Here's your chance to get to know a bit more about Morgan Berman, founder and CEO of My Milkcrate, and her vision.
When did living more sustainably become so important to you?
Living sustainably has always been important to me. I just didn't really have the word for it. I grew up with a mom who is a farm to table chef and wrote books rating and reviewing thrift stores, so these values and lifestyle choices were always a part of me. When I became an adult and moved to West Philadelphia that's when I started thinking more proactively about it. I then enrolled in a graduate program in sustainable design and it's become my life ever since.
What inspired you to create the app and your business?
I felt the need for something like this to exist myself. I wanted to learn how to live more sustainably, things like only using renewable energy, composting, riding a bike in the city etc. But I found I was spending a lot of time and energy trying to create a list of businesses and events to learn more. That was really the original impetus behind it.
I also saw that nonprofit organizations that had membership directories could benefit from a tool like this. One of the first things I did when building the company was to reach out to nonprofit organizations like the Sustainable Business Network, Fair Food, B Lab and The Humane League to talk about how we could better serve their missions with a tool that united all of their directories.
What are you hoping will come from this partnership?
We see this partnership as an ideal way to connect our different audiences to engaging content about how to live more sustainably, from editorial, to business listings, to events. This partnership will continue to centralize and connect information that makes it easier to live more sustainably in Philadelphia.
What are some of the key features of the app?
The app is best described right now as a green yelp. We make it easy to find local sustainable businesses like farm to table restaurants, fair trade cafés, locally created fashion, renewable energy, bike shops and so much more. We also have a calendar of sustainability related events in the community. And recently we've added the ability for users to actually sign up for various services like renewable energy or a CSA.
What is the criteria for businesses/events to be featured? How do you verify that they are sustainable?
More than 90% of our businesses come to us through trusted third-party nonprofit organizations that have established criteria and vetting procedures. We aggregate their business directories into our app and assign badges that identify where that business profile originated, whether it was a sustainable business network member or B Corp certified company.
A few hundred of our listings come through online submissions and businesses should feel free to go through that process if they aren't a member of one of our partner organizations. Just go to www.mymilkcrate.co/get-listed to fill out the questionnaire which is based on the B Corp quick impact assessment. We get back to businesses within a week about whether they were accepted or not and next steps.
Learn more about My Milkcrate here.