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Tuesday, 19 April 2011 13:46

Husband and wife run business that caters to the environmentally conscious

Bob and Rosanna Keast are the president and vice-president of Green Ingenuity.

The store sells products and services that revolve around a sense of environmental consciousness. The company was formerly called Keaco Services, which focused on commercial building cleaning.

The name was changed four years ago. They decided to reconsider how they do things as well as their cleaning agents in order to help the consumer while supporting the environment.

Bob and Rosanna Keast post beside a painting inside their store, Green Ingenuity.
Olivia Guy-McCarvill/Calgary Journal

“This is a family-based business. We’ve been around for well over 30 years in the Calgary community and our main thing is carpet, area rug and upholstery cleaning. And that industry, of course, has been given a series of bad rap(s) over time, and justifiably so,” Rosanna Keast says.

Green Ingenuity, located in southeast Calgary, offers carpet-cleaning services as well as green-living items such as reusable water bottles, soda makers that use no electricity, green bags and so on.

Regarding the impact that they are trying to make with the products sold at Green Ingenuity, Bob Keast says: “The retail items that we’re selling each have their own little niche that they (the items) are trying to accomplish.”

Sonja Winkelmann, a customer of Green Ingenuity for about two years, said she would prefer to go to Green Ingenuity rather than another eco-conscious store in the city because they were the only ones that “offer what I’m looking for.”

She said they were the only company she could find when doing research on carpet cleaning that didn’t use the same chemicals as other carpet-cleaning places.

For the past 10 years, Winkelmann has tried to live a sustainable life. She says she tries to leave a good impact on the environment, from her job to her home life.

For example, she said she moved to an inner-city area so she could walk everywhere.

She also shares a car with her husband; uses all LED lights; has a low-flow shower head and low-flow toilet; and buys “pretty much all” organic food.

Bob Keast says that whether the products are reducing the waste that goes to the landfill or whether they’re lessening the amount of chemicals going into the drinking water system, their goal is to reduce anything that isn’t necessary.

In regards to their own green habits, he says that with the use of a vapor cleaner, “We eliminated virtually all cleaning chemicals from our home.”

Rosanna Keast adds that teaching awareness to their children, using an example such as carpooling to sporting events with them, also helps them stay green.

She suggests that people are able to contribute towards a greener planet while still living a convenient lifestyle.

Rosanna mentions shopping carts as one of the products that add convenience to one's life: “If you're going to go for a walk to the store, or the farmers' market, instead of carrying the bags and hurting your back or hurting your arms, you now have that convenience that you can put it all in one bag and roll it out to your vehicle or walk home with it.”

She says however, that what might turn people away from living a green lifestyle is the expense; but she suggests that instead of buying expensive solar panels for the home, shoppers could instead buy more-affordable solar blinds.

“This will allow them still to feel good that they’re doing something for the environment and still be able to carry on with their life,” she says.