Archive for the 'Community' Category

Be Green Packaging is a Proud Support of AHA Santa Barbara

AHA! serves teens and families year-round with after-school programs in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, a summer program in Santa Barbara, and in-school programs in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, and Goleta.

AHA! offers an outdoor program throughout the year, groups for parents, and donation only therapy for families in need.

AHA!’s aim is to create a community of socially and emotionally intelligent adolescents who are committed to compassion, character, positive creative expression, and the celebration of diversity.

AHA!’s innovative experiential curriculum guides teens to set goals and to stop bullying and hatred. It lends invaluable skills for understanding and managing emotions and relationships. From this place of security in themselves, teens are inspired to do good, achieve in school and serve their community.

They deliver this curriculum in a mentorship setting, with one or more facilitators always present for every six teens.

In 2012, AHA! is set to serve about 1500 teens and families. AHA! is growing because what we do works: Santa Barbara area high schools have reported decreases in truancy, disciplinary actions, and suspensions with the introduction of AHA!.

AHA!’s after-school programs offer important mentoring and learning for any teen who wants to be there. After-school programs are especially important for teens, who are most likely to get in trouble during the hours between school and dinner time. With AHA! they get structure, substance, and support to prepare them for a balanced, happy life – and healthy snacks to boot.

ALL PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED BY DONATIONS. No one is turned away for lack of funds. Go to “Program Information” to find out more about what we offer. To contribute to AHA!, go to “Donations”.

Whole Planet Foundation Thailand Trip: Day Three

Day Three

The Whole Planet Foundation journey through Thailand continues into the third day, and although we have received a brief message from Be Green CEO Ron Blitzer that the group is en route on a 3 hour car ride to Alter Eco’s rice production paddies, we have no idea of their whereabouts or activities.

IMG_7497Since the group is off-grid for the time being, let’s get acquainted with the different members participating on this excursion. The experience has revealed that the different companies represented on the trip are also triple bottom line businesses that share a passion for environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and innovative products.  Accompanying the Whole Planet Foundation and Be Green on the trip to Thailand are members from Seventh Generation, Hint Water, Hain Celestial Group, and Izze Sparkling Juices, among others.   A common thread connecting these forward thinking companies with the WPF is that they all share its philanthropic ideals and strive towards producing natural, sustainable products that create a pollution-free environment and encourage a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.

Seventh Generation is the nation’s leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment.  Their products offer a healthy solution for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pet, and people within the home and for the community.

http://www.seventhgeneration.com/

Hint Water, started in Northern California by Kara Golden, uses pure spring water and adds a splash of natural flavor to create a healthy alternative to sodas, juices, and other sweetened drinks. Hint focuses on great tasting food and healthy living.

http://www.drinkhint.com/

Genji Sushi is dedicated to the finest quality all-natural sushi and Japanese-inspired cuisine in a grab‐and‐go style. Its sushi bars are located within 138 Whole Foods Market locations in 18 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the U.K. At each location, skilled chefs prepare a variety of fresh items on‐site, including raw, cooked, vegetarian and vegan-friendly sushi and sides. The company mission is to contribute towards healthier food consumption habits on a global level.

http://www.genjiweb.com

Hain Celestial Group produces natural food and personal care products in both America and Europe and is committed to helping consumers lead a healthy lifestyle. Hain continues to implement environmentally sound business practices through quality, innovation, and value.

http://www.hain-celestial.com/

Izze Beverage Company based in Boulder, Colorado uses natural fruit juice and sparkling water with no refined sugars, preservatives, or artificial flavors.  In addition to supporting the Whole Planet Foundation, Izze also focuses it social efforts on the Global Education Fund, further emphasizing the need to focus on our children and future.

http://www.izze.com/

Be Green Packaging Joins Whole Planet Foundation Trip to Visit Microfinance Recipients in Thailand: Day 1

Whole Planet Foundation logoWith operations in 50 countries and over $224 million dollars donated since its inception in 2005, the Whole Planet Foundation is a major force for positive social change worldwide.  The WPF works with a global network of microfinance lending institutions by offering them grants, which are then disbursed to the local communities in which they operate.  These grants allow the local microfinance offices to offer what are known as microloans — typically on the order of about $100 — to members of the community.  Although a small amount by Western standards, it can be life changing for poverty stricken individuals in developing countries.  The efforts of the WPF, in conjunction with its worldwide partners, have positively influenced the lives of thousands of families and individuals, allowing them to rise to a new standard of living, which often includes access to education and other essential needs.

