Earth Day was Tuesday, but an Iowa City woman has made a multi-million dollar year-round business out of selling environmentally safe products. Barbara Staib decided to start her company, Safe Home Products, in 1998 after getting burned out in her job as a social worker.
Staib says she was looking for another career and her son said it would be a natural for her as she spent all her time making sure things were safe. Staib says her business started by selling things such as smoke alarms, but later expanded to environmentally safe soy-based cleaners.
She says they found most of their customers weren’t interested in disposable mops, they wanted products they could use over and over again. So, they started selling several lines of non-toxic cleaners that were safe and environmentally friendly. Staib says the current "Green" movement doesn’t appear to be a fad.
"I think people seriously are more concerned right now, about not only for our generation, but for our children and our grandchildren and our great grandchildren, that they are going to have a safe place to live in," Staib says, "so I don’t think it’s something that’s going to disappear."
Some of the criticism of so-called environmentally friendly products is that they cost more money, but Staib says that’s not true. Staib says they’ve found the products cost the same or a little less, and you don’t have to use very much of them. Staib says her company has some five-thousand products.