Green America’s summer People & Planet Awards celebrated the best of the best in recycling innovation from inspiring green businesses. See which businesses won $5,000 each to keep up the great work!

The People & Planet Award recognizes businesses for their dedication to a green economy: a bottom line that includes protecting workers, communities, and the environment. Seasonally, we award three $5,000 cash prizes in a range of green-business categories, such as zero-waste, worker empowerment, and sustainable food.

The Summer 2015 awards went to:

Mr. Ellie Pooh, People & Planet Award Winner

Mr. Ellie Pooh is an Earth-friendly innovative company that sells and produces 100-percent recycled paper products made of 50-percent fiber from elephant dung and 50-percent post-consumer paper.  In Sri Lanka, elephants are being killed because farmers and elephants are competing for land.  Mr. Ellie Pooh believes that putting sustainable Fair Trade jobs in areas of human/elephant conflict can create an environment where elephants are thought of as assets and not a threat.

“Every penny of this award will go back to supporting our Fair Trade initiatives and promoting education about human/elephant conflict in Sri Lanka,” says Karl Wald, owner of Mr. Ellie Pooh.

RocknSocks, People & Planet Award Winner

RocknSocks is the first and only US-made sock company to use pre-consumer regenerated cotton blend yarns exclusively in the manufacture of our dynamic eco-friendly sock line. Cotton scraps are taken from other textile manufacturing waste, sorted by color, ground up and spun into yarns allowing us to avoid using dyes in our cotton blend yarns.

Misty Reilly, founder of RocknSocks, says the company will use the winnings to help recycle damaged, returned and sample socks into a line of sock “creatures” (toys) for children. The sock creature line will be a non-profit venture, both giving away creatures and/or profits to children and families in need.

Terracycle, People & Planet Award WinnerTom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle, says “We are proud to accept such a respected third-party validation of our work. The prize money will be utilized to help expand our free recycling fundraisers for schools and communities around the country.” From drink pouches, toothbrushes and makeup containers to coffee capsules and even cigarette butts, TerraCycle’s recycling programs create products from waste that would otherwise be destined for the landfill.


To date, this successful model has helped divert more than four billion waste items from landfills around the world.

Congratulations to our additional Summer 2015 Finalists:

Bag the Habit, Jersey City, NJ Recycled Paper Printing, Boston, MA, Washington, DC Temperpack, Washington, DC
lur apparel, Cincinnati, OH Weisenbach Recycled Products, Columbus, OH
Recyclebank, New York, NY

Check out more inspiring green businesses who won awards at our Green America People & Planet Awards Winners Gallery. Green celebrations, worker empowerment, clean energy, and more!


Featured image credit: Sustainable Waldorf

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