A gentle place

Environgentle in Encinitas was one of the first "Green" stores.

by Carolyn Chase

he idea of a "Green" retail store was just that an idea that has spurred many entrepreneurs across the country over the last seven years. Torrey Neel, owner of EnvironGentle, which is located in historic downtown Encinitas, CA, is one of the first to catch the vision of a "Green" store so people would have easy access to non-polluting and sustainable products. Established in June, 1991, EnvironGentle was one of about ten retail stores in the country. Today, there are over 60 "Green" retail stores in America alone.

Author Stephen R. Covey describes a paradigm in this way: "It's the way we 'see' the world not in terms of our visual sense of sight, but in terms of perceiving, understanding, interpreting." Neel's belief in promoting Green products represents a paradigm shift that is experiencing exponential growth. As we all become more in tune to how are lives affect ourselves, Mother Earth, and our children's future, our ability to understand why we need to choose eco-friendly products becomes increasingly easier.

Now in her seventh year of business, EnvironGentle has moved from its original location to 543 First Street. The added space was quickly filled with a larger selection of organically grown cotton and hemp fashion clothing. You can even choose to dress yourself for the beach in her new line of eco-swimwear. EnvironGentle also carries a large selection of nontoxic household cleaning products, natural personal care items, clothes for baby, pet care and pet food, bed and bath linens, and much more. There is truly something for everyone.

In celebration of the upcoming 7th year anniversary, EnvironGentle will host a special events party on June 21, 1997. To receive more information, you can contact owner Torrey Neel at (760) 753-7420.

A subtle, yet beautiful reminder holds place above the door as you prepare to leave the EnvironGentle store: "The environment is all around us, be a part of it."