Archive for the 'Certifications & Memberships' Category

Cradle to Cradle Explained: A Simple Visual Guide to Understanding How it Works and Why it Matters

The environmental movement has come quite a long ways since its activist roots in the 1960’s.  The ideas of conservation, sustainability, and green living are no longer considered the realm of ‘tree-hugging hippies’, but valid, highly relevant concepts in a society struggling to cope with its over reliance on fossil fuels and destructive environmental practices, which are having very real and obviously detrimental effects on our quality of life.  The question now has become: how fast can we embrace these environmental ideals and transform our society to avoid any type of large scale cataclysm?  This has led to the widespread recognition of the importance of these concepts and a new, re-invigorated environmental movement has formed that is asking everyone to do their part — be they soccer mom or Fortune 500 company.  While it is important for us to take collective responsibility for our actions, the fact of the matter is that business and industry account for over 90% of pollution and waste generated on the planet — and companies are feeling the pressure to adopt environmentally sound practices and products growing by the day.

Green Goes Mainstream

If you haven’t already noticed, ‘green’ products are IN.  While this is great and it’s spurring a whole new wave of enthusiasm for sustainable design and imaginative solutions to our worlds most pressing problems, its also become a marketing frenzy with companies constantly touting the ‘green’ features of their latest products — whether or not they have actually made any changes at all or are just ‘spinning’ how their polluting, wasteful product is presented.  This is known as ‘greenwashing’.  Greenwashing is a practice engaged in by companies wishing to get in on the thriving ‘green renaissance’ without actually doing anything green.  Greenwasher’s will do nothing to change their environmentally or socially harmful product or behavoir but still try to market it as eco-friendly, healthy, or in some way sustainable.  The biggest example of this deception that comes to mind involves food labelled as ‘natural’, which, while it sounds good to the consumer, is a totally unregulated term that essentially has zero meaning.  Companies who claim their products are natural can and may still use Genetically Modified ingredients, which last time I checked involved using a ‘gene gun’ to splice bacterial DNA fragments into otherwise healthy plants so they would have a ‘supernatural’ ability to resist extraordinary levels of synthetic, toxic pesticides and herbicides.  Yup, totally natural.

How Can We Tell What Products and Practices are Truly Green?

Greenwashing is a big problem and it relies heavily on an uneducated population — but how are we supposed to know if every claim on every product on the shelves is true?  We are literally inundated with 100’s of products on a daily basis all making some kind of claim as to their healthfulness, sustainability, or some other fantastic quality showing that they are indeed the best thing yes to happen to the environment.  The problem is that some of them are truly amazing, innovative products, while others are totally trying to greenwash you into believing they are doing something meaningful and responsible.  I received my degree in Environmental Studies and sometimes I even have trouble telling what’s what — so how can we expect the average consumer to know the difference between a truly green product and its greenwashing counterpart?  Simple: Certifications.

Understanding the Role of Certifications in Protecting the Consumer and the Planet

One of the best ways to help consumers instantly identify and recognize truly green products is through the use of certifications.  Certifications alert us through the use of an official logo or seal that a product has undergone testing, review, or monitoring at the hands of an independent organization to ensure that the claims being made about its healthfulness or sustainability are true.   Certification bodies provide a method to objectively evaluate products in a way that gives an accurate representation of their true eco-social merits.  In the food industry, the USDA and CCOF Organic seal’s are perhaps the best known of these types of certifications — but what about for household products, packaging, or furniture?  How do we evaluate the sustainability of these types of goods?

The Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Products Program

In that regard, perhaps the most respected, stringent worldwide organization for certification of everyday products is the Cradle to Cradlecm Products Innovation Institute.

The Cradle to Cradle Certifiedcm program provides a high level of transparency into a company’s affairs by allowing an independent, 3rd party organization to review product design, manufacturing facilities, and processes in order to provide feedback on areas that may need improvement or adjustment.  If a company meets or exceeds the institute’s standards, a certification is awarded according to varying levels of achievement along a continuum.

The  Cradle to Cradle Certifiedcm standard is based on the principles outlined by Dr. Michael Braungart and William McDonough in their seminal book ”Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things”, which laid the framework for reassessing how we view a products life cycle.  According to C2CPII literature, a “Cradle to Cradle Certification is a multi-attribute eco-label that assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment and design for future life cycles.”  Products (and the associated manufacturing processes) must meet or exceed a series of standards that assess applications in the following five areas: material health, material reutilization, energy (renewables usage, conservation), water stewardship, and social responsibility

If you are an environmental scientist or industry engineer, that description is clear as day, but for the rest of us, it might leave you scratching your head a bit.  In order to help those non-technical individuals looking to better understand exactly what a Cradle to Cradlecm certification entails, we have put together the following info graphic to help explain the concept in a more accessible way.

(Click for a larger image)

Cradle to Cradle Philosophy Explained

Article by Justin Faerman

Government to Buy More Biobased Products

[Be Green Packaging Note: In June 2011, Be Green Packaging received an official USDA Biobased Certification.  Our products were tested in the USDA Biobased program and were found to contain 96% biobased content, one of the highest results in the program.]

