Sustainable Business Certification

The eco-Andersonville Green Business Certification Program was developed  as a way to address issues of environmental, economic and social sustainability in the Andersonville community.  As of June 2011 13 businesses have completed the certification process, seven of those achieving the Three Star level.

If you are interested in applying for certification please contact Sustainable Programs Manager: Brian Bonanno at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

If you would like more information about the the program criteria click here to view the Certification Checklist which all businesses wishing to be certified must complete. 

Three Star Certified Businesses

Hamburger Mary’s is an “open-air bar and grille for open-minded people” where guest enjoy a flamboyant dining experience. Mary’s has also been home-brewing it’s own line of craft ales since 2009….Think global, drink local!

Mary is also a “green gal”, serving all-natural and certified HUMANE meats, with no hormones or antibiotics.  All carryout packaging is made from renewable resources, such as bagasse containers (sugar cane pulp), corn resin soufflé cups and veggie starch forks.  Hamburger Mary’s purchases only non-bleached, high recycled content paper for napkins and tissue; has converted nearly all lighting to CFL and LED bulbs; recycles all glass, plastic, cardboard, paper and metal; and has developed extensive energy management procedures and policies to reduce consumption.  Together with Mary’s charitable contributions (weekly charity bingo nights, as well as partnerships with various charities), Hamburger Mary’s is committed to operating as sustainably as possible.





The Coffee Studio is Andersonville's modern, independent espresso bar focused on expertly crafting delicious drinks and snacks from fresh locally-roasted coffees and simple, flavorful ingredients. As Andersonville residents, owners Miguel and Lee Corrina Cano love being able to contribute to the uniqueness and charm of the neighborhood with their modern, comfortable shop and, in the summer, with their outdoor cafe (perfect for enjoying locally-made Italian Ice on hot evenings). The couple's design background is evident in the look and feel of the shop, but it's their passion for the best coffees and simple, all-natural ingredients that is evident "in the cup", a result of their insistence on sourcing the best coffees, maintaining the the highest quality equipment, and constantly working on barista skill development. With their mouth-watering selection of locally-baked pastries, choices of both healthy and indulgent snacks, locally-roasted award-winning whole bean coffees for sale and their signature drinks, The Coffee Studio is a fantastic way to start the day and people are noticing... The Coffee Studio recently won a 2009 Time Out Chicago: "Critics' Pick" Eat Out Award.

Having backgrounds in green design and sustainability policy, it's not surprising that Miguel and Lee developed their vision for The Coffee Studio with environmental and social concerns not just in mind, but in their business' Mission and Values. One of the company's priorities is to actively seek opportunities to minimize its negative effects on the environment and to make decisions/purchases that positively contribute to environmentally and socially sustainable processes, most significantly in terms of purchasing ingredients (Direct-Trade, organic, local, all-natural, as much as possible), supplies (biodegradable packaging, minimizing packaging, recycled paper goods, Green Seal soaps, etc.) and in ongoing investments (recycled materials in the store, low-VOC paints, energy efficiencies, etc.) amongst other community-oriented efforts. With a goal of "continuous improvement" in everything they do, The Coffee Studio is committed to constantly seeking new and more sustainable ways to do business now and in the future.



Green Genes opened its doors in Andersonville neighborhood on March 28, 2008, just in time to celebrate Earth Day. Founded by best friends and partners, Heather Muenstermann and Christina Isperduli, the mission of Green Genes is to help leave the planet just a bit better, if not a whole lot better, than its current state. Green Genes hopes to help ensure that future generations may feel secure about the eco-friendliness of particular items and that being green becomes second nature, part of one’s genetic make-up.The clothing and products provided have been produced in an eco-friendly manner. The vision of Green Genes is to continually educate the consumer with the latest information regarding the production of our merchandise while supplying them with fashionable and unique products.

Also in creating the storefront, Green Genes wanted to make sure that the interior space was consistent with their mission.  The floors and front counter have been designed using bamboo, a sustainable and rapidly renewable resource, and kirei board, a beautiful architectural element created from the leftover stalks of the sorghum plant.  Until recently, these stalks have been burned or discarded, adding to landfill waste and pollution.  The walls are painted with low VOC paints and the store has given new life to salvaged and antique furniture as fixtures throughout the space.  All packaging and gift-wrap materials are made from recycled and biodegradable materials.

