Linda Kelly

Linda Kelly

Wednesday, 26 January 2011 14:54

Soul Flower – Cool Threads for Kind Heads

A Saint Paul, Minnesota, landmark bohemian clothing shop is now a soulful online boutique. Soul Flower was founded in 1999 by Peggy Rossi and Mike Shoafstall as a way to promote a bohemian, eco-friendly and peaceful lifestyle. The little shop on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul was a gathering place for college students and locals looking for cool goods with “hippie” flair. Add some vending at local events and festivals, and Soul Flower quickly grew as a popular local shop. There have been a few changes since those days. They no longer have a retail store, but do have a mail order catalog, a digital catalog, and an online shop. Although no longer a physical store, Mike and Peggy have tried to create an inviting and simple online shopping experience where you can feel the soulful vibe. One thing that hasn’t changed is their dedication to bringing their customers unique clothing styles and goods that help them to express who they are in a positive, fun and affordable way. Soul Flower is a “lifestyle” store with an emphasis on products that are made from organic cotton or hemp. They offer everything from funky clothing for women and men to cool duds for the little ones.  Soul Flower is committed to its community and to environmental organizations that “help make this world a better place.”  They believe in being green and print their catalog just twice a year (using soy inks and recycled paper) to reduce their carbon impact.  The clothing and goods sold by Soul Flower are primarily from Fair Trade companies, made in cooperatives or are from small independents in the USA. Soul Flower strives to do their very best to give back and keep the positive vibes going by donating to a number of organizations, such as the Arbor Day Foundation, Camp Courageous, the Iowa Food Bank, after-school arts programs, Conservation Corps, Vega Productions and “Carbonfund has given us the opportunity to eliminate our carbon footprint, and by doing so, it brings us closer to our goal of running a successful business with a minimum impact on the environment,” Mike said. Mike and Peggy are passionate and committed to continue creating the same friendly, community-related atmosphere online that they had at the shop. It can be a tough act - personalizing the internet - but they believe the littlest things make a big difference. As Mikes puts it, “Our company has always been defined by the Golden Rule: treat others as you would like to be treated and everything else will be fine. So, when you're happy, we're happy."
It’s getting to be that time of year again – Hollywood film and television awards shows!  With the Academy Awards only a month away, and nominations released just this week, it’s time to consider the greening of the entertainment industry. One innovative “She-EO” is leading the way to greening film and television production sets.  Tonya Kay’s companies serve sets for Disney, Fox, Universal and Dreamworks, to name a few. Solid Hollywood’s craft service rental trucks bring “the kitchen you’ve always wanted,” stocked with groceries and supplies from Happy Mandible, to major motion picture or network television sets. The Solid Hollywood trucks come equipped with the following tools to green the set:
  • water carts for refilling reusable water bottles at set
  • filtered water spout for refilling reusable water bottles at truck
  • clearly labeled recycling bins
  • composting bins for food scraps and compostable cutlery
  • biodiesel-ready electricity generator
  • biodiesel-ready truck engine
  • LED light bulbs considerably reducing energy consumption
And Happy Mandible specializes in:
  • vegetable oil fueled delivery vans
  • compostable flatware and paper product suppliers
  • organic, raw vegan, gluten-free and health food shopping experts
  • transport for plastic bag and cardboard recycling
  • arrangement for soup kitchen pick up of excess food donations
As carbon neutral companies, Solid Hollywood and Happy Mandible donate to reforestation projects through  The companies also generously support California's Performing Animal Welfare Society, the Los Angeles and Thailand’s “I was born green.  Environmental activism, volunteer work and health advocacy has been the focus of my personal life for decades.  Luckily for me, the film and TV industry are catching up,” says Tonya Kay. “I found several years ago when I was looking for a reforestation and alternative fuel project charity for Happy Mandible to donate to.  It was easy to choose to donate to these projects through for Solid Hollywood as well.  I like that with, I am not only donating to projects I feel strongly about, but also earning a “carbon neutral” badge of honor, which is simply a way to communicate with my business contacts.  As studios now go green, they know that we are already there to support them." Disney has implemented environmental initiatives as part of its corporate responsibility program, and Fox’s 24 was the first television series to go carbon neutral in one season.  Tonya Kay was lucky to have both of her companies on set at these studios for all the sudden green action. [caption id="attachment_7649" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="photo courtesy of, Tonya Kay blog post, photo by Neeta Lind "][/caption] Clients are delighted that Solid Hollywood’s equipment already includes most of their new environmental requests, including water stations (to eliminate plastic water bottles on set by providing a station for refilling personal bottles) and recycling bins.  But it wasn’t until studios provided the funding and transport logistics for compost bins that all the companies that comprise the craft service department were able to realize the dream of successfully separating compostables from recycling and landfill refuge. These sustainability-focused changes mark a momentous moment in movie making, and is glad to have our partner Tonya Kay on location!
