Posts Tagged 'Santa Barbara'

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

CEC Invites Renowned Professors and Sustainability Experts to Present Groundbreaking Research on Local Food

As part of the Community Environmental Council’s long running Partnership Council Breakfast series, the Santa Barbara based non-profit invited UCSB Professor and internationally renowned agri-food systems expert David Cleveland and Sustainable Food Systems Consultant and Innovator Seth Nickinson to present the findings of their pioneering research into food related greenhouse gas emissions and how they relate to both local and national food systems.  While their talk specifically focused on the Santa Barbara County area, many of the ideas and concepts presented were applicable to any locale.  The research presented by the duo was both enlightening and shocking, revealing often overlooked, but hugely significant sources of greenhouse gasses from food systems (growing, harvesting, processing, transport, retailing, storage, disposal, etc.).  Additionally the duo presented ground-breaking research on how diet relates to greenhouse gas emissions and hence contributes to climate change.

For instance, by cutting out red meat and dairy from your diet just one day a week, it would be equivalent to a reduction in greenhouse grasses comparable to switching your entire diet to only locally grown food, which, while possible, can be difficult for many people.  While most scientific research done nowadays is mostly theoretical and hard to apply to real world scenarios, the research presented by Cleveland and Nickinson was at once easily understandable and accessible to those not involved in academia.  Very real changes with significant environmental impacts could be made immediately if one was so inclined to simply avoid foods or decide to focus on purchasing as many local products as possible.

The talk was moderated by Krista Harris, Editor of Edible Santa Barbara, a free-but-stylish-and-sophisticated quarterly magazine focused on the local, artisan food movement in Santa Barbara County.  Krista’s insightful commentary and knowledgeability about all things local perfectly complemented the presentation.  Anyone interested in staying up to date on the burgeoning local food movement is advised to check out her publication here: Edible Santa Barbara.

CEC Partnership Breakfast Local Food 3

Professor David Cleveland and Sustainability Consultant and Activist Seth Nickinson present ground-breaking food systems research

Be Green Partners With The Santa Barbara International Film Festival in Support of the Arts

sbiff 2012 posterThe Santa Barbara Film Festival is increasingly becoming a major stop on the worldwide film festival circuit.  Every year the event expands in scope and attracts some of the planets finest talent to the so-called ‘American Riveria’, which is converted for a 10-day period into a star-studded frenzy– complete with top-name actors, actresses, directors, and film enthusiasts.  For those living in Santa Barbara, the film festival has become the wintertime answer to the city’s infamous Summer Solstice parade.

As longstanding community partners with the SBIFF, Be Green donates its compostable and recyclable foodservice containers for use throughout the festival at various events and parties.  In addition to helping to raise awareness about alternatives to traditional plastic packaging, Be Green also sees the opportunity as a way to give back to the local community.  “It’s truly a win-win situation.” commented Justin Faerman, Director of Media and Marketing at Be Green. “Our annual contribution to the film festival not only helps to support a local organization, but also exposes a group of influential people to sustainable packaging.  Events like these help spread the word that there are legitimate alternatives to styrofoam and plastic packaging and as the trend catches on, it will eventually help to shift our society towards packaging solutions that have a significant, positive impact on the health of our planet.”

To learn more about the film festival visit their website here: Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Organic Soup Kitchen and Be Green Packaging Team Up to Feed Santa Barbara Residents on Christmas

Every Christmas, a group of dedicated philanthropists, collectively known as the Organic Soup Kitchen, get together to serve up healthy, organic meals to the public, free of charge.  Supported wholeheartedly by the Santa Barbara community at large, the kitchen is thriving and expanding its efforts across California.  While the holiday meals are mainly geared towards the homeless, all are truly welcome.

This year’s event saw a huge turnout with over 200 people in attendance.  The event was run by a core group of staff supported by a large team of volunteers who helped make the meals possible.  Food was served on Be Green Packaging’s compostable and recyclable plates, cups, and containers which the company donates throughout the year in support of the Soup Kitchen’s missions/events.

The Soup Kitchen’s efforts are not limited solely to providing meals on the holidays.  The organization also runs a number of programs that seek to educate and help low income/at-risk families.  Find out more about their philanthropic efforts here.

Founder Anthony Carroccio is looking to expand the organizations efforts across Southern California by making the Organic Soup Kitchen concept mobile.  He hopes to raise $40,000-$50,000 this year to purchase a truck to execute this concept.

“We want to get this process blueprinted so it works for everyone,” Carroccio said. “So it can be duplicated across the state of California and across the nation.”

Community Environmental Council Hosts Thought Leaders on Pressing Global Issues

Santa Barbara’s own Community Environmental Council is dedicated to not just promoting awareness of pressing environmental issues, but offering innovative solutions to them as well.  This past Wednesday November 30th, the CEC hosted their triannual breakfast and discussion with some of the planets foremost social and environmental activists.  Paul Steinberg, Director, Avego Realtime Ridesharing, and the CEC’s own Michael Chiacos, Transportation Specialist, both gave insightful talks on innovative car sharing and carpooling programs that offer alternatives for those looking to lose their vehicles in favor of more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Claude Dorias, President, Unite to Light gave an emotional talk on his company’s efforts to bring portable solar lighting to some of the most impoverished regions of Africa.  The lights (pictured below), were designed by some of the brightest minds at UCSB and have survived rigorous testing in a range of harsh conditions.  The organization is in its first year and has already distributed over 10,000 lights.  For more information and to order click here.

The final speaker of the morning, Megan Birney, CEC Renewable Energy Specialist, presented the latest brainchild of the CEC, the “Community Supported Solar” program.  The program is an innovative approach to overcoming barriers that have so far impeded the wider adoption of solar panels, especially by non-profit organizations.  Essentially, the CEC will be backing medium to large-scale solar installations in Santa Barbara (and potentially in neighboring counties) with the support of philanthropic investors, thereby side-stepping some of the larger issues associated with the construction of these arrays.

For more information on the CEC and its various programs, visit them on the web at

Be Green Packaging is a proud supporter of the CEC.

– Justin Faerman

Be Green Teams up with Sol Food Kitchen – Earth Day 2011

be green boothBe Green teamed up with Sol Food Kitchen this Earth Day to bring totally sustainable meals to the events attendees.  Organic, local cuisine provided by Sol Food was served on Be Green’s beautiful compostable bowls and plates (check out Sol Food’s menu below– it will make your mouth water!).

Eva, Be Green’s Director of Eco-Social Initiatives, spent the weekend manning the booth, answering questions and educating curious onlookers about Be Green’s various eco-certifications and social commitments. Continue reading ‘Be Green Teams up with Sol Food Kitchen – Earth Day 2011’

Organic Soup Kitchen and Be Green Team Up this Easter

Be Green would like to extend a big thank you to the Organic Soup Kitchen of Santa Barbara for providing healthy, nourishing meals to the local homeless population this Easter Eve!

In support of the event Be Green donated compostable bowls, cups, and trays. Check out the Organic Soup Kitchen website to learn how you can get involved in upcoming events.

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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.