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Archive for the ‘Other great initiatives’ 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:

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

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Fermented and dried cocoa beans.

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Cocoa mass or cocoa paste, made from drying, roasting and grinding the cocoa beans.

 

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Cocoa butter, derived from the cocoa mass.

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Cocoa powder, also derived from cocoa mass.

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

 

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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.

Brainard’s Natural Remedies®

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Each year, Americans purchase a whopping 600 million pounds of candy to celebrate Halloween. What does this look like? Imagine 16 billion Snickers or 158 trillion pieces of Candy Corn. It has been reported that the average American eats 25 pounds of candy a year, much of which is likely consumed right around this time of year. But while sugar-laden candy sales continue strong, a growing population of heath-conscious individuals and concerned parents are seeking alternative options. Now, thanks to Green America and Brainard’s Natural Remedies All Natural Antacid®, Halloween can be celebrated as fun and healthy with Green Halloween® –a movement for healthier, more eco-friendly traditions.

This Halloween, Brainard’s Natural Remedies is teaming up with Green America as the proud sponsor of their Green Halloween® event. Green America has reached across the U.S.; in 2011 they hosted approximately 30 official public celebrations, where they replaced over 1 million pieces of conventional candy with healthier options. “It is an honor to team-up with Green America in this endeavor that aims to promote good health in celebrating the holidays,” says Elliott Brainard, Founder and President of Brainard’s Natural Remedies.

“Children often experience upset stomach, heartburn and indigestion from eating so much Halloween candy,” explains Brainard. “Fortunately, Brainard’s Natural Remedies All Natural Antacid, tastes good as well as provides the power and health benefits of blueberries. By incorporating the blueberry fiber and along with other essential berry extracts into the antacid, it becomes almost just as easy to eat as candy while providing much needed relief from occasional indigestion, naturally!”

Known for their anti-inflammatory abilities within the digestive tract, blueberries help to reduce the leading symptoms of indigestion, including stomach discomfort. Not only do blueberries aid in anti-inflammatory processes within the stomach, but the high amount of fiber that they contain creates a multitude of benefits for the lower gastrointestinal tract. Along with blueberries, Brainard’s All Natural Antacid is also powered by a unique blend of pomegranate, bilberry, and elderberry extracts. This antioxidant combination aids in the removal of free radicals from the body.

“Being aware of what we eat this holiday season can substantially effect how we feel,” adds Brainard. “Children as well as parents can benefit from this product because it helps with indigestion from the sugary sweets we are adding into our diets.”

About Brainard’s Natural Remedies®

Established in 2010, Brainard’s Natural Remedies All Natural Antacid is the result of a berry fruitful discovery. Founder and President, Elliott Brainard discovered the benefit of using blueberries to relieve stomach discomfort in his own personal life. Upon this discovery, Brainard researched the power of blueberries and other natural ingredients that promote good digestion. His findings led to the production of Brainard’s Natural Remedies, a healthy alternative to help relieve indigestion for everyone.

Currently, Brainard’s Natural Remedies All Natural Antacid comes in a chewable tablet form and is available in a 4 tablet pouch, 10 tablet refillable tube, 30 tablet bottle and 90 tablet bottle. Brainard’s Natural Remedies can be found in health food stores throughout the United States. For a complete list of retail stores, visit www.brainardsnaturalremedies.com.

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For more information on Brainard’s Natural Remedies, including request for samples and to schedule an interview with Founder and President Elliott Brainard, please contact Rajan De Los Santos at Christie Communications at (805) 969-3744 or rajan@christiecomm.com. ###

2012 Guide to a non-GMO Halloween

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

by Corey

We are thrilled and honored to partner with Non-GMO Project again this year to present the 2012 Guide to a non-GMO Halloween!

Offered to parents as a toolkit, the 2012 Guide (pdf) contains a list of Non-GMO Project Verified Halloween treats, such as Endangered Species Chocolates, fun ideas for “treasures” (non-food goodies) and even a healthy recipe from our very own food blogger, Kia Robertson.

Get the facts about “Frankenfoods” and learn more about what actions you can take (throughout the year) to protect your family and planet at NonGMOProject.org. Then, if you live in California, vote yes of Prop 37!

Get the Guide here.

Learn more about GMOs and what you can do to fight “Frankenfoods”! Visit:

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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.

5 Tips for a Rainforest-Friendly Halloween

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Guest post by our friends at Rainforest Alliance

Photo: “Cocoa Beans” credit Rainforest Alliance

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to stock up on chocolates and sweet treats for the inevitable rush of trick-or-treaters. Ensure your holiday is scary in spirit, but easy on the environment with the Rainforest Alliance’s five tips to green your Halloween.

1)      Choose Rainforest Alliance Certified™ chocolate, such as by Endangered Species, for Halloween treats. Farmed on over 18 million acres of tropical land, some five million farmers rely on cocoa for their livelihoods. Unfortunately, many of these clear forests to expand their cocoa-growing lands. By choosing chocolate that features the green frog seal, you’re rewarding farmers that protect tropical forests and support the well-being of workers and local communities.

2)      Make terrifyingly tasty treats with Rainforest Alliance Certified chocolate, bananas and coffee. Check out our “Haunted Halloween Recipes” and visit our Shop the Frog page to find certified products near you.

3)      Teach your kids where their favorite chocolate treats come from and how they impact people, wildlife and the planet. Visit the Rainforest Alliance’s Kids’ Corner and play the online game Track it Back, to learn where chocolate comes from, where cocoa is grown and how it is harvested! Also visit our virtual rainforest, “Living in the Chocó Forests of Ecuador: The Chachi Cocoa Farmers.” (Brush up on your own knowledge about cocoa farming here.)

4)      Ensure your little trick-or-treater collects candy with a reusable bag.

5)      Instead of driving, walk your tick-or-treater around your local neighborhood. By walking, you are helping to save emissions, while also saving on your gas bill! It will also help to burn off the extra candy calories!

Keep it up! Supporting an eco-friendly lifestyle should be a daily event, not an occasional act. With a little thought, and some guidance from the Rainforest Alliance, you can easily apply these green Halloween tips to your everyday life.

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The Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.