3 U.S. Small Businesses Recognized For Leading Vegan Products and Services

Source: Photographer
$5,000 Prizes Awarded to NY, OR and IL Companies Focusing on Vegan Ice Cream, Footwear & Web Content

WASHINGTON— December 10, 2015—Small businesses in New York, Oregon and Chicago that promote vegan products and services were announced today as the winners of Green America’s quarterly “People & Planet Award.” The Award recognizes innovative U.S. small businesses that integrate environmental and social considerations into their strategies and operations. The winners of the $5,000 prizes are: Neuaura of New York City; Coconut Bliss of Eugene, OR; and Vegan Street of Chicago, IL. The three winners were selected by the public during a month-long online voting period.

Fran Teplitz, Green America’s executive co-director for Business, Investing & Policy, said: “Fortunately, the benefits of veganism are beginning to be understood more broadly. When we choose to avoid animal products there are positive impacts for health, the environment, climate change, and for spreading compassion. Veganism is a lifestyle, not just a diet, and there are now more resources and options, from food to clothing, for people to choose from for themselves and their families.”

The winning companies are:


Arti Upadhyay, owner of Neuaura said: “We are so excited about winning.  We will put this money towards weather-proof, vegan-friendly winter boots that are made of sustainable materials. We want to continue providing a viable alternative to the popular Ugg boots where sheep have to go through a great deal of pain and suffering and in the end give up their lives to make these boots. This style is by far our most popular style and we would like to add more style options and improve it by making it weather-proof and more sustainable.”

Elizabeth Reilly, communications manager for Coconut Bliss said: “We are humbled by the support of our customers and fans. We set out to make the best non-dairy ice cream on the planet, and to do so without compromising our core values of transparency, integrity and respect for our customers, employees, business partners and the Earth. Winning the Green America People & Planet Award reinforces our mission, and lets us know we’re doing business the right way. Thank you to Green America for this incredible opportunity!”

John Beske, owner of Vegan Street said: “We are very excited to receive the Green America People and Planet Award. For the last 2 1/2 years, Vegan Street has been creating a large variety of web content all designed to make it easier to transition to and maintain a vegan diet and lifestyle, as well as the larger purpose of building and promoting vegan culture and community. This award will support that work. It also warms our hearts to know that every three months there are three new businesses that are similarly aided by the Green America People and Planet award.”

The next round of Green America’s quarterly award will be given to three green small businesses that focus on DIY products and services.

The businesses that the public vote on are determined by public nominations and an expert panel of judges: Gigi Abbadie, Aveda; Justin Conway, Calvert Foundation; Tess O’Brien, Clean Power Perks, Jennifer Snyder, Clif Bar; Erlene Howard, Collective Resource, Inc., Jenny Burns, Honest Tea; Jonathan Reinbold, Organic Valley; Martin Wolf, Seventh Generation; and Andrew Korfhage and Fran Teplitz, both of 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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Max Karlin, (703) 276-3255 or mkarlin@hastingsgroup.com.