Monday, 26 September 2011 09:56

Soaping Up and Saving Lives Goes Hand in Hand

Each year more than 5 million people, mainly children, die in impoverished areas of the world due to respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases. These diseases kill more people in a year than HIV and malaria combined. The majority of these illnesses are caused by the lack of proper hygiene and clean water. Studies have shown that hand washing with soap can reduce nearly half of these infections that ultimately lead to death. Prevention is the key. Simply put, a bar of soap can save a life. And now Hand in Hand Soap helps save lives with its "buy a bar, give a bar" donation program.  For millions of people all over the world, a single bar of soap is unobtainable. This drastically increases their risk of fatal illness that could have easily been prevented. Hand in Hand Soap was conceived in 2011 by two social entrepreneurs who believe that business can do so much more than just make money. Understanding the difficulty that most non-profits face trying to obtain funding, Courtney and Bill set out to start a business based on sustainable giving. By directly tying charitable donations to the sale of an everyday product, Hand in Hand is able to give soap to those in need and save lives without depending on a single donation. For every bar purchased, Hand in Hand will donate the same bar to save a life. "The goal was to come up with a household product people use every day; that had the power to save lives. After 3 years of brainstorming, we came across an article reporting that each year over 5 million people die of diseases caused by poor water quality and lack of proper hygiene. After further research, we discovered that half of those deaths could be prevented with just a single bar of soap. It was at that moment that Hand in Hand was conceived" explained Courtney. All Hand in Hand soap is shipped using eco-friendly packaging, and a portion of all proceeds is used to save 50 square feet of rainforest for every bar sold.  And, after each order is placed, Hand in Hand Soap will purchase the corresponding carbon offsets so that each shipment becomes carbon neutral. Carbon offsetting is a way to counterbalance or compensate for the greenhouse gases produced during shipment. Hand in Hand Soap helps reduce the carbon footprint by supporting projects which remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through While the primary mission of Hand in Hand is saving lives, they immediately realized the environmental responsibility that goes along with creating and selling soap. "Understanding our environmental impact, we set out from day one to create a soap that was as eco-friendly as possible. We wanted to be proud of our soap and develop a product that was made with sustainable resources, and harvested ethically," Bill said. As such, Hand in Hand Soap is 100% vegetable based, vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free, petrochemical-free, biodegradable, palm-free & cruelty-free, and it is certified by both the Natural Products Association and Fair Trade USA. "To have a product that is truly eco-friendly means more than just having natural ingredients. We have found that many natural soaps use ingredients that ultimately come from intentionally cleared rainforests, which was something that we wanted no part in. Every ingredient in our soap is not only natural, but it is harvested and grown in an environmentally friendly way," explained Bill. So help save lives and start soaping up with sustainable suds™ from Hand in Hand.
Smart Media, the award winning Annual Report Company, is delighted to announce that its first annual report in Qatar, for the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, has clinched the Platinum Award in the Government category at the prestigious LACP 2010 Vision Awards.  The League of American Communications Professionals (LACP) creates a forum that discusses ‘best in class’ practices while recognizing those who demonstrate exemplary communications capabilities. The LACP Vision Awards is one of the two largest and most prestigious global awards schemes for annual reports. More than 5,000 entries representing upwards of two-dozen countries were received, and so competition was exceptionally tough. Smart Media Chairman Dr. Vijith Kannangara made a special visit to the QFC Regulatory Authority offices in Doha, Qatar, to present the award to QFC Regulatory Authority's Deputy Chief Executive Officer Michael Ryan. Smart Media is one of the world’s very few specialist Annual Report producers and over the past 15 years has produced more than 1,400 annual reports for clients from a wide spectrum of enterprises. In an effort to limit their carbon footprint, Smart Media has developed a program to neutralize the carbon emissions from the print development, production and delivery to client of their annual report projects, by purchasing carbon offsets through and supporting our energy efficiency, renewable energy and reforestation projects. This environmentally-focused program underscores the smart thinking at Smart Media and delivers one more smart advantage to their annual report clients. In this year's LACP Vision Awards, Smart Media has been awarded the Gold for the Worldwide Agency of the Year. Last September, Smart Media was awarded the Platinum Achievement Award at the 2010 International ARC Awards in New York for winning the highest number of awards on behalf of its clients. Smart Media does business in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the UAE; and has a team of fifty professionals focused on Annual Reports. The Company is currently expanding its footprint in the Middle East.
