Be the first to get a taste of our a next big idea in healthy, green fun!
           
About     Blog     Contact     FAQ     Press     Shop

Archive for the ‘Take action’ Category

Finding the Gifts in Goodbye

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

We started with a tiny spark of an idea: make Halloween better for kids and planet.

The year was 2006 and “going green” was being embraced by the mainstream. But holidays and celebrations were still in a conventional bubble; as of yet, this topic almost entirely untouched.

Parents who wanted to create healthy and fun traditions were on their own. And just forget about easy or affordable.

We had a feeling we were about to spark a revolution. From the moment we uttered the words, “Green Halloween,” people clamored to join in. The world was hungry for ways to celebrate sustainably and, as a mother-daughter team, ours was a mission fueled by love. We were not starting a business; we were igniting global and generational change. Our idealism was born of unflinching optimism.

We first announced the launch of our book, Celebrate Green!, with a “baby” announcement complete with weight (1 pound), height (12 inches) and a picture of us, beaming with pride. Possibility was in its infancy. We nurtured this possibility and it bloomed.Read these baby photo contest tips that we made if you want.

Over the next seven seasons our “spark” would ignite a flame reaching more than five million people coast to coast. We were asked to write our book, Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family. Seemingly overnight we had a radio show, speaking invitations, and requests from around the globe on how to green up everything from Appetizers to Zoo events. Good Morning America, Real Simple, People.com, MSNBC and more buzzed. Even Stephen Colbert chimed in on The Colbert Report! Leading, visionary non- and for-profit entities partnered: EcoMom Alliance, Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Dr. Oz’s HealthCorps, Green America, Larabar, Surf Sweets, Plum Kids, Nature’s Path and many more.

We inspired good-for-kids and planet brands to become even better. We secured donations of millions of dollars of healthy treats and treasures. We enabled shifts in long-held retailer, consumer and product trends, opening up entire markets for new entrepreneurs. We transformed traditions from public events to private homes alike, by proving what could be gained by losing the stuff that never really mattered in the first place.

We opened doors, reframed conversations, wrote new rulebooks and built bridges.

And we were deeply honored to have done so.

Because of course, fanning the flame, fueling the revolution, driving the possibility of change, was you. And we couldn’t have done this without you.

And people like you. People who envision a world where healthy, safe and planet-friendly traditions don’t require revolutions because healthy, safe and planet-friendly options are simply woven into the fabric of our culture. Of course treats are made with real food. Of course costumes can be swapped. Of course face paints don’t contain lead.

We are endlessly grateful to have walked this path with you, whatever your role, and we thank you for saying yes. For all that you did, gave, shared, created, led and held, we recognize your priceless contributions, and celebrate the powerful ripple effect that occurs when you, and people like you say yes.

And now, it is time to say goodbye.

It’s sad. And it’s hard. And we will miss you terribly.

But as Lynn lyricized in a song celebrating Corey’s high school graduation, “love is letting go.”

So, with love, we are letting go…

As of this Halloween season, our programs, Green Halloween® and National Costume Swap Day™, will not continue in their current formats. Our websites, including Celebrate Green! will remain for a period of time and we welcome you to gather ideas and inspiration for your own continued journeys. Please note we will not be updating via social media.

Our decision, made over this last year and a half, was a difficult one. In a practical sense, our fledglings grew too large, too fast for our existing structure. In a personal sense, we have accomplished what we set out to do. We have more seeds to cultivate, more ways to serve and perhaps more revolutions to lead, personally and professionally.

Of course, as with all transitions, the possibility for transformation is ever-present. Should we have an announcement to make regarding a re-launch or new twist, we’ll let you know about it via e-mail (register for updates at the top of this page).

We are proud of what we’ve nurtured, and it’s time to release it, let it fly. We trust that what we have built with you will continue to flourish, without our being at the helm.  We leave with tremendous gratitude towards you and all of those, our village, who helped raise this revolution.

Signing off with profound love… and of course, laughter!  (If the video below doesn’t load, please click here.)

xoxo,

Lynn & Corey 

We’re signing off with a light-hearted look at some of our less shiny moments and hope you’ll laugh along with us as we are reminded that the rewards of a journey are found not only at the destination but in the journey itself. We’ve sincerely enjoyed taking this journey with you and wish you, and yours, all the best this year and always. Party on! xoxo Lynn & Corey

 


				

Encounters with Cocoa

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

After nearly three years of campaigning on cocoa issues, it was very exciting to see real cocoa pods in person. Because cocoa can only grow in tropical climates, roughly 15 degrees north and south of the equator, it’s not a crop that will flourish in the United States. The cocoa pod is denser than I expected, and very much shaped like a football. (though smaller). The beans don’t seem too remarkable for being the basis of a multibillion dollar industry, and one of the most important exports of many West African nations. The butter is quite malleable, and can be used as a moisturizer, especially If you want to smell just like chocolate.

