Your Guide to Environmentally Friendly Organizations in Metro Detroit

These 10 local businesses are paving the way for a healthier and happier planet


By creating compostable and biodegradable food containers, Green Safe Products seeks to mitigate the environmental damage that comes from disposing paper and plastic. The business works with over 400 other Michigan businesses and educational institutions to provide products made with renewable resources like corn and sugarcane. Products range from BPI-certified Eco Hot Cups, compostable in 60 days, to non-petrochemical deli containers, biodegradable in 45 days.

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Buzzing around the rooftop of Cobo Center are thousands of bees — the stars of a non-profit organization promoting awareness on the importance of bees to the environment. The organization already manages over 80 honey bee hives at more than 30 locations, but their next mission is to build one of the first bee highways in the country, a network of hives that will span across the rooftops of local businesses, producing honey and pollinating plants.

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The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network was formed in 2006 to address food insecurities within Detroit’s black community and encourage leadership within the local food security movement. In 2008, they began operating a seven-acre farm in Rouge Park that grows over 30 different fruits and vegetables, composts, and maintains a rainwater retention pond and solar energy station.

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Since 2006, Detroit Grease has provided courtesy grease trap cleaning and assistance with grease recycling for restaurants and institutions in metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Toledo. The waste oil they collect is recycled locally into Biodiesel and then composted for nearby farms. They also provide a consulting service that educates businesses on ways to implement environmentally conscious practices. Detroit Grease has nearly 10 years of experience in custom waste vegetable oil conversion systems, and Biodiesel component upgrades for vehicles.

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The El Moore, which has been standing at the corner of Second Avenue and West Alexandrine Street since 1898, is not your ordinary residential apartment. It strives to achieve an ecological footprint that is less than one fifth of a normal apartment. In addition to geothermal heating and cooling, rain water harvesting, and composing, the El Moore offers its residents spacious flats in a vibrant neighborhood deep-rooted in history.

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The primary goal of this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is the redevelopment of a three-acre campus on Detroit’s north end. Since 2011, the campus has been used to grow and distribute over 50,000 pounds of organically grown produce to over 2,000 households that sit within two square miles of it. Other projects of the nonprofit include converting a blight-infected Detroit home into a rainwater harvesting cistern, and building a children’s garden dedicated to stimulating the five senses.

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Located in a sustainably renovated historic building in Midtown, this triple bottom line incubator is home to about 50 small businesses and nonprofit organizations. It’s also the sister project of the El Moore Lodge, and operates at approximately 10 percent the waste, water, and energy of a traditional office building. To see what they’re all about, look for their edible flowers and freshly grown lettuce in the salads at Motor City Brewing Works.

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Andy Chae and his fiancee Amy Eckert of Fisheye Farms


This organic, urban farm grows everything from salad greens to root vegetables through practices like insect netting, crop rotation, and composting. The family-run establishment, owned by Andy Chae and his fiancee Amy Eckert, offers almost 100 types of produce, and also sells to restaurants and farmers’ markets. You can taste Fisheye’s produce at some of the city’s most popular restaurants like Selden Standard and Suppino Pizzeria.

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With a philosophy centered around transparency and creative reuse, this mushroom farm grows gourmet and medicinal mushrooms on local, underutilized, used materials such as sawdust, grain, and cardboard. Transparency is a must in their business methods — the Mushroom Factory works to produce food for local residents, restaurants, and to collaborate with environmental agencies on bioremediation efforts. Their mushrooms are used in several Detroit restaurants such as Brooklyn St. Local, Astro Coffee, and Coriander Kitchen and Farm.

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“People and the planet before profit,” is the operating mantra of Reilly Craft Creamery, a soft-serve standby on Detroit’s east side. Every other week, the creamery’s workers make a trip to Arenac County, Mich., to source 100 percent organic, grass-fed milk from free roaming cows. Some of the shop’s top flavors include honey comb, sea salt caramel, and strawberry, all of which can be bought at stores like Whole Foods and Plum Market.

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