Wednesday, 17 October 2012 20:15

Green America's People & Planet Awards Announces First Winners

Congratulations to the first winners of the People & Planet Award: Sonoma Compost Company, Green Kid Crafts, and Raleigh City Farm. The winners were selected as the most outstanding in serving their local communities.  

Denise Hamler, Director of the Green Business Network, said, “Green America is proud to present the inaugural People & Planet Award to these three green businesses that are making outstanding and creative contributions to their communities. Their values and business models exemplify the type of business our society and world need now more than ever.”

This new Green America program gives green businesses a chance to win $5,000 awards for outstanding achievement in social and environmental responsibility.

Green America’s new People & Planet Awards recognize innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that deeply integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations.

Green America is now offering $60,000 over the next 12 months, thanks to a generous donation from a long-time supporter.

For our second round of awards, we're focusing on green businesses that advance clean energy. Hundreds of nominations poured in, and the top ten finalists will be announced November 1. The public will vote to select three winners.  Stay tuned for nominations for our third round.

The businesses are determined by public nominations and an expert panel of judges: Katie Galloway & Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Elysa Hammond, Clif Bar; Cheryl Newman, Honest Tea; Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance; Theresa Marquez, Organic Valley; Eric Henry, TS Designs; Reed Doyle, Seventh Generation; Fran Teplitz/Andrew Korfhage, Green America.

The first winners are:

Sonoma Compost Company, Sonoma, CA

Sonoma Compost Company (SCC) partners with local schools, non-profits and local government to provide education and resources that further the goals of sustainable agriculture. In 2011, SCC donated over 830 cubic yards of compost to about 150 school and community gardens. In addition, SCC conducts facility tours for school and provides on-and off-site public education to over 1500 individuals. Furthermore, it attends community fairs and festivals promoting sustainable agriculture and green living. Partnerships with non-profits are another way that SCC demonstrates its commitment to community action.

Understanding the connection between fresh, organic and locally produced healthy food and the health of the community, SCC is a supporter/donor to the Ceres Community Project. Ceres is a network of student and adult volunteer gardeners and chefs that grow and produce healthy nutrient-rich meals for individuals and families dealing with serious illnesses.

Owner Will Bakx said, “Sonoma Compost is thrilled to be recognized for our commitment to recycling organic organics into quality composts and mulches. Our end products are used to rebuild soils by returning valuable nutrients and organic matter to local gardens, farms and landscapes. We are honored to be recognized by Green America and are doubly pleased to donate our $5000 prize to an amazing local nonprofit, Daily Acts. They will utilize this contribution to continue their good work by educating the public to make a change in their daily actions to create a greener, self-sustaining community.”

Green Kid Crafts, Anchorage, AK

Founded in 2010, Green Kid Crafts is a mom-owned, green company that offers natural, sustainable, and responsible choices for craft projects. Its green craft kits are an inexpensive tool for parents and teachers to use to educate children about recycling, reducing waste, and protecting the environment.

Green Kid Crafts partners with its local Boys and Girls Club to bring fun activities, art and learning to children in an impoverished community by hosting free monthly art classes and donating art materials. It also empowers women through mentorship by working with Hope Community Resources and participating in the Alaska Women’s Environmental Network Mentorship Program.  As a 1% For The Planet member, Green Kid Crafts has committed to donate a minimum of one percent of its revenue to environmental non-profit organizations.

Owner Penny Bauder said, "We are thrilled, and honored, to have won the People & Planet Awards as it fulfills one of the founding goals of Green Kid Crafts -- to be a model for environmental sustainability and corporate citizenship. Our craft kit subscription service is bringing children closer to their environment through fun and creative activities and we hope that, as we grow, we will show people of all ages that taking care of the environment and each other should be a factor in everything they do."

Raleigh City Farm, Raleigh, NC

Raleigh City Farm’s goal is to transform unexpected downtown spaces into beautiful and nourishing farmland. It engages the local community in the process of growing food and sparking imaginations about agriculture in the city. These highly-visible spaces are an educational tool to demonstrate responsible, intensive growing techniques and encourage movement toward a restorative, community-based food system.

Its weekly farm stand offers fresh and organically grown food for local residents. Raleigh City Farm serves as a field trip destination for neighboring elementary and middle schools as well as universities and assisted living centers.

Owner Josh Whiton said, “We're really pleased that so many people supported us in winning this award. The proceeds will go a long way toward bolstering our operations as we continue to explore the power of urban farming for improving city life.”

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