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St. Joseph statues go green

Eco Joe is a new biodegradable statue of

Eco Joe is a new biodegradable statue of St. Joseph that home sellers are supposed to bury in their yard in order to sell their house. FOR LSBLOG03 Photo Credit: None/

It was bound to happen sooner or later. St. Joseph has gone green, and it happened in California.

Many are familiar with the practice of burying a plastic statue of St. Joseph in the backyard of a home for sale, upside down and facing the house. The idea is to hasten the sale. St. Joseph is the patron saint of many things, including real estate.

In a conversation with her assistant, Cindy Lin, a stager in the San Francisco area, was musing about the crazy but popular ritual. They knew that most homeowners forgot about the buried plastic object as soon as the rear doors of the moving van were locked shut — and that wasn’t Earth friendly. Enter EcoJoe, an environmentally safe, clay version of the “hardest working saint in real estate,” the company’s tag line.

The EcoJoe kit sells for $14.99, plus shipping. It contains a 3-inch clay statue, an instruction booklet and a prayer. They are available at ecojoekits.com, Amazon.com and limited retailers (none on Long Island yet) and can be imprinted with a real estate agency logo and used as a promotional gift.

Lin has been selling the kits for almost 18 months and takes orders for about 50 a month through Amazon. When asked about annual sales, Lin says, "I'm not sure of our financials because we are a relative new company and our CPA hasn't worked on our 2010 financials yet. We have given out a lot of samples through real estate conferences, sponsorships, press outlets and potential retailers. And it's definitely an economy- and home sales-driven product."

There are even EcoJoe T-shirts available for the hard-core EcoJoe lovers and loyal fans on EcoJoe’s Facebook page (which has garnered 765 “likes”).

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