If it’s springtime, it must be annual reporting time. We here at know our audience likes to do business with sustainably minded organizations, and there’s one award-winning company that specializes in annual report development and production that you should know. New CarbonFree® Partner Smart Media – The Annual Report Company are global specialists in producing Annual Reports of great quality and impact for a wide range of clientele. It is their sole focus area, and they own a near perfect recipe that delivers on client expectations every time. Over the past fifteen years, they've produced 1,361 annual reports for clients from a wide spectrum of enterprises, offering both print and online annual report services, and now they're going carbon neutral. Over the years, Smart Media has developed 'many feet in many countries,' expanding their footprint across the globe. But in an effort to limit their carbon footprint, Smart Media has developed a carbon offsetting program for the print development, production and delivery to client of their annual report projects. This environmentally-focused program underscores the smart thinking at Smart Media and as a result delivers one more smart advantage to Smart Media annual report clients. Smart Media delivers the full scope of annual report project development and production: knowledge and process leadership, designers, writers, photographers, pre-press, printers. Their technology is state-of-the-art and augments their well developed capabilities to work across geographical divides, whether you're in Greenland or Vanuatu won't really matter... Smart Media is close! Smart Media is led by Dr. Vijith Kannangara, one of the most widely experienced professionals in the field of crafting and producing Annual Reports. He founded Smart Media over 15 years ago to specialize in what he saw was a very important niche in marketing communications. To date, Smart Media is one of the very few companies in the world that is focused exclusively on Annual Reports.  Dr. Kannangara is a medical doctor turned entrepreneur and serves as the Chairman of the Children's Heart Project of Sri Lanka, an organization supporting the improvement of diagnosis, treatment and care of children's heart disease. And last September, Smart Media - The Annual Report Company became world champions by clinching the coveted Platinum Award at the 24th International ARC Awards in New York. Smart Media became the first company outside the USA, UK and Continental Europe to achieve global champion status. The ARCs, popularly dubbed the Oscars of Annual Reports, placed Smart Media at the pinnacle of its game amidst a large gathering of top corporate executives from most of the top companies from across the world. This year, think smart about your annual report production and check out the award winning work of Smart Media.
If you strive to achieve the finest landscaping product and develop the best value for your property, look no further than Smart Choice Landscape Company, a complete landscape service company serving the South Florida community for more than 12 years. The company has been built on the foundation of quality service and environmental awareness. As residents of South Florida, they take pride in bettering the communities where their customer and they live. Smart Choice Landscape Company has established a reputation as the leader in landscape maintenance, quality, service, experience and value. The company offers a proven track record of creative, quality landscape design and maintenance. Being a family-owned and operated company, Smart Choice Landscape Company wants each and every client to feel important. As a landscaping company, Smart Choice Landscape Company feels a strong sense of responsibility to protect the landscape. Sustainable practices are employed in the work that they do, the offices where they work, the strategic direction they follow, the relationships they develop and the way they live their lives. Smart Choice Landscape Company promotes sustainability by: • Running mowers on propane-natural gas, which reduces emissions by 80%; • Following South Florida’s ‘Best Management Practices’ (BMPs) for landscape maintenance; • Offsetting their carbon footprint; • Recycling all yard waste and other materials where possible; • Limiting the use of pesticides and looking for bio/natural alternatives; • Encouraging clients to incorporate sustainability in their landscape; • Promoting and encouraging natural processes and systems in our designs; • Taking all practical steps at on-site operations to minimize and mitigate any adverse effects of our activities that may cause environmental damage; • Using recycled and totally chlorine free paper in the work place; • Minimizing the use of paper by reusing printed paper or using paperless communication; • Actively seeking partnerships and preferred suppliers that have similar environmental values, thus maintaining a “green” supply chain. Water conservation is one of the most crucial issues facing Florida’s future. Many areas of the state are running low on freshwater supplies. Smart Choice Landscape Company is committed to applying South Florida’s Best Management Practices and guidelines in effort to conserve precious fresh water through irrigation and storm water management. Smart Choice Landscape Company prefers to use eco-friendly and organic products that provide the same results while still being sustainable. They are introducing Avenger Weed Killer, an organic herbicide EPA registered and approved by the USDA National Organics Program. Its patented formula is made with natural citrus-oil (or d-limonene), which is a natural degreasing agent that strips the weed of its waxy skin, causing it to dehydrate and die. Tested against the leading synthetic herbicide, glysophate, Avenger has proven to be just as effective, but faster acting. Smart Choice Landscape Company has partnered with the Foundation in the CarbonFree® Small Business Program to offset their carbon footprint. Smart Choice actively works towards offsetting carbon emissions from fleet activity and other general business operations. Their commitment establishes Smart Choice Landscape Co. as an environmental leader in the landscaping business community and demonstrates the proactive steps they are taking in the fight against global climate change.
