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“When I was at Wilson, I worked on a lot of faculty and student cars. After I graduated, I continued to do that. Then I realized what I had was a business.
Most of the concepts formulated at the Organic Mechanic I got in school. I majored in biology and had an interest in bioremediation.
In terms of the environment, you can’t fight all battles. You gotta pick something you want to improve. That’s how I formulated the idea for the Organic Mechanic. When people think of my industry, they don’t think of it as a clean business. And that’s because that’s just the way it’s been. At least historically, there’s been less environmental stewardship auto repair than other businesses.
Before college, I was pretty cynical about environmental issues. I had taken some time off and had been doing a lot of traveling in the Developing World. I thought, so much of the world is like this, so what’s me recycling this aluminum really going to do? I’m not even going to make a dent in it.
Then I got around like-minded folks again at Warren Wilson and I had that support and I began to change my thinking for the better. You have to think of the impact locally. It’s a process. We’re never going to get there, but if you make small changes over time as a nation, lots of small changes… well, it’s all about where we’re going. And you have to be practical. I think my shop is a good example of that."