Texas Clothes Cleaner Wins by Losing

The Texas Conference for Women, a leadership and education forum for women, recently recognized Texas-based, woman-owned businesses that continue to raise the bar by lowering their companies' environmental impact.

Clothesline Cleaners of San Antonio, Texas, won first prize. The company began providing a natural alternative to dry cleaning in 2005. Owner Debra Mills uses various advanced technologies that eliminate the need for toxic solvents such as perchloroethylene. In addition, the company’s delivery van runs on biodiesel fuel; the stores use T-8 fluorescent bulbs and dual flush toilets; and the company re-uses recycled hangers and EnviroBags. The company’s rapid growth to seven stores with more than 30 employees demonstrates community awareness, support, and enthusiasm for this environmentally responsible business. Clothesline Cleaners received $15,000 worth of technology equipment provided by HP.

Abernathy Media Professionals of Dallas, Texas, received the second-place prize of $10,000 worth of technology equipment provided by HP. Abernathy Media Professionals owner Amy Lou Abernathy implemented green practices into the film industry through simple changes – using dishes instead of paper products, task lighting instead of overhead lights – as well as more complicated changes, such as building a dedicated room for temperature-sensitive media equipment to reduce demand on the entire HVAC system. The move to reusable digital cards from single-use tapes also help cut the company’s labor, resources and costs.

Xtreme Xhibits (X2) by Skyline of Austin, Texas, was the third-place winner and recipient of $5,000 worth of technology equipment provided by HP. The company launched a new range of "green" exhibiting product such as ecologically friendly exhibiting materials made of 100-percent recycled soda bottles. Additional green offerings allow its clients to replace inefficient halogen lighting systems with LED lighting as well as the opportunity to choose from alternative carpets, cabinetry, adhesives and finishes. X2 also has an office recycling initiative and was recognized by the City of Austin as a "WasteSmart" company. X2 is the first Austin member of the Green Meetings Industry Council.

The judges panel included Susan Ghertner, H-E-B Environmental Affairs manager and president of Keep Texas Beautiful; Heather Leopard, PSG Americas SMB Marketing manager, Hewlett Packard; and, Andrew Keffer, policy analyst for the Budget, Planning & Policy Department, Office of the Governor.

Made possible in part by 2009 Presenting Sponsor BP, the Texas Conference for Women is the state’s premier educational and networking event for women.

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