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Be Green Packaging Products have been Certified by BPI

Santa Barbara, CA – Nov 23, 2010 – On November 9th, Be Green Packaging LLC, received independent certification from Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), verifying that their molded pulp fiber packaging is compostable. This certification, confirms that their products meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D6868 standards for compostability.

Be Green Packaging is aware of the disconnect between the compostable packaging industry, consumers, and composting facilities. The company understands the challenge consumers face in trying to distinguish true compostable products from actual waste. Be Green is therefore enthusiastic to utilize the BPI logo (pictured right) to give consumers confidence in their purchase.

This logo will provide consumers, composters, and waste haulers an easily distinguishable label to indicate that Be Green’s products are “designed to biodegrade quickly, completely and safely, when composted in well-run municipal and commercial facilities” (Biodegradable Products Institute).

Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s 2010, “Compostable Packaging, The Reality on the Ground”, reports that improved labeling is one of the most significant areas for improvement in the compostable packaging industry. Be Green believes that BPI’s compostable label is the most established and well- recognized in North America. The company hopes to be a part of the solution by improving education, label visibility, and enforcement in the compostable packaging industry. Be Green believes that this certification will help them move one step forward towards this goal.

For more information about Be Green Packaging LLC please visit

Be Green…Live the Color.

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Be Green Packaging Executive Invited to Google Headquarters for the Green Products Innovation Institute Launch

Santa Barbara, CA  – Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced yesterday, in the presence of business, government, academic, and environmental leaders, the historic launch of this nation’s first, non-profit Green Products Innovation Institute (GPII). With their headquarters based in San Francisco, GPII’s mission is to develop “comprehensive chemical standards for every day products that are safe and healthy for humans and the environment.”[1]

Leaders convened at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. to listen to speakers including Professor Martin Fischer (Standford), Matt Petersen (Global Green), Vance Bell (Shaw Inc.), Chad Hurley (YouTube), Michael Volkema (Herman Miller), Wendy Schmidt and Co-Founder of the GPII, William McDonough.

Click here to watch the full press conference.

In 2002 McDonough and partner, Michael Braungart, wrote the book “Cradle-to-Cradle,” which has since become a highly regarded certification process and will become a cornerstone for GPII’s framework. Since then, MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry) has been certifying products and companies within a wide range of industries.

Be Green Packaging LLC, a Santa Barbara, Calif. based company, was the first food packaging company in the United States to be awarded the coveted Cradle-to-Cradle certification. Be Green Packaging received their first certification in 2008, was recertified in 2009, and plans to petition for recertification in July 2010. Be Green Packaging is now working with a handful of Fortune 500 companies helping to produce innovative consumer packaging for everything from health and beauty products to telecommunications.

Since its inception in 2007, Be Green Packaging has been a leader in the green packaging movement and is anticipating the industry’s continued growth with the help and direction of GPII.

More information on GPII and Be Green Packaging can be found at and

Be Green…Live the Color.

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Be Green Packaging Products, Certified GMO Free

Santa Barbara, CA – May 20th, 2010 – In order to provide its customers with the best products possible, Be Green Packaging LLC strives to maintain current and updated testing, ensuring both their product’s reliability and consistency. As such, they have completed testing with Biogenetics Services Inc, confirming that their products contain no genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

GMOs have widespread applications from medicine to agriculture, however they are controversial for many different social and environmental reasons. Agricultural effects may include contamination of non-GMO crops by genetically modified crops, thereby changing the genetic structure of a farmer’s desired variety.

Possible human health effects are also of concern. The widespread application of genetically modified crops could lead to loss of biodiversity. Social effects would likely be felt most by developing countries. GMO’s may cause these countries to depend upon the industrialized countries for their source of food. There is also the potential for our world’s food industry to become dominated by a few companies, whose interests would be partial towards the wealthier countries.

Continue reading ‘Be Green Packaging Products, Certified GMO Free’

Be Green Packaging Achieves Green Certification from Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara, CA – April 1, 2010 – Be Green Packaging LLC was one of the first businesses in Santa Barbara County to receive certification from the Green Business Program.

The Green Business Program awards certifications to businesses that successfully complete a series of requirements and fulfill all the environmental sustainability standards. Be Green completed a series of requirements regarding solid waste reduction and recycling, environmentally preferable purchasing, energy conservation, water conservation and pollution prevention.

Continue reading ‘Be Green Packaging Achieves Green Certification from Santa Barbara County’

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Be Green Packaging offers a complete foodservice line of compostable, recyclable, and biodegradable food packaging. Order now at the Be Green Packaging Store

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Be Green Packaging designs, manufactures and distributes Cradle to Cradle™ certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for the food and consumer packaging industries that is safe for people and healthy for the planet.

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About Be Green Packaging

Be Green Packaging designs, manufactures and distributes Cradle to Cradle™ certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for the consumer packaging industries that is safe for people and healthy for the planet.