Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

NYC Retailer Named 2011 People's Choice for Green Business of the Year

10 Finalists Illustrate Wide Range of Green Holiday Shopping Options Available to Consumers

December 8, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC -- With thousands of ballots cast online, the winner of the 2011 People’s Choice Award for Green Business of the Year awarded by the nonprofit Green America’s Green Business Network™ (GBN) members is Sustainable NYC.

The New York City-based operation is a combined Web site sales operation ( http://www.sustainable-nyc.com ) and traditional brick-and-mortar store ( 139 Avenue A and 9th Street in Manhattan’s East Village). Functioning more like a community center for concerned shoppers, the retailer is a one-stop shop for a diverse range of green gifts, from organic clothing to Fair Trade jewelry to solar backpacks. Its Brooklyn, NY store also features a café that serves Fair Trade coffee and hosts green-minded events and workshops.

Green America Corporate Responsibility Director Todd Larsen said: “The 10 People’s Choice finalists are great examples of the socially and environmentally responsible business leaders that meet the standards of our Seal of Approval and make it into the National Green Pages™. So, when choosing gifts this year, keep in mind that it’s good for the planet to buy less. And when you choose a store-bought gift, please consider buying green.”  

The other nine finalists for the 2011 People’s Choice Award for Green Business of the Year are:

Bella Luna Toys, Rockland, ME
888/438-1299, www.bellalunatoys.com
Owned and run by a Waldorf teacher and mother of two boys, Bella Luna Toys sells a variety of playthings made of ecofriendly materials like wood and silk—no plastic toys here! The toys are all held to the Waldorf standard, meaning they must be “beautiful to behold” and “inspiring to the imagination.”

Seven Hopes United, San Francisco, CA
347/746-7378, www.sevenhopesunited.com
Looking for an alternative to Pier 1 Imports and World Market? You can find the same type of imported, artisan-created gifts from Seven Hopes United that you would find at these stores—with the major difference that your purchases support artisans in the Fair Trade system. Instead of earning pennies for their work and being exploited by middle merchants, artisans around the world make a living wage worthy of their beautiful creations through Fair Trade. Offerings include everything from sparkling jewelry to handmade duvet covers and sheets to stunning home decor and kitchen pieces, all with an international, artistic flair.

Divine Chocolate, Washington, D.C.
202/332-8913, www.divinechocolate.com
Conventional chocolate companies like Hershey buy cocoa from plantations in Western African countries, where child and forced labor is a major problem. Divine Chocolate, on the other hand, sells only 100 percent certified Fair Trade chocolate, meaning that its supply chain is independently monitored to ensure that farmers earn a fair, living wage, and that no forced labor goes into growing or harvesting the cocoa beans. Divine is also 45 percent worker-owned by cocoa farmers from the Kuapa Kokoo cocoa cooperative in Ghana, giving them a say in company operations and a larger chunk of the profits from their labor. Divine milk, dark, or flavored chocolate bars make perfect stocking stuffers, as do its special holiday-themed candies.

Faerie’sDance.com, Harbor City, CA
866/492-4841, www.faeriesdance.com
For eco-friendly fashions for men, women, and children, Faerie’s Dance is the place to shop. The company offers attractive clothing made from sustainable soy, organic cotton, and renewable hemp. The company also has a line of jewelry made from recycled metals.

EarthKind, Bismark, ND
800/583-2921, www.earthkind.com
EarthKind provides a healthy alternative with its eco-friendly air fresheners made of corn cob chips, odor-absorbing volcanic ash, and essential oils. Scent your loved ones’ stockings with Fresh Adventure, Woodland Escape, Sweet Clover, or Pomegranate & Tangerine. EarthKind also specializes in FreshCab nontoxic, cruelty-free rodent repellent, enthusiastically recommended by several Green America members.

Hazelnut Kids, Traverse City, MI
888/869-1901, www.hazelnutkids.com
This green company offers all the variety of a Toys “R” Us toy store, without the plastics and toxic chemicals. All of Hazelnut Kids’ toys are made from natural materials like sustainably harvested wood and organic cotton, and they’re selected by owner Tracy Coe for their ability to stimulate a child’s imagination and sense of fun.

Purple Dragon Food Co-op, Glen Ridge, NJ
973/429-0391, www.purpledragon.com
Operated by its members, the Purple Dragon Food Co-op in Glen Ridge, NJ, sends out a mixed basket of locally sourced and organic fruits and vegetables to its members every other week, all across the northern half of the state. Members pay $46 to $53 for every delivery and work one hour every three months to help keep the co-op running smoothly.

DivaCup , Kitchener, ON
866/444-3482, www.divacup.com
The DivaCup is a menstrual alternative for eco-minded women on the go. Instead of contributing to the more than six billion disposable tampons flushed away each year—and the plastic applicator waste they generate—DivaCup’s enthusiastic customers use the company’s reusable tampon alternative. Made of health-caregrade silicon, the DivaCup can be safely worn for up to 12 hours, making it perfect for eco-minded women with busy lives.

Reach and Teach, San Mateo, CA
415/586-1713, www.reachandteach.co m
Reach and Teach, “a peace and social justice learning company,” aims to transform the world through its products that are tailor-made for gift giving. They offer books, games, puzzles, toys, curriculae, music, posters, DVDs, maps, and more for people of all ages. From civil-rights-themed board games to the homophobia-combating book Sometimes a Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon , the company’s items combine “teachable moments” with whimsy and fun.

Thousands more Green Businesses and great green products can be found at Green America’s Green Pages (www.greenpages.org). The Green Pages currently features a Holiday Gift Guide that has savings on great green gifts.

 

About Green America

Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today's social and environmental problems.

 Green America’s Green Business Network™ is the first, largest, and most diverse network of socially and environmentally responsible businesses in the US. GBN links green businesses to the growing marketplace of values-driven consumers. The Green Business Network provides services and connections that benefit both emerging and expanding green businesses. For more information, go to http://www.greenamerica.org/greenbusiness/.

CONTACT: Todd Larsen, Green America, 202-872-5310, toddlarsen@greenamerica.org .

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