which leads me to the next “WHY” of the company.

While trying to develop a company that gives back to the community, I decided to use the resources of the community to develop the company. If this sounds confusing – it is….so what exactly am I doing? I’m using the resources available at the local community college. As a business person, I am participating in the Service Learning Program at Manchester Community College in Manchester, NH. I am working with students in various marketing, advertising, web design and graphic art classes. These programs allow students the opportunity to have a hands-on real life experience with a company before they have to “do it for real”. I also have the privilege of working with the next generation of business people. This is a win-win situation for all involved. I love working with the students and seeing them develop both personally and professionally before they exit from the protected environment of the academic community.

My goal is to build a strong community network between Manchester Community College, WorkcampNE and Go Green Go. This will be a win-win-win situation for all of us.

On a final note - the “Why” of Go Green Go would not be complete if I didn’t mention the foundational message behind the actual design of the T-shirts. The tag line of the company – “Saving the Earth One Shirt at a Time” is the essence of the company. Even the smallest effort on our part can help to protect our environment. It is our hope that Go Green Go T-shirts will foster an appreciation of nature and encourage people to take meaningful actions to protect the environment. In purchasing and wearing our shirts you will be helping to preserve our environment as well as helping improve the environment of the under-resourced residents of our communities.

Every choice, big or small, makes a difference in our lives and the lives of others.

About the author

Susan Jenkins is the founder of Go Green Go, a T-shirt business that promotes eco-friendly activities, such as walking, hiking, biking, sailing, etc. To learn more, visit


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