Here is cocoa in its various phases of production:

20121121-154716.jpg

Cocoa Pods. The cocoa bean is in the center, surrounded by pulp.

20121121-154834.jpg
Fermented and dried cocoa beans.

20121121-154934.jpg
Cocoa mass or cocoa paste, made from drying, roasting and grinding the cocoa beans.

 

20121121-155042.jpg
Cocoa butter, derived from the cocoa mass.

20121121-155128.jpg
Cocoa powder, also derived from cocoa mass.

I can’t wait to go to actual farms next week!

 

**

This post is a part of a series of posts from Elizabeth O’Connell, the Fair Trade Campaigns Director for Green America. Elizabeth is currently in West Africa, representing Green America, the Raise the Bar Campaign, and thousands of conscientious American consumers at the World Cocoa Conference 2012. 

To keep up with what is happening with this important opportunity, please check out the Green America Blog, which has additional posts, and will be updated more frequently by our Fair Trade Campaigns Director.

8 Ways to Trick-or-Treat for GOOD

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
by Corey

Halloween. It’s all about the candy, right? Well not long ago, kids in costume had just as much fun procuring pennies for a worthy cause as they did grabbing fistfuls of treats. Why? Because doing good deeds is fun and meaningful, even for the youngest of the bunch. So this year, consider trick-or-treating-for-good in lieu of (or in addition to) trick-or-treating-for-goodies and see what all the excitement is about.

How does your family put the “meaning in the greening” on Halloween? Do share the good!

****

Looking for more ways to green your holidays, celebrations and every-day? Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®. Connect with Lynn and Corey on Facebook and Twitter.

This will spook you! 3 News headlines that scream “Beware!” & what YOU can do about it

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

by Corey

Clearly, it’s dangerous to be alive. The news proves it daily. Even without a t.v., terrifying stories grab hold of my consciousness and fuel my neurotic tendencies via my smart phone, at the grocery store check-out, and in the parking lot of my kids’ school (“Did you hear what happened…? Soooo scary!”

But somehow the fear factor is amplified at Halloween, and tales of horror-in-real-life seem to multiply like bunnies in springtime. Only not as cute.

Now, we all know that much of the spook-fest prompted by the media is simply motivated by ratings; apparently, Wes Craven and the likes are on to something (who knew?). Fear sells. But it’s also true that some of it is really, truly real and really, truly scary. And some of it is important to be aware (aka: beware!) of.

But how not to turn concern into freeze or freak out? How to feel better about better-for-people-and-planet steps?

Since it’s launch in 2007, Green Halloween has been all about creating meaningful change through fun; about healthier holidays without the yuck; greener steps that are easy. No finger wagging, preaching, or in-your-face tactics. We don’t believe that fear is as motivating as joy, as yum and as simple. And you’ve told us you agree.

But at the same time, Green Halloween has always focused on addressing serious health and environmental concerns like heavy metals in face paints, candy made with junk instead of real food, and waste generated by decor, candy and costumes as well as the packaging from all the aforementioned. The reasons Green Halloween matters (in addition to the yum and the fun, which matter a lot) are far too numerous.

Take these recent headlines:

I don’t know about you, but all of this is concerning in my book.

But as we already established, fear is about as inspiring as a rotten pumpkin, so it’s important to counter dread-filled headlines with do-able, affordable, feel-good solutions. Otherwise, we’ll all end up looking like the sorry soul in Edvard Munch’s painting, The Scream.

Green Halloween is the antidote to gloom and doom. And we make it easy-breezy.

And because you, and people all around you, refuse to “freeze” from fear, and instead embrace the possibility that Halloween can be healthy and tasty, non-toxic and cool, sustainable and affordable, eco-fabulous and fun, good news is now front page:

Have some good news to share about greening Halloween? Do share!

***

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 Green Halloween Blogfest!

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

2012 Green Halloween® Blogfest

Halloween is fast approaching, and we here at Green America are doing our best to support a Green Halloween® – one that is healthy for you, your families, and our planet. Since we know that you care about kids, families and the planet, we’d like to invite you to participate in our Green Halloween® Blogfest that will be taking place from Wednesday October 24th to October 31st. We hope that our invitation inspires you to share your own ideas about having a Halloween that is both fun and healthy.

For this BlogFest we would like to put a spotlight on the health concerns that have grown around traditional treats that are handed out on Halloween. Halloween is big on fun, but unfortunately, it is also big on unhealthy traditions. Many moms and dads worry about the impact of this holiday on the health of their kids and the planet. There is growing awareness and concern for the connections between children with diabetes, food allergies, and obesity and the presence of processed ingredients, hidden sugars, synthetic chemicals, and artificial colors in our food system.