Every year the WPF invites some of its largest annual contributors to travel to a selected destination where they are working with microcredit lenders.  The trip is a chance for companies and individuals donating to the WPF to see the change their contributions are making firsthand. This year, the WPF invited the group to Thailand, where they will be visiting with the communities and recipients of their donations.

Be Green Packaging’s CEO Ron Blitzer joined the group for the second time following his trip to Brazil with the WPF last year.  As a founding member of the Whole Planet Foundation’s ‘Change for Change’ fund, Be Green Packaging has been involved with the organization for many years.  A long-term supporter, Blitzer was interested in seeing what kind of impact the company’s donations were having on people’s lives, this time in Southeast Asia.

Days 1-2

After arriving in Bangkok the night before, the group started the day off touring the Grand Palace where their guide educated them on the history of Thailand, it’s people and their rich culture.  They travelled through the city on some of Bangkok’s many rivers where they got a firsthand glimpse into some of the more impoverished shanty towns existing on the banks of the polluted waterways.

After a bit more sightseeing to help them adjust to the local culture, in Blitzer’s words “The real adventure began” as they boarded an all-night train to Surin to visit with the Small Enterprise Development group and microloan recipients in the field.

microfinance program

meeting with local microfinance coordinators

The group arrived at the Chamuang Village Bank house in Surin around 10am after a long, bumpy train ride.  The weather was typical of equatorial regions — hot and humid.  The local bank put together a presentation for the group covering their activities and programs in the area.

villager crafts

locals display their wares in the village of Chamuang

Chamuang is located near Tramuang in Surin province.  It is a small village consisting of roughly 650 people who make string beads, key rings and other souvenirs as their main livelihood.  The community welcomed the WPF team and the village Chief, Mr. Sonsok, spoke to the group through an interpreter.  The community leaders served a traditional lunch of rice, veggies, fruits and tea.

Blitzer and the group observed the very real effects of the microfinance efforts in the community — the people seemed happy and content and the children all had smiles on their faces as they played with the guests and among themselves.  The houses in the village were small with wood and steel siding and you could see the general prosperity the villagers enjoyed with cars and satellite dishes accompanying their homes.

cooking silkworms

locals making silk

After the visit to Chamung, the WPF group was off to another village where the locals made woven silk fabrics.  This community had been involved in microfinance programs for the past 17 years and it showed — they spun beautiful silks and gave the group a tour to see how the material was harvested from silk worms and woven into the finished goods.

The long day ended with elephant rides (yes, elephant rides) and quality time spent time with the residents of the local community.

elephant ride in thailand

getting ready for elephant rides

Stay tuned for more details of the trip as it unfolds.

Whole Foods Market Opens Gorgeous New Store in Oxnard, California

Whole foods oxnard
A line of hungry and excited customers began to form an hour before the grand opening of the new 30,000 square foot Whole Foods Market located at 650 Town Center Drive, Oxnard CA. The smell of fresh BBQ and upbeat music provided by a local favorite, DJ Bruce Barrios, greeted the stores first customers as they hoped to be one of the first 500 in order to receive free baguettes.
Whole foods oxnard 2
Be Green team members Megan and Bryan were met with the same excitement when they arrived to check out the commotion. Beyond the busy bustle of shopping carts, the team was welcomed into what could be described as an ‘organic experience’. The new building, which was built from the ground up, was totally customized to suit Whole Foods needs and it shows. The space features astoundingly high ceilings and incredible amounts of natural light giving shoppers the feeling of being outside, transporting you away from the shopping center locale in which the building is set. The atmosphere allows customers to take their time learning about everything Whole Foods has to offer from organic food to supplements to home care goods.


Whole foods oxnard 3
As Whole Foods Market was Be Green’s first major customer, they will always have a special place in our heart. Be Green attends every Whole foods opening and participates in ways that will be impactful for their team. To show their endless support, Be Green has donated a full month of products to the Oxnard store and is looking forward to supplying Whole Foods with it’s new retail line of plates and bowls in the coming weeks. One percent of proceeds from the new line of products will go to the Whole Planet Foundation, which runs one of the largest microcredit lending non-profits worldwide.

– Bryan Latchford


Be Green Celebrates Earth Day 2013 Across the Country

It’s that time of year again — Spring is in the air and as nature renews itself, we all collectively come together to celebrate Earth Day in its honor.

Santa Barbara, California

On the West coast of the US in Santa Barbara, CA, Megan Havrda, who is both the Be Green Packaging Eco Advisory Board Chairwoman and a member of the Community Environmental Council (an innovative, SB-local, environmentally focsed non-profit) joined the CEC in celebrating the work, life and career of Van Jones, a notable sustainability and environmental advocate.  Jones is widely known for his role as Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, among other things in his distinguished, activist career.

van jones megan havrda earth hero award cec

Jones visited the Santa Barbara region to accept an award bestowed by the CEC in honor of his tireless work promoting environmentally conscious values in his incredible career as a thought leader and eco-social activist.

earth day santa barbara 2013

Bluffton, South Carolina

On the other side of the country, the Be Green South Carolina team celebrated Earth Day with Experience Green, a Beaufort county, SC local non-profit focused on engaging the community in sustainable environmental and social practices.  Like the CEC, Experience Green puts on an incredible Earth Day festival and celebration to raise awareness about all things green and good.

earth day south carolina 2013

Be Green had a booth at this years event and got to meet and engage much of the local community.

be green earth day south carolina 2013

Lucky Bolt Takes Sustainable Food to the Next Level With Bikes and Be Green Packaging – Forbes Magazine Takes Notice

Lucky Bolt Sticker RedSan Francisco has always been a forward thinking, innovative community and has consistently lead the charge in the green movement way back since the era of conservationists like Sierra Club founder John Muir.  And today, Muir would be proud of the city’s legacy that is embodied by urban-sustainable food startup Lucky Bolt.

Lucky Bolt was founded by visionary Kristopher Schlesser, who saw an opportunity to take food delivery to the next level by using bikes to deliver meals and compostable, recyclable, plant-fiber packaging to carry the food.  Instead of waiting for restaurants to make the switch, Kristopher made it for them by buying the packaging himself and then selling it to restaurants at cost.

The Lucky Bolt concept is taking off and big names are taking notice — we received word that Forbes Magazine just ran a story on Lucky Bolt, their focus on sustainability and their choice to use Be Green Packaging as a central part of their business.

Read the Forbes article on Lucky Bolt + Be Green Packaging by Clicking Here

lucky bike

 

2013 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Goes Green With Be Green

Every January, Santa Barbara’s normally sleepy streets burst into life as the annual International Film Festival kicks off.  Now in its 28th year, the SBIFF is drawing top industry names like Ben Affleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, and  Jennifer Lawrence and more as it’s reputation as a world class festival grows.  However, all the international attention doesn’t mean that the festivals directors are losing sight of their Santa Barbara roots.  That’s why for third year in a row, they have teamed up with Santa Barbara local sustainable packaging pioneers Be Green Packaging to supply their opening night gala with certified biodegradable and recyclable dining ware.  Local restauranteurs then use the eco friendly bowls, plates, and trays to serve up delicious dishes that reflect the city’s world class dining culture.  It is truly a magnificent event that sees the classy Paseo Nuevo mall transformed into a chic outdoor night club complete with live music, DJ’s, dancing and schmoozing.

If you’re in town between January 24th and February 3rd, 2013, be sure to see a few of the independent films making their debut at one of the city’s beautiful, historic theaters.  And if you do, keep an eye out for Be Green’s ad playing before each film.

Maybe next year you’ll be eating your popcorn out of one our environmentally friendly bowls

2013 SBIFF Be Green Packaging


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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.