Green ‘n Electric Things: Name says it all for new eco-friendly Bothell biz

Green ‘n Electric Things. Sounds like a Wheel of Fortune category, but it’s actually the title of a new business located at the Bothell Landing Shopping Plaza. Look inside and you’ll find a venue that’s part café, part showroom — no less ambiguous than the name it carries.

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:00am
  • Business

Green ‘n Electric Things owners Noble

Green ‘n Electric Things.

Sounds like a Wheel of Fortune category, but it’s actually the title of a new business located at the Bothell Landing Shopping Plaza.

Look inside and you’ll find a venue that’s part café, part showroom — no less ambiguous than the name it carries.

Noble and Charity Israel manage the shop, which sells electric scooters and organic beverages.

It’s not the likeliest of combinations, unless you’re a pair of aging hippies whose business philosophy revolves around sustainability.

The couple is striving to create an enterprise that goes beyond providing goods and services.

“We’re hoping to be a kind of ‘green’ center for the community,” Charity said. “We like when people come in and share ideas.”

The Israels have been welcoming curious passersby for weeks leading up to their store’s grand opening, which is scheduled for Aug. 22.

Some people move on after taking a peek.

Others stop to chat and return with handouts for the information table, which is shaping up to be a kind of marketplace for ideas.

There’s the “Green Pages” phone book, a brochure about solar power, and handouts from a group of residents opposed to the city’s recommendation for building a new municipal headquarters near the Park at Bothell Landing.

Green ‘n Electric Things is a “family business,” although the shop gives that term a whole new meaning.

Charity and Noble are involved in a social experiment that began in the late 1960s with the aim of establishing a self-sustaining community based on love and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The partners hesitate to describe their relationship beyond saying that they’re “part of one big, extended family.”

That family is led by Love Israel, who attempted to set up a money-rejecting, Utopian community in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood in 1968.

“We were all wandering in the wilderness, looking for a purpose,” Noble said. “We wanted to find out what’s really going on.”

The family claimed several hundred members during its heyday, but all except a few dozen split around 1983 following accusations of misconduct by Love.

Then came a shift in philosophy. The remaining members established a commune near Arlington and set up an eclectic string of businesses stretching from Arlington to Seattle.

Bankruptcy eventually forced the group to sell its assets, including the Snohomish County property.

Most members now reside in two locations: a condominium complex in Bothell and a ranch in eastern Washington.

Their days of entrepreneurism continue, as do the family values.

“Our foundation hasn’t changed,” Charity said. “Now is the time, love is the answer, and we’re all one.”

“Those are the things that nobody can really argue with, not effectively,” added Noble. “It comes down to common sense — what works and what doesn’t.”

Each of the Love Israel family businesses promotes clean, simple living and the development of a village economy.

Green ‘n Electric Things sells E-Moto electric scooters that can travel 40 miles on approximately 50 cents worth of power, according to the manufacturers.

Mopeds may seem like an urban trend, but Noble claims they’re perfect for the Northshore suburbs.

“You can pretty much get to anywhere from here on a scooter,” he said. “They’re non-polluting and fun to ride.”

The organic beverages at Green ‘n Electric Things include smoothies, teas, sodas and espresso.

The shop also provides free Wi-Fi access.

Noble and Charity say they’re looking into other “green” products such as natural cleaning supplies, electric bicycles, solar panels and organic doughnuts for the cafe.

“Whatever people use most of in life, we want to provide that,” Charity said. “We want to help with that transition into a more sustainable lifestyle.

“We see the ‘green’ movement as the ’60s revisited.”

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