General

What is Ecovian?

Ecovian is a community website for finding eco-friendly local businesses and sharing other information to help you live a green lifestyle.

What is the goal of Ecovian?

Our only goal is to help you share and find information. What you do with that information is up to you.

What types of listings does Ecovian have?

We list businesses & other organizations such as restaurants, shops, dry cleaners, grocery stores, CSA programs, home services, building contractors, energy providers, etc., where the business or the products it sells may have various environmental impacts, as well as programs such as energy audits, carbon offsets, etc., which may help you in living a green lifestyle.

How can I help?

You can help by:

- Reviewing & rating businesses you frequent
- Adding business & other listings you know of
- Contributing ideas & suggestions in our Ideas Forum about how to improve this site, including ideas about how to increase the accuracy of green scores

Greenness

What are green scores?

Green scores, represented by between one and five trees, are an indicator of the eco-friendliness of a business. A score of one tree represents a business using conventional practices without any particular concern for the environment, while a score of five trees represents a best in class business employing all of the best practices available for its industry.

How are green scores calculated?

Green scores are based on a number objective criteria and a scoring model, both of which vary based on the category of the business. Green scores are also dependent on the amount on information we have on a business -- the more information we have, the more accurate it will be. For more information on how a particular category is scored, see the listing page for that category.

Where do you get the data?

When you write a review or edit a listing, you will have the chance to select values for the objective criteria used in calculating green scores for a particular business. We aggregate these selections through a weighted voting mechanism to calculate the final criteria values and green scores. Thus, green scores are determined by data entered by our members. Additionally when we enter a new region, we research and enter data for many businesses ourselves to get things started, however our vote counts exactly the same as yours.

I have a suggestion for how to improve the green score model

Good, we'd like to hear it! because developing scoring models for the many categories we support requires subject matter knowledge in a vast amount of areas, we are unable to do this all on our own. Please post and discuss your ideas in our Ideas Forum.

Writing Reviews

What types of things can be reviewed?

Any type of listing (business, non-profit, community program, etc.) which belongs to a category listed on the website may be added and reviewed. If there is a listing you would like to add which doesn't seem to fit any existing categories, please suggest a new category in our Ideas Forum.

What makes a great review?

Great reviews are often written in a highly personal way, and relate both the eco-oriented and general aspects of a listing. Write reviews in whichever way suits your personality & smart, funny, colorful, etc. Go beyond the green questions we allow you to vote on, and describe what makes this business an eco-star, or how pathetic their attempt at greenwashing was.

May I review a business I am connected to?

You are free to review any business you wish, however if a potential conflict of interest exists, you must be fully transparent and disclose this in your review. For example, if you are the business owner, friend/family of the business owner, employee of the business, etc., you must disclose this in your review.

Do you pay people to write reviews?

No, we never pay people to write reviews.