Has navigating the LEED Green building requirements left you blue in the face?  Turn to the experts at Simon & Associates, Inc. for the advice and consultation you need. Simon & Associates, Inc. Green Building Consultants is a nationally recognized green building consulting firm, using a practical and collaborative approach to advance sustainable and healthy building design and construction practices. The firm's clients include design firms, as well as public, private, and non-profit building owners and developers, representing a variety of building types including institutional, educational, commercial, industrial, residential, and mixed-use developments. S&A is a federally and locally recognized Women-Owned Business Enterprise, established in 1994 by green building pioneer and leading authority Lynn N. Simon, FAIA. S&A has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since its inception. S&A consults on new and existing building projects, working with property managers and building owners to achieve the appropriate LEED certification for the project. Simon & Associates’ services include sustainability consulting, LEED consulting and project management, CALGreen consulting, workshop facilitation, owner’s representation, specifications review and materials research, green building policy development and implementation, speaking engagements, development of guidelines and educational resources, and presentations and trainings. In Owner’s Representation engagements, S&A advocates for the owner, works with the design and construction team to seek integrated and cost effective solutions, and helps to overcome permitting or other regulatory obstacles by working directly with agency officials to advance green building systems and technologies. At the core of S&A’s philosophy is education on green building strategies, programs, and materials. S&A provides educational seminars and training to educate design and building professionals, government agency staff, and students through speaking engagements, presentations, trainings, and lectures. If it’s green building advice or LEED certification that you seek, contact the experienced professionals at Simon & Associates, Inc. Green Building Consultants to get on the right path to successful green building.
Last year’s beg bug scare led many of us to examine that overlooked daily companion, our mattress.  But Michael Penny was way ahead of most of us -- he made it his life’s work to create a healthy, comfortable, organic and non-toxic mattress as an alternative to conventional ones. What would lead a yoga-practicing, organic-food-eating marathon runner to start a mattress company?  He couldn’t sleep. Michael had insomnia, ironically at its worst while he was working for a futon company. In part, what he’d learned about materials and practices in the mattress industry was keeping him awake. So he resolved to create a new kind of mattress company that offered a new level of quality and service. In 2003, The Savvy Sleeper opened in Charlottesville, Virginia, drawing customers from as far away as Baltimore and North Carolina. Finding an organic mattress to sell was a tall order. Even the biggest companies in the “natural mattress” niche were using only some organic materials, or making mattresses that weren't very comfortable. So Michael and his team decided to make their own. Toxic chemicals are used widely in the mattress industry today, and their long-term effects are worrisome. All Savvy Rest Organic Mattresses are made of natural Dunlop or Talalay latex rubber, with durable casings of certified organic wool and certified organic cotton. Customers can choose very firm, very soft, or anything in between for their Savvy Rest Mattress, with differing firmness on each side. And a natural latex mattress performs consistently for decades—Savvy Rest Organic Mattresses offers a 20-year warranty on their mattresses. Savvy Rest offers its customers three ways to shop: in person at an authorized dealer, online or over the phone. Their website walks customers through the basics of mattress shopping, and delves into the benefits of chemical-free mattresses and how to fit a mattress to provide customized comfort that’s best for you. The Savvy Rest commitment to its customers is based on four tenets:  purity, comfort, integrity and value. From a few trend-setting retailers just a few years ago, they now have a large network of over 60 independently-owned dealers across the states who have responded to Savvy Rest’s reputation for quality, integrity and service. And shop this weekend to enjoy reduced prices before a February 1st increase!
