To celebrate Earth Day, the Fireplace Screen Shop would like to recognize the achievements in protecting the planet and the animals that live on it of one our best-selling brands. In 1994, Blue Rhino was founded as a business devoted to recycling. The original Blue Rhino store in North Carolina was a propane exchange center, where people could return their empty propane tanks and obtain new ones to take home. The process kept propane tanks out of landfills and saved customers money, too.
The appeal of exchanging propane tanks rather than throwing old ones away led to quick growth for Blue Rhino, and the company continued to expand, opening up stores all across North Carolina and, eventually, across the entire United States. Owner Bill Prim decided to expand the business into manufacturing outdoor living products, fireplace screens, tool sets, log carriers and other fireplace accessories.
As Blue Rhino has grown and enjoyed ever-increasing success, Prim has never forgotten the inspiration for his company--protecting the planet--or the inspiration for its name--wild rhinos that he saw while on a photo safari in Africa. The rhinoceros is an endangered species that could be completely wiped out in as little as 10 years without steps to protect it. Blue Rhino partners with the American Association of Zoo Keepers to spread awareness about the plight of the 17,500 rhinos that are estimated to be left in the wild. Each year, the company sponsors the Bowling for Rhinos charity event, which has raised more than $4 million to protect rhinos in the wild.