Grocery Store Wars

by John Hamlin 20. August 2009 12:26

Not so long ago in a supermarket not so far away…help fight the dark side of the farm.

Store Wars is a hilarious five minute mini-movie about a small band of organic vegetable puppets -- Cuke Skywalker, Ham Solo, Chewbroccoli and wise old Obi Wan Cannoli -- battling against Darth Tader, evil lord of the Dark Side of The Farm. Can these Organic Rebels rescue Princess Lettuce and destroy the Death Melon in time? Or will Cuke be seduced by the Dark Side of the Farm ... an empire of pollution and pesticides that has taken over the market with its arsenal of genetic engineering, irradiation and toxic chemicals?



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General | Green Education | Green Food

American Food – It’s all Corporate

by John Hamlin 2. April 2009 19:18

I am getting excited that spring is coming, and hopefully soon despite the weather.  For me with spring, Thursday farmers market will start-up and a spring summer weekly shopping routine will begin.  I feel most fortunate to have many local markets to frequent.  This has not always been the case and based on the current issue of Yes Magazine, it seems that the majority of the food produced in the USA is produced by large corporations.  In fact it states that 2% of farms produce 50% of all agricultural products in the USA.

I recommend everyone pick-up this months, Yes Magazine to learn about the state of our food supply chain and support your local farmers market.

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General | Green Education | Green Food

Green Benefits News Letter November 2008 - Vol. 1, Issue 5

by John Hamlin 18. December 2008 12:21

Enhance Your School with Green Benefits    November, 2008 - Vol 1, Issue 5


In This Issue

Green School Fundraiser

Eat Local for Thanksgiving

Theo Chocolate

Pangaea Organica

Join Our Mailing List!

Quick Links

Green Benefits

NW Green Schools

Washington Green Schools

Co-op America

Green Festival


Theo Chocolate

Pangaea Organica Coffee

Puget Sound Fresh Food

The election is over and now it is time to begin preparing for the holiday season.  Be sure to check out the Eat Local for Thanksgiving Campaign.  

Also, enjoy Theo Chocolate and Pangaea Coffee this holiday season.  Both made locally!  Make this your greenest Thanksgiving and enjoy locally grown fresh food this season.  Green Benefits

The team at Green Benefits is also excited to offer you 10% off on our Holiday Specials which will make great holiday gifts that you can feel good about giving.  An additional 10% will be donated to local charities.  Use the coupon code holiday2009 and save today!

Green School Fundraiser's

Check out Co-op America's recent article titled "

Greening School Fundraiser's."  School's across the country are beginning to question traditional fundraiser's.  With a green fundraiser, you can help spread the word about high-quality green products and support the green economy, while raising money for schools or causes that are close to your heart.

Eat Local for Thanksgiving Campaign

Puget Sound Fresh FoodHere's one small thing you can do to reduce your "carbon footprint" this month: Buy locally grown food for Thanksgiving dinner.
The Eat Local for Thanksgiving Campaign was created to shine a public spotlight on the connections that buying local has on the environment, use of fossil fuels and energy, supporting our local community, and helping to keep our local farmers farming. Thanksgiving, with its rich cultural meaning and food traditions, is a perfect time to add another dimension to how we think about food when we are already making thoughtful food purchases

Take the pledge today to use at least on locally grown food on your table and you will have the chance to win one of 5 heritage turkeys from the Puget Sound Region, one year of Organic Valley dairy or other fun prizes. 

Make a difference this Thanksgiving and eat local! 

Theo Chocolate

Theo ChocolateGreen Benefits is proud to represent Theo Chocolate, the only Organic and Fair Trade Bean to Bar Chocolate factory in the United States, and offer their one of kind products as a school fundraiser.

Theo Chocolate is changing the definition of quality by uniting creative excellence that results in deliciously award winning chocolate, and an unwavering commitment to changing the way the cocoa industry conducts business.  At Theo, they believe there is no luxury in products that benefit us today, while jeopardizing future generations ability to meet their needs.  When you taste Theo Chocolate you will experience an unmatched passion and integrity in very luscious bite.

Go and take a visit and tour their factory and sample their award winning chocolate.  The 3400 Phinney Chocolate Factory offers public tours 7 days a week.  Public tours are held Monday through Thursday at 2pm and 4pm and Friday through Sunday at 10am, 12, 2, and 4pm.  Tours are $6 per person, ages 1 and older.  This is a tour that you will not soon forget!

Pangaea Organica

Pangaea Coffee

Green Benefits is excited to announce Pangaea Organica Coffees to their line of quality and locally produced fundraising products

Pangaea sources their green beans from the best Organic, Fair Trade coffees grown around the world.  Then to ensure a roast profile that suits each coffee's character, they spend time with each lot of coffee determining the degree of roast.  Under roast and the resulting cup will taste sharp and sour.  Over roast and coffees of different origins lose their individual characters and become dull and burnt.

Pangaea coffees are roasted on a bed of hot air.  It is a roasting method that produces a bright, rich cup of coffee.  As with wine, there are distinct varietal's of coffee, each with its own unique personality.  Roasting by convection, using air, brings out the citrus flavors of an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or the earthy complexities of Sumatra.  Brew the coffee strong and dark and it will not be bitter, bur rather sweet and natural.

Pangaea is a triple bottom line company - people, planet, profit.  They are committed to their customers, their suppliers, the environment and each other.  Rick at Pangaea is building a place to be proud of, a place built to human scale, a place built to make a difference.

Pangaea coffee is a favorite of Green Benefits.  Try it and we are sure it will become one of your favorites as well.

Green Benefits is committed to helping your organization.  Our mission is to help children, families and the community live healthier and greener lives.

Please feel free to distribute our information to any group or individual that could benefit from our services or products.  We look forward to helping you live a greener life.


Derek VanDyke & John Hamlin

Green Benefits, LLC | 677 120th Ave NE #2A | PMB 173 | Bellevue | WA | 98005

Eco-Raiser Update

by John Hamlin 19. August 2008 15:55
Your school is invited join. So far over 30 schools have agreed to participate and send a positive message home. Get your school involved quickly as we only have room for 70. The first 30 slots were filled in one week! We are looking forward to working with you go shift the thinking of the value and impact of eco-raising. Join the fight against plastic waste. Send a positive message home all while raising funds for your school projects! A true win . . . win . . . win!

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General | Green Education | Sustainability

Regional Eco-Raiser

by John Hamlin 6. August 2008 06:05
Join today in the effort to eliminate shopping bags from our landfills and raise money for local area schools.

This regional effort combine the efforts of local schools to make a large impact on their community. The goal will be to sell over 250,000 reusable bags which will generate over $600,000 for schools.

In order to make this happen, local business and community organizations will partner with the schools. This will truly be a community based Eco-Raiser...raising funds and awareness.

The sales process will be web based allowing the community to purchase bags through each participatings schools shopping cart. This will make the sales effort simple without the typical paperwork making this a truly green fundraiser.

For more information email: info@greenbenefits or call 206-388-3173.

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General | Green Education

No Waste Lunch Day

by John Hamlin 9. July 2008 10:56

Solid waste is a major issue in our country.  According to the EPA, Americans generated 251 million pounds of solid waste in 2006.  It has been estimated that disposable lunches generate as much as 67 pounds of waste per child per school year – that is 18,760 pounds of waste for one average size elementary school.

What can we do in our school’s to reduce the amount of solid waste generated?  Let’s introduce the “No Waste Lunch Day.”  There are many versions of this program, but they all share a common goal – teach our children and families how to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost. 

Make this a school wide program.  It could be a one day event or better yet make it a monthly or even weekly occurrence.  Over time, you will begin to change the patterns and habits of families.  Another great resource!

A typical No Waste Lunch contains no throwaway packaging and produces no food waste. 

  • The lunch is packed in a reusable lunch box. 

  • Pack a cloth napkin instead of disposable napkin and wash at home.

  • The food is put in reusable containers rather than wrapping in disposable packaging. 

  • Use an icepack in your lunch so that food stays fresh until it is eaten.

  • A drink is in a refillable bottle. 

  • Compost partially eaten foods that will not be eaten later in your compost bin at home.

The “No Waste Lunch” is an example of going green being cheaper than the alternative.  You will not need to buy napkins, baggies, and juice boxes.  Multiply that by the number of kids you send to school and the number of days they attend.  Now you can save money, teach our children a valuable lesson and reduce the impact on the environment.

On a personal note, my daughter loves her “No Waste Lunch.”  She uses her Wrap-N-Matt reusable sandwich bag as a cool sandwich wrap system and placemat.  Her Klean Kanteen water bottle keeps her water cool without a bad after taste and the reusable icepack keeps her lunch fresher..which means less waste at home to compost.  (Vermiculture or worm composting will be a future blog love it.)

Written by Derek VanDyke – Green Benefits

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Green Education | Sustainability

REI's Kid's Passport to Adventure

by John Hamlin 24. June 2008 21:38

School is out and the weather is improving – it’s time to begin planning summer activities for our children.  Be sure to check out REI’s Kid’s Passport to Adventure program.  Last week we took our two children (Megan and Matthew) to our local REI store and enrolled them in the passport program.  The mission of this program is to excite and connect youth to the outdoors.  Upon registration each youth is given their passport and a list of local family friendly hikes.  My children were hooked instantly

During a family outing to the Wenatchee area we made our first two hikes.  The first hike was to Hidden Lake which is located a half mile above Lake Wenatchee.  This was a great two mile round trip hike with minimal elevation gain.  At the end of the hike there was a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by ponderosa pines.  For more information contact the Wenatchee Ranger District.

Our second hike was at Deception Falls which is located on Stevens Pass.  Typically, in a rush to get home after a long weekend we skip the scenic viewpoints and trail heads.  This time our children planned an excursion found in the Best Hikes with Kids – Western Washington and the Cascades by Joan Burton and Ira Spring.  This quick detour is well worth the time.  There was a very kid friendly one mile interpretive hike through moss covered trees and spectacular views of the river.  For more information contact the Skykomish Ranger District.

After arriving home from our long weekend our kids began filling out their passport with their first two hikes.  When finished this will be a great documentary of each hike as my kids listed their favorite aspects of each excursion as well as drew a picture.  Megan and Matthew are already planning their next hike.

Though this program is intended for family use, REI and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics have created the PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness in Kids) Program.  PEAK uses fun presentations filled with hands-on-activities and games to teach kids about taking care of the outdoors.  Ask a REI team member about scheduling a free PEAK presentation for your classroom or youth group.

Written by Derek VanDyke – Green Benefits


Green Education