Green City Living was started in 2011 by a mother who is also a nurse, wife and fledgling tree hugger. Kathy began packing lunch daily for her daughter after they had a school lunch date when her daughter was in second grade and she saw how poor the food quality was. After a few months, she and her husband also started packing their lunches. Kathy reluctantly admits that they hardly ever saved or reused their disposable sandwich bags, even though they used cloth napkins, spiral light bulbs, and recycled religiously. It just hadn't ever hit her--disposable plastic bags are so small--right? Wrong. According to a 2016 Statista
article it is estimated that Americans use nearly 1.5 billion plastic sandwich bags each week. Per multiple experts, EcoWatch
being one of them, only 1% of all plastic bags in the U.S. are recycled, yet 10% make it into our oceans. For additional eye opening statics click here
When it finally occurred to Kathy that using disposable sandwich bags was contrary to her belief in sustainability, she started looking at the options available. She wanted not just a bag that was reusable, but one that would keep her pricey Dave's Killer Bread fresh until lunchtime. After lots of research, she found polyurethane laminated cotton, a food safe fabric, and the first EcoBagIt! reusable sandwich bag was born (initially SAVURSAC). She says that she didn't intend to go into business--she already had a very successful nursing career--but people kept coming to her with requests until it didn't make sense not to. Since then, she's educated herself more on the realities that face our home--this big round ball we live on that circles the sun. How fragile it is, and how great of a responsibility adult generations have to try to preserve a habitat that is habitable for our children and grandchildren. She says, "I for one, want to leave this world unchanged (though I'd also go for better)--by preserving what we have--one EcoBagit reusable sandwich bag, one Bacon Sponge, one EcoBaguette Bread Bag at a time."
Kathy Rohret, Owner
Meet the Team
Deb Stamper, Production Supervisor & Maker
Deb enjoys sewing and crafting with materials she can recycle. She also loves to be outdoors hiking, fishing and rock hounding are activities she enjoys as well as traveling with her husband on their Harley.
Kelsey Johnson, Training Supervisor & Maker
Kelsey Johnson is a fashion designer born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She attended Colorado State University for undergraduate studies in Apparel Design before receiving her degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, California. More recently she earned her BFA from Academy of Art University with a concentration in Knitwear Design.
Originating in the beautiful state of Colorado, she draws much of her inspiration from nature and has a strong passion for sustainable practices. She has also newly launched a knitwear and accessory company called ElseWear Collective
and is proud to be on the Green City Living team.
Stephanie Rohret, Sales Representative & Maker
Stephanie Rohret lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, Brian and daughter, Charlotte. Stephanie is the maker behind the Fluff Dry Wool Dryer Balls, Soap Savers, and Reuse Ware. She's also one of the faces you're likely to see at our midwest markets! Though she has previously been a very successful manager in the retail industry, the fact that her current work can help to make a better world for Charlotte fuels the energy she puts into her work.
Rachel Rohret, Business Manager, Sales Representative & Maker
Rachel lives in Iowa City, Iowa, with her husband, Jesse, and son, Hoyt. Rachel is the maker and designer behind many of the Green City Living products. She's the sales representative you'll see at our midwest markets. Rachel has been working towards being a zero waste household. You can follow their journey in our blog, A Reusable Thread. In their free time, the family enjoys spending time outdoors as avid cyclers.
Grandma Sara Webb, Bowl Bonnet Maker
Sara is the mother of our founder, Kathy Rohret, and the person to whom she owes her creativity, ingenuity and grit. Sara has sewed most of her life, but also has enjoyed knitting—operating a custom knitwear business for several years, painting porcelain, refinishing wood, and just about every other creative pursuit she could get her hands on. She has spent countless hours with her grandchildren helping them to “make stuff”, including some beautiful quilts. Sara is the creative hand behind our very popular Bowl Bonnets line.