According to Ron and Mary Ober, the people of El Salvador are among the most generous and determined you'll find anywhere. Emerging from a civil war, they are striving to improve their daily lives and rebuild their ravaged country. Ron first visited El Salvador over two years ago, through a connection made by a local social justice group who focuses on Central America. When he learned the story of the 1980s and what El Salvador went through, he and Mary became convinced that they should spend the rest of their lives helping the people of El Salvador to rebuild. Revy Fair Trade Products works with individuals and co-ops to help them earn a living wage and provide a brighter future for themselves and their children.  Revy Fair Trade Products sells accessories made by women’s co-ops in El Salvador. These co-ops are paid a fair wage so that the artisans can improve their lives while providing enough income to keep their children in school. Revy Fair Trade founders, Mary and Ron Ober, believe that economics and eco-justice are intertwined. The artisans they support need a sustainable environment in which to live and work. Their products come from nature, using renewable items such seeds for jewelry or natural dyes for handbags. In addition, Revy Fair Trade offers reclaimed and recycled products created from items such as abandoned tires and used plastic shopping bags. Revy means revitalization.  The folks at Revy Fair Trade approach nature as they do their artisans. With nature, the emphasis is both on recycling and natural materials. Their product line consists of:
  • Jewelry created from clay, bamboo, coconut shells and a variety of seeds.
  • Handbags dyed with indigo, teak, tree moss and other organic materials.
  • Recycled materials including plastic bags, glass, used tires and leather scraps.
When you purchase an item from Revy, you help the people of El Salvador and the planet at the same time. The fair trade movement was founded over 65 years ago in the United States to help workers in developing countries. Since then, it has spread globally, and probably has its strongest following in Europe where fair trade products are common.  Fair trade movement goals are to pay artisans a fair wage in the local context, provide health care and educational opportunities, ensure that working conditions are safe and healthy, with no forced overtime without pay, prohibit the exploitation of child labor, discrimination or sexual exploitation, involve employees in decision-making processes, and to use sustainable environmental practices wherever possible. The folks at Revy Fair Trade believe that all workers have the right of association to form their own co-op, receive a living wage, and work without fear of abuse or their own safety. Economic justice and social justice cannot be separated. “Our slogan is ‘Handcrafted, eco-friendly, and fair.’ To be truly eco-friendly, we must go beyond just producing renewable products from nature or recycled materials. We choose to offset our carbon footprint created primarily by transporting and shipping product. helps us do this,” says Ron Ober, co-founder of Revy Trade. Shop with a conscience. Shop fair trade. Want to learn more about the fair trade movement?  Start with the Fair Trade Resource Network to explore what other groups and individuals are doing to help the cause.
Tuesday, 03 January 2012 12:31

Renew Your Skin Care Routine with emerginC

A new year brings many resolutions, often including ones to improve and better care for ourselves. If you’re seeking a healthier skin care regime, check out emerginC and their skin care products. emerginC was launched in 1996 with a single product: their now well-known vitamin C serum. Since then, emerginC has developed into a comprehensive line of active, advanced cosmeceutical products and professional treatments that deliver rapid, visible results for all skin types. emerginC’s online skin care regimen guide assists customers in selecting the products that will work best for them, providing options for all skin types and conditions. emerginC is a remarkably effective, full line of active, result-oriented products containing a wide variety of pure, potent botanicals and fruit acids, as well as cutting edge medical and cosmeceutical-grade ingredients from all over the world. The products are paraben-free, free of artificial colors and fragrances, and sourced with natural ingredients wherever possible. No animal testing or animal ingredients are used in any emerginC products, and in an ongoing commitment to the environment, their product boxes are printed on Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative certified paperboard, printed with non-toxic vegetable-based inks. emerginC is always seeking the latest scientific breakthroughs to help their customers combat the visible signs of aging skin and other skin issues as effectively as possible, offering products and facials with unparalleled results after only a single treatment.  emerginC’s scientific organics line is an active, 100% natural, paraben-free and synthetic fragrance-free, result-oriented line, with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients in every item. