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

Winners Announced in “People & Planet” Green Business Contest – Focus on Strategies for Getting to Zero Waste

$5,000 Prize Awarded to Three Companies in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Oregon for Their Commitment to Creative Recycling, Reuse, and Waste Reduction

March 11, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC -- Three winners were announced today for Green America’s quarterly “People & Planet Award,” which recognizes America’s best green, small businesses. Each of three winners will receive $5,000. The winners are: Preserve, CompostNow, and Hummingbird Wholesale. Winners were selected by the public, who had a month-long open voting period online at Green America’s website. 
 
Green America’s “People & Planet Awards” recognize innovative entrepreneurial U.S. businesses that deeply integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. This round of the Awards focused on green businesses that have a strong commitment to creative recycling and waste management.

Alisa Gravitz, president, Green America, said: “Recycling, creative reuse, and waste reduction are important issues for businesses today. Green America is proud to recognize businesses that are demonstrating innovative ways of moving toward zero-waste by awarding People and Planet Awards to our top three contestants.”

The winning companies’ descriptions are below:

  • Preserve, Waltham, MA., http://www.preserveproducts.com. Preserve® makes stylish, eco-friendly products for the home. They strive to combine socially and environmentally responsible business practices with groundbreaking design to create their products. Preserve believes that choosing eco-friendly products doesn't mean having to sacrifice quality, price, or performance. By using 100% recycled #5 plastic for their products, their approach is already one rooted in waste reduction. Beyond this, they exist to be a catalyst in making positive changes in consumer behavior so that they live within the resources of the planet. They do this through initiatives like the Gimme 5 recycling program, and more recently through the introduction of Preserve Shareware.
  • CompostNow, Raleigh, NC., http://compostnow.org. CompostNow is a weekly doorstep pick-up service allowing households to divert their food scraps and compostable waste to contribute to the creation of nutrient-rich soil for home and community gardens. They found themselves at a gap in the urban food system that neglected valuable resources that could be cleanly and conveniently diverted and utilized in the production of nutritionally complete produce and foods. By bridging this gap and completing this cycle, they reduce waste, improve health, and deepen their community’s connection to their own food system. Based in Raleigh, NC, CompostNow and its community have intercepted 50,000lbs. of compostable waste contributing to the creation of 25,000lbs. of compost made available to home and community garden.
  • Hummingbird Wholesale, Eugene, OR., http://www.hummingbirdwholesale.com. Hummingbird Wholesale (HW) is a bulk food distributor offering organic, local and regional food crops to over 500 wholesale customers from Seattle to San Francisco.  The company is known for their zero waste practices, commitment to sustainability, and stellar customer service. Since 2003 Hummingbird Wholesale has established and managed a successful reuse program. One hundred percent of all liquids that are packed and distributed are in glass and plastic reusable containers with deposit for return. Returned containers are washed and reused. After three employees participated in the Lane County Master Recyclers program, they shared  this knowledge with HW staff and created an elaborate building-wide system of reuse, recycle and compost bins and accompanying signage.  The system goes far beyond what the local recycling hauler will pick up. The total waste generated by HW activities is approximately three 65 gallon containers per month; everything else is recycled or sold for reuse. All local deliveries—except when there is a barrel or orders over 1,000 lbs—are done via bicycle (tri-hauler) specifically designed to carry loads up to 1,000 lbs.

“Preserve is honored to be one of the winners of the People & Planet Award,” said Preserve CEO Eric Hudson. “It is a tremendous show of support from our Preservers, Gimme 5 recyclers, and the Green America community. We are thrilled to be able to pay it forward by using the prize money to help find and reward our 2013 Local Heroes of Recycling. This annual Gimme 5 contest launches March 12th and recognizes everyday people making a strong commitment to recycling in their communities.”

"We at CompostNow are beyond thrilled to have been awarded the People & Planet Award,” said Justin Senkbeil, CEO of CompostNow.  “All the people voting for us have made our hearts as warm as the inside of a compost pile in July. It's been an emotional two years since we started North Carolina’s first Full-Service Doorstep Compost Shuttle, but winning this award tells us that the people appreciate what we are doing and want us to forge ahead! In addition, the $5,000 prize will aid us in taking home composting to the masses even faster. Thank you to all that voted for us, and congratulations to all the other finalists."

Kristie Steele of Hummingbird Wholesale said:  “Thank you from all of us at Hummingbird Wholesale! Our Green America People & Planet prize money will buy us a second electric bike cart, doubling our bike delivery capacity. Making local deliveries via bike is a commitment that pays off in cleaner air, fun and healthy work, ongoing inspiration for our co-workers and our community, and customer loyalty. Here’s to our planet!”

The spring 2013 round of Green America’s quarterly award for green businesses with 50 or fewer employees will focus on companies demonstrating a strong commitment to a sustainable food system. The businesses that the public vote on are determined by public nominations and an expert panel of judges: Katie Galloway & Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Desiree Reese, Clean Currents; Elysa Hammond, Clif Bar; Cheryl Newman, Honest Tea; Theresa Marquez, Organic Valley; Eric Henry, TS Designs; and Reed Doyle, Seventh Generation; Lauren Ornelas, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition; Michelle Greenfield, Third Sun Solar; Fran Teplitz & Andrew Korfhage, Green America.

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. http://www.GreenAmerica.org.

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