On the flipside of this, it is easier than ever to find helpful information and make healthy choices. Green Halloween proudly advocates for this and supports a Halloween that is easy, affordable, fun and oh yes, healthy. Green Halloween encourages families to give out healthier treats and non-food “treasures” to trick-or-treaters, and luckily, there are now many awesome options available this Halloween. Green Halloween itself has partnered with these great organizations, whose missions support the Green Halloween goals of showing families that it is possible to keep the fun, while losing the unhealthy, un-Earth-friendly traditions.

We hope that you will join us and share your ideas on what a healthy Halloween means to you. Share with us your thoughts and tips on:

  • How do you make Halloween healthier?
  • Why is it important to think about health when celebrating Halloween?
  • What the challenges are to making Halloween healthier and more Earth-friendly?
  • What are your favorite ways to “Think outside the {conventional} candy box” and provide alternatives to traditional candy? Do you do treasures, have traditions like the “Switch-Witch”, or provide healthy alternatives?
  • Your tips for managing the amount of the junk candy your children consume at Halloween?
  • How has your environmental ethic or interest in health framed your celebration of Halloween?

It’s not about telling parents how they should celebrate – it’s about inspiring them to make choices that make sense to their families, their budgets and their schedules. And when many families make healthier and more sustainable choices for Halloween – taking even the smallest of steps – big impacts can be made for the short and long term.

Please join us in celebrating a Green Halloween.

To participate you can:

  • Write your own post based on our questions. You are more than welcome to use GreenHalloween.org as a resource, clicking on the tags at the bottom of this post are a great place
    to start. We also recommend clicking on the links to our sponsors below as well. They perfectly exemplify what we are all about at Green Halloween and are a great inspiration.
  • Update a past blog post that you have written that fits with this topic. (Now is a great time to remind people about your work and bring a new audience in on your tips and ideas)
  • We can provide you with an original Green Halloween post for you to repost as is, or personalize yourself. (Just contact GreenHalloween@GreenAmerica.org for this)

Other Instructions

  • Post a link to your blog post in the comments below, so we can read it and promote it.
  • Green Halloween(R) is a registered trademark, so the first time it is mentioned in your post, please be sure to include the registration mark
  • If you are on Twitter, share your post on there. Please include the Hashtag, #GreenHalloween
  • Your Blogfest entry should mention that is a part of the 2012 Green Halloween® Blogfest, and link back to this original signup post so that people reading your post can find our other entries.
  • We encourage you to check out each other’s blogs, comment, and provide feedback.
  • Don’t be shy, any entry, no matter how big or small, is welcome to be a part of this.
  • Have fun, write about what you believe, and read the work of others with similar interests.
  • Connect to Green Halloween on Facebook and Twitter
  • And please feel free to pass this on to other bloggers you think might be interested.

What’s in it for you?

  • We will have a page on GreenHalloween.Org with links to all participating blogs
  • We’ll do our best  to support your post with Tweets and via Facebook, and of course you’re welcome to post on our Green Halloween Facebook page
  • If we receive media calls from anyone interested in hearing from bloggers, your name and blog will be added to the list (if you choose)
  • Grow your profile, increase your network, and share your work with a new audience
  • You’ll feel great having supported this effort to make a difference for parents and planet!

Any questions, requests for posts/photos/resources, or support are more than welcome. We are here to help! The best way to ask questions is: GreenHalloween@GreenAmerica.org

Lastly, We’d like to extend an invitation for you to join us for a #GreenHalloween Twitter Party on October 22 from 9-10pm EST. There will be plenty of inspirational ideas for those of you having trouble getting started on your post!

***
Green Halloween is a non-profit, grassroots community initiative to create healthier and more Earth-friendly holidays, starting with Halloween. It began in the Seattle area in 2007 with backers such as Whole Foods Market and was such a huge success that in 2008, the initiative expanded nation-wide. In cities across the country, volunteer coordinators are turning their city’s Halloween holiday
healthy and eco-friendly, but many are also raising money for their own, local nonprofit beneficiaries via the initiative. Green Halloween, as of 2012, is a program of Green America. Green Halloween is possible because of their partnerships with Honest Tea®, Lara Bar®, Stretch Island Fruit Co.TM, Endangered Species Chocolate, Plum Kids, UnrealTM, Applegate® , Cascadian Farm®, Surf Sweets®, Bitsy’s Brain FoodTMBrainard’s Natural Remedies®, and Glee GumTM.

Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982. Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace— to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.