Green Genes Recycles all that they can.

GreenSky is a locally owned eco-boutique anchored in the restored coner Victorian building at Balmoral and Ashland.  This colorful shop offers an eclectic vaiety of home an everyday products and unique handmade gifts sourced locally from small, independent artisans as well as fair trade and not for profit companies.  Items range from one of a-kind decorative arts to outdoor furniture made from milk jugs and toothbrushes made from recycled yogurt cups to luxurious bamboo bath towels.  And whenever you purchase Fair Trade Chocolates at GreenSky, 10% of the sales go to Care For Real, Edgewater’s only food pantry.  Ever y item in this shop has a story and does someth good.  GreenSky is certified by Green America and recognized for being socially and environmentally responsible in the way they source their products, their commitment to preserving the environment and for promoting the communities they do business in.  Local owners Nadeen Kieren and Thom Greene purchased and restored the historic dilapidated building and transformed it into a community jewel.




Beginning as a restoration and photography service in 1990, Painted Light Photography & Framing Gallery has added to their offerings with creative and affordable conservation framing, a retail shop featuring gifts, "everyday sundries", locally-produced jewelry, textiles and other highly entrancing artisan wares, an art gallery showcasing eclectic original artwork, prints, photographs and vintage "finds" that will delight and inspire.

Always conscious of resource, energy and community issues, Painted Light strives to reuse and recycle whatever materials possible.  They work to minimize use of electricity and water, green their area with plants, flowers and herbs, and source as many products, supplies, services locally.

“Our recent 3-Star Certification has deepened our commitment to a "wholistic" approach to sustainability.  Business partnerships with non-profit, social change organizations like The Crossroads Fund and The Enterprising Kitchen help realize our notion of what sustainability really requires--impacting peoples’ lives on a positive, life-changing level, creating a more "healthy ecology" for all.” –Barbara Laing

Painted Light is a participating member of the W.A.N.T. and Bowmanville community gardens, and business partners with Eco-Andersonville supporting the Andersonville Farmer’s Market and the Streetscape Recycling Program.





Mightybytes is a full-service creative firm that executes design-driven communications solutions for our clients.

"Mightybytes is strongly committed to making our business as close to carbon neutral as possible and supporting Eco-Andersonville's initiatives of 'People-Planet-Prosperity'. All members of our company believe in helping the environment and working toward a sustainable future as we discuss (and implement) the best ways possible to integrate our efforts with daily business practices on a regular basis."
 As part of their recent move to a new space Mightybytes has implemented the following practices:

Energy Star-rated appliances

VOC-free paint on all walls

Green-certified, energy efficient technology infrastructure

Energy-efficient lighting

Power conservation

Water conservation

Cleaning with environmentally-friendly products

Full recycling system for paper, glass, plastic, metal, etc.

Shifting a portion of financial investment to a locally-owned bank

Mightybytes is also in the process of updating the water flow systems on their toilet and faucets as well as purchasing office furniture that is partially made of recycled materials.





Sifu Design Studio and Fine Yarns is by no means your run of the mill yarn and knitting supply shop.  Opened this past winter Sifu is yet another businesses that simply cannot be classified.  Like our other  recently certified business Transistor, Sifu wears many hats; part knitting shop, classroom, entertainment space, and all around good hang out spot.  Owner Lisa Whiting has created an utterly unique community space.

When it came to weaving environmentally friendly practices into her business it came only natural to Lisa.  She has Installed low flow fixtures in the bathroom, utilized compact fluorescents for lighting, used only recycled and repurposed furniture for the store and has even incorporated environmentally friendly and locally dyed yarns and materials.  Sifu also offers daily workshops on everything from making your own re-usable swiffer pads to weaving rugs from old t-shirts.  Most recently Lisa has been working to insulate her walls and ceilings so she can cut down on her heating and cooling bills and save a little green in the process.  Lisa will also be applying for the eco-Andersonville Green Building Incentive to help make the project more affordable.

Two Star Businesses

Joel Berman Logo




Joel Berman Architecture & Design, Ltd. is a Chicago-based, full service architectural firm that’s dedicated to the client’s needs. Freehand 3D sketches, digital building information modeling and building animations are the creative tools used to conceive innovative designs for projects including retail stores, restaurants, bars and taverns, photography studios, houses, house additions, multi-unit residences, institutional master plans, and capital studies.

As a member of the eco-Andersonville Guiding Committee and a member of the Green Building Incentive Review Committee, Joel continues to be an invaluable asset for the development of eco-Andersonville program as well as the community.

Avalon Logo



Avalon Chiropractic was founded by Dr. Curtis Day in 1998 and has been located in the heart of Andersonville at 1480 West Catalpa Avenue since that time.  Avalon takes great pride in providing chiropractic care that is custom fitted to each patients specific needs.  Dr. Day will devise a plan to allow you to feel better quickly and to keep you at the highest level of health possible.

One Star Businesses







Alma Guttierez, owner of Cassona, our most recently certified business, has taken great steps to distinguish her business as one that is environmentally conscious. This is no easy feat for a furniture store, especially when the majority of furniture these days is manufactured over-seas in places like China. However, Cassona has worked to incorporate several lines of furniture from a manufacturer based here in the U.S. They are also working to provide more environmentally friendly fabric options and products for the store.

Perhaps the most significant step that Cassona has taken, is in lighting the store.  Replacing 55 energy inefficient halogen track lights with brand new, Energy Star Rated LED bulbs, Cassona could see an 85% reduction in electricity usage.  Utilizing both the Andersonville Green Building Incentive and ComEd Instant rebates, the project costs dropped so significantly that the remaining difference should be paid off in utility savings within a year.

While they may not be a Three Star Business yet, the steps that Alma has taken for Cassona are quite remarkable and certainly stand as a trailblazing achievement that other businesses will follow after.

Sir Spa




Unlike other Chicago day spas where the male clientele is an afterthought, SIR offers services and products centered and focused on the needs of men.  We have created a spa experience and atmosphere within the masculine comfort zone; specializing in bodywork, skincare and offering the largest selection of male grooming products in the city.  More than three years and 10,000 guests later, SIR is proud to be continually recognized from esteemed media:  Chicago Tribune, Red Eye, Time Out Chicago, World Traveler, American Spa, Best of CitySearch, Comcast, CBS2 and Frommer’s Travel, to name a few.  Now SIR Spa is becoming “green” and proud to be a part of making our community even better by partnering with Eco-Andersonville.

SIR Spa’s team of 35 employees and owners are now committed to sustainability and in reducing our environmental carbon foot print.  We’ve already instituted a certified recycling program, removed plastic water bottles for guests in exchange for ice water decanters, changed over all cleaning supplies to earth-friendly products, modified lighting with timer controls and cfl’s to reduce waste, created new recyclable and reusable shopping bags, operate nearly paperless internally with strong e-systems, support more than 40 local charitable groups each year, and can even boast that 65% of our team bike, walk or use public transportation to and from work each and every day.  Inside and out SIR will continue to create positive, sustainable changes for our guests, neighborhood, city and planet.  Relax & recycle.


Visionary Eye Care




Founded by Doctors Michael Ciszek and Barbara Butler-Schneider in 1996, Visionary Eye Care has been meeting Andersonville's unique eye care needs for the past thirteen years.They have evolved from modest beginnings into two practices that care deeply about both patients and the environment.  They offer exam exams, treatment of eye diseases, and access to the  newest contact lens technology available. In addition to medical services they also have a wide variety of frames to suit everyone's individual style. Through their commitment to the community, converting to paperless medical records and using certified recycling programs, Visionary continues to strive for sustainability and they look forward working with Eco-Andersonville to create a more environmentally focused future.

Grant Sims DDS

Dr. Grant Sims has been practicing dentistry in Andersonville since 1991. After 15 years of experience in the neighborhood, he decided to open an office of his own and in September of 2006, Dr. Sims Dentistry was opened.

Dr. Sims first green improvement was his decision to go "paper-less".  He replaced patient charts and x-ray films with a digital record-keeping system.  No x-ray film also means that no photographic developing chemicals are used or disposed of.  It is all electronic now!  After consulting with the eco-Andersonville staff and through the efforts of a dedicated dental hygienist, Naomi Fothergill, Dr. Sims' office decided to make further green changes.  They now use more energy efficient LED lighting, switched from electric to natural gas heating, have green insulation made from newspaper and blue jeans, use recycled paper products when necessary,

Located at:      


Second Floor

Chicago, IL 60640       

Open M-F, 9:00am-5:30pm 


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