Green Benefits Partners with Back2Tap

by Derek VanDyke 27. July 2012 17:33

 

Green Benefits is proud to announce our partnership with Back2Tap.  Since 2007, Back2Tap and Green Benefits have promoted sustainable practices and have worked with thousands of groups across the nation.  Through this partnership, Green Benefits will be able to focus more on the world wide water crisis.  Our joint goal will be to provide high quality fundraising and awareness campaigns to raise institutional and individual awareness as well as promote action towards a more sustainable future.  We look forward to working with school groups, non profits and corporations of all sizes by offering high quality products and programs to meet each groups individual needs.  Thank you to all that have supported Green Benefits and Back2Tap and please help us spread the word.  Together we can make a difference.

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Blog | Events | General | Green Education

Plastic Bag Bans & Plastic Addiction

by Tylor J. 8. January 2012 13:41

Plastic bag bans aim to begin the process of stepping away from our reliance on plastic in its most popular form. Plastic is inescapable in our daily lives and many of us have grown so used to its many daily functions it may seem difficult to imagine doing away with it completely.

Because of their functional popularity, it is argued plastic bags have multiple, versus single-use, uses including: trash can liners, pet waste bags, lunch sacks, and many other household functions. However, they cannot be considered “single-use” as some advocates of plastic bag bans claim. The fact is the term “single-use” points to the lifecycle of plastic bags. A product’s lifecycle is determined by what it will become at the end of its current form’s functional life. For example, paper products are recycled back into a “pulp” form where it can be reused in a very wide variety of new post-consumer goods like paper, cardboard, insulation, even roofing. Most plastic bags, on the other hand, never make it to recycling centers because they ultimately, and unnecessarily, enter the waste stream, our environment, and our neighborhoods.

Plastic bag bans are a way to reduce plastic pollution by addressing the problem at the source. They cannot, by themselves, eliminate plastic and its potential for entering into our waste stream, but plastic bag bans can begin a mental shift away from using much of the plastic in our lives. Humans are naturally resistant to a change in habit or convenience, and plastic bag bans are simply taking the choice out of our daily equations. Granted, there are plenty of other plastic products available to consumers but plastic bags, as a form of plastic, are the greatest threat to our environment and one of the most common litter concerns in our culture. Plastic bag bans ultimately remove a major contributor in our waste stream and that fact is difficult to dismiss.

According to The Clean Air Council, Americans use over one billion disposable plastic bags a year, and add over 300,000 tons of plastic waste to landfills each year! Even further, the cost of recycling a single ton of plastic is approximately $4000 while a ton of recycled content may sell for $20-$50.

“The broker who purchases recycled plastic bags from the City of Palo Alto pays the City $20 per ton for them only if they are baled. Considering the process of trucking the plastic bags to and from the recycling center and the expenditure of labor to handle and bale the bags, the preferred alternative to recycling plastic bags is not to use them at all. . . . . . She strongly recommends reusable cloth bags instead.”

- (Source: Sierra Club, Kay Bushnell)

The ultimate take-away here is plastic bag bans are doing more than reducing future levels of plastic in our environment or neighborhoods, plastic bag bans are reducing the economic strain and imbalance that occurs with recycling. Not to mention the tons of plastic that does not, at the very least, make it to a recycling center. Seattle, Washington is the latest large city to create a citywide plastic bag ban and as with every other city, it has been met with some opposition but was largely well-accepted. The major concerns for opponents were their rights to “free” bags and the loss of plastic bags they use for so many daily tasks. The facts are the bags were never free and there are many other options to lining your trash cans, picking up after your pets, or carrying your lunches. Plastic bag bans are one of many municipal “green” actions meant to improve our standard of living by making us aware of habits we may not have considered otherwise.

In the end, plastic bag bans are being widely passed because many consumers, community leaders, and businesses understand the only way to a greener, healthier, and sustainable future is to change our wasteful habits and alter our lifestyles. Again, no habit is easy to break and many (myself included) do not enjoy interruptions in the routine of our lives. In some ways, removing the temptation altogether is so much easier a method for cessation.

So get out there, support the ban and pick up some reusable bags to keep in your pocket, on your bike, or even in your. . . .  car?. . . . . that is another subject.

 

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Blog | Green Education | News and Updates | Plastic | Sustainability

Spice Fundraiser: A Fresh Look at Healthy Fundraising

by Tylor J. 22. December 2011 14:07

 

The spice fundraiser is a new entry into the healthy fundraising realm as an alternative to popular and less-healthy food fundraising options. Green Benefits is partnering with San-Francisco based Community Spice Company to bring healthier eating options to communities across the nation. A spice fundraiser offers organizations a way to promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles while providing impressive margins to achieve their event’s goals. As an added social benefit Community Spice Company will donate a portion of its sales one of the many charities it supports. It’s win-win for everyone!

Meals have always created a time and place for conversation, family and friends, and simply enjoying the moment. Community Spice Company provides a wondrous array of premium spice blends that are handcrafted with carefully selected ingredients and credibly proven by top chefs, restaurants, and charities worldwide. Jennifer Johnson, personal Chef to the Gordon Getty Family, was instrumental in creating Community Spice’s first product line. Jennifer, formally trained chef, worked in the famous Chez Panisse Restaurant which is the birth place of the healthy California Cuisine Movement. For over the past 40 years Alice Waters has operated Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California.  Community Spice supports Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard Project (LINK TO EDIBLE SCHOOL YARD) whose mission is to transform the health and values of every student by building and sharing a food curriculum in every schoolyard.

Janis Callon is owner and founder of Community Spice Company. Her mission is to save the world with flavor. She firmly believes that foods and food ingredients should be healthy, accessible, and disclosed. Callon is a Licensed Registered Nurse and has a strong clinical background in health sciences. She believes in using only real food – raw – products in her spice blends. Janis is a master at crafting balanced spice blends that have bold fun flavors. What is remarkable is the blends have less than half the allowable sodium content as proposed by the Obama’s Healthy Eating Children’s Program. The blends are finely ground and are easily applied to vegetables, grain dishes, soups, sauces as well as being used as rub for meats.

Community Spice Company believes in saving people time, money and energy. You simply apply the spice blends and cook.  There is no need to take extra time to marinate foods. Each blend boasts 10-13 ingredients. Exotic ingredients as well as local favorites are used. The blends provide anti-oxidants and truly will help you feel better.  Even better and true to form, CSC’s packaging is fully biodegradable and made using sustainable printing practices. Every spice packet and gift box provides peace of mind and amazing taste! Can it get any better?

Why a spice fundraiser? Community Spice Company’s spices are not your average spices. These spices are food inspirations and there are plenty of options for any kind of meal, any time of year. Grilling is not just an outdoors affair. CSC designed the blends to be easily used on indoor grills for super easy tasty healthy meals. Global fusion names such as Mz. Curri and tran Doori  will add a simple, exotic, and tantalizingly sweet and savory taste to any burger or chicken breast on the planet.  South of the Border delights are easy to make with Chimi Chimii and mia Mole. For those who hanker for super hot meals, CSC’s chili Wilii will add  inspiration to chicken wings and ribs. Signature names like “barbi Q” and “tale Gator” make it easy to imagine a summertime or football season barbeque surrounded by good friends, family, and memorable moments. Heck, they even have an SNP 400 spice packet for corporate giveaways! Brilliant! CSC also provides an amazing range of recipes for each spice that are sure to make weekly meal planning not only easier, but a lot more fun.

Our goal at Green Benefits is to spread the special meaning behind meal times and rejuvenate these most important times in our day. The importance of food in our communities is finally beginning to take hold across our nation as families work to regain balance in their lives during harsher economic times. Food grown and shared in our community and from our backyards is recreating the innocence and quality of life lost to the ever-increasing speeds of individuals’ lifestyles. Healthy fundraising and a spice fundraiser are great ways for us to promote greener living and an even better way for organizations to promote healthier lifestyles within their own communities.

This leads to another consideration about healthy fundraising in general. Shouldn’t all fundraising be “healthy”? Would more people give to a cause they felt supported their family, environmental, and community values? Fundraisers are organized around a central theme and organizational need in the hopes of raising extra funds towards that cause, correct? A spice fundraiser offers a package deal for healthy fundraising because it encourages quality food preparation and family-oriented values while simultaneously raising much needed funds for great causes.  

The influence of a good healthy fundraising event, and the products it sells, should not be dismissed. Sure, many people may contribute to the cause if it is an organization close and meaningful to them but there is something about food that gets everyone excited to participate. Food is meant to be shared and inspired food is exciting to share.  Consider a spice fundraiser as a fresh and healthy method to inspire your community to enjoy food the way it is meant to be enjoyed. As well, take a look at Community Spice Company for yourself and check out what they are doing around the country to reestablish the meaning of good cooking and good times!

 

Fundraising Ideas For A New Year!

by Tylor J. 21. December 2011 11:46

 

Every holiday season we take a moment to reflect on the journey of the last twelve months and look forward to the ones that lie ahead. Chances are there are a great many people considering healthier ways to live and contribute to their communities. It’s also the perfect time of year for businesses and individuals to look at their own goals and missions for the coming year and how to achieve them. There are many wonderful fundraising ideas available to organizations and Green Benefits offers green fundraising ideas to meet any objective, including:

§  Spice Fundraising with Community Spice Company

§  Stainless Steel Water Bottle Fundraising

§  Reusable Bags Fundraising

§  Personalized Apparel Fundraising

These are just a few custom fundraising ideas to kick off a New Year of fundraising events.  Green Benefits also provides tailored fundraising ideas to meet the specific needs of individuals and organizations. In fact, we thoroughly enjoy fundraising ideas that generate awareness for a particular environmental or social cause. That said, let’s explore some various green fundraising ideas for the coming year.

With a focus on educational systems and local school districts, Green Benefits hopes to attract a younger generation to the environmentally and culturally-aware ranks thus promoting sustainable values of economy, environment, and equity within their communities. Schools are wonderful ways to reach entire communities because both are often intertwined. Kids learn exciting information during the school day and bring that knowledge home with them. Many green fundraising ideas are full of fun information and products that promote conservation and recycling efforts within communities. They offer families, schools, and other organizations a simple, enjoyable, and profitable way to contribute to important causes while instilling sustainable living habits.

Awareness campaigns are another form of green fundraising that address topics of local, national, even global concern. An awareness campaign or event can serve several simultaneous purposes which is why they are a great fundraising idea. An organization can set out on a campaign to raise awareness about a concern or movement by using traditional fundraising ideas, like reusable bags or stainless steel water bottles, to self-promote and encourage others to join in or contribute to the cause. Quite often an organization will produce a custom logo or message to print on a sustainable product and sell their goods to raise money for the cause and gain valuable attention as a committed supporter. Local causes are a very effective way to rally a community and gain exposure to your organization’s goals.

One great example is the Take Back the Tap Campaign for schools. This is a great cause, a great fundraising idea and a great way to raise awareness. Take Back the Tap is a program initiated by Food and Water Watch to help consumers and organizations better understand the importance of eliminating bottled water from our daily lives and why tap water is the healthier, safer, and the more environmentally sound choice. Green Benefits has used this initiative with local universities to help them reduce the use of plastic on their campuses while boosting school spirit with custom stainless steel water bottles and coffee mugs.

Another wonderful fundraising idea can be built on the Green Benefits Spice Fundraiser. Working with Community Spice Company we’ve created a fundraiser to encourage more time at the dinner table and in the family kitchen. Food and meal times have historically been the glue of family life and today’s fast-paced world has diminished this to some degree. We feel it is important to re-instill those values in our communities and what better way to do it than offer tantalizing, premium spices as an original, simple, and widely-loved fundraiser? Let’s bring the family and communities together through inspiring foods and creative kitchens!

There are many other fundraising ideas and awareness campaigns to explore and ultimately make your own. The Green Benefits team is always ready to help you build and create an event and the New Year is the best time to start planning for how you will contribute to your community, health, and our planet.

 

 

The Woodlands High School: Stainless Steel Bottles for Charity!

by Tylor J. 14. December 2011 14:57

 

Congratulations to the The Woodlands High School’s Science National Honor Society in Texas for a successful stainless steel water bottle fundraising campaign. Every year their Science National Honor Society raises money for two charities of their choice. This year they sold our stainless steel water bottles to raise awareness and charity funds for Smile Train and The Water Project.

Smile Train is a charitable organization dedicated to providing life-changing cleft palate surgery to children that would otherwise be unable to afford this crucial expense. Not to mention the various cultural and societal challenges that arises as a result of this crippling disfigurement.

The Water Project is a non-profit entity that works tirelessly to bring safe drinking water and sanitation to communities across the globe that do not have access to these basic human necessities. Even communities living near a water source are not necessarily guaranteed safe drinking water or sanitation methods. Water truly is our most sacred resource and is becoming highly endangered in many corners of the world.

Choosing a stainless steel water bottle to help raise funds for both of these amazing charitable organizations not only raises awareness on a global scale, but also calls to attention the need to conserve locally. Nurturing a local appreciation for water conservancy and diverting further plastic waste from our landfills is reason enough to consider using a reusable, stainless steel water bottle. 

This is why Green Benefits enjoys providing a wide array of fundraising platforms. There are many creative methods beyond stainless steel water bottle sales. For instance, a favorite of ours is the “Take Back the Tap” campaign. Any school can get in on this nationally recognized awareness campaign and they can do it in a manner that is relevant to their own community.

For that matter, there are plenty of options in products to help raise awareness in water conservation and waste reduction. The benefits are often two-fold when it comes to green fundraising. For instance, if one dollar was set aside from the sale of each bottle at a quantity of 250, that’s an easy $250 to give to any charity of choice on top of your projected profit margins. In fact, building this into your green fundraising event transparently may provide even greater selling points. Everyone loves ways to give easily and confidently.

At Green Benefits we give 1% of our total annual sales to OnePercentForThePlanet.org. This organization provides a very effective way for businesses to contribute to environmental conservation efforts globally while creating an alliance of global businesses and environmental initiatives. Therefore any company bearing the 1% logo within their business or online has earned credibility in its commitment to sustainable efforts.

This is true of any organization that commits a percentage of any fundraiser, stainless steel water bottles or otherwise, to a charitable social or environmental effort. The way to a brighter and greener future is in the hands of each individual, each business, each teacher and student.

Thanks to the compassion and combined efforts of organizations and clubs like The Woodlands High School’s Science National Honor Society, individual efforts really can make a difference. 

 

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Fund Raising

The Oeko-Tex Association and Safety in the Textile Industry

by Tylor J. 3. November 2011 12:22

 

Textiles are notorious for the enormous amount of energy they require in material processing, weaving, dyes, and labor. The emphasis on human safety and health or the integrity of environmental regulations is a fairly new concept in our modern world, so there are many reasons we should be paying careful attention to the textiles in our lives.

Per Dictionary.com textiles are defined as “any cloth or goods produced by weaving, knitting, or felting.” Textiles are a big part of our daily living including clothing, towels, carpeting, packaging tape, or tens of other items we don’t normally consider. Textiles also account for the protective materials used in fire protection, military uniforms and technology, and are even the main component (Kevlar) in much body armor. No matter who you are, where you may be, or what time it is, it is very likely some part of your person is in direct contact with a textile. It makes sense then, that we should put some consideration into how we use these products, how and where they are produced, and who is producing it.

 

The Oeko-Tex Association is a conglomerate of various European research institutes that understood a need for more stringent guidelines for the health and safety of textile production employees and the environment. In the early 1990’s they established a system for certifying and categorizing textiles into four categories:

1.    Type I:  textiles associated with children up to age three

2.    Type II: textiles often found near or touching the skin at all times (under garments)

3.    Type III: textiles that partially or intermittently touch the skin

4.    Type IV: decorative or furnishing textiles

This categorization mandates safe levels of human interaction with a particular textile by addressing its intended use. In the past little attention was given to a wide variety of toxins and chemicals used in the production of some textiles or the manufacturing of apparel and their effects on the human body or environment. The Oeko-Tex Association uses practical assessment tools to determine safe levels of human interaction with a textile requiring a protective chemical treatment.

The implications of human interaction with textiles are diverse but there are further reaching issues to consider. What are the direct effects to the environment of harvesting natural materials, processing the goods, and producing the fabric? What role do humans play in each of these stages of textile production and what are the ecological and economical results?

Until recently, textile production was largely unregulated in either case allowing some producers to conduct business without concern for the safety of their workers or immediate environment.  As the global economy and production of textiles became more and more interconnected, the need for safety measures became apparent and small but significant measures were devised to protect workers and their environments.

Check out some Oeko-Tex certified apparel at Green Benefits!

 

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Green Benefits–blocalnetwork featured in local paper

by jchamlin 7. September 2011 09:32

Green-Benefits-blocal-Featured-Sept-2011After many months of efforts, we are proud to report that an article about blocal fundraising is featured in the Jacksonville Oregon local paper.  The article was mostly written by Hillary Brown, Green Benefits excellent summer intern currently back at USC.  The press arrangements were made by our blocal champion in Southern Oregon, Christin Sherbourne of Jacksonville Oregon. 

The article covers the Green Benefits -  www.blocalnetwork.com fundraising program with Jacksonville Elementary PTO, where Christin has secured more than 6 participating local business to offer coupons to the community through blocal.  

The-Jacksonville-Review-Sept-2011-article-gscaleThe article appears in an edition dedicated to the importance of shopping local and local commerce in general.  We are encouraged hope to see more articles about the importance of local shopping and giving back to the local community.  This article is a perfect example of our commitment to making great things happen in local communities around the country.  And most importantly we are going to be making a positive impact in the fundraising being done in Jacksonville and many more communities as we continue to grow.

To view the whole article – click on the photo of the articles.

Be sure to visit www.blocalnetwork.com  to see some of the great deals lined up for Jacksonville. 

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Fund Raising | News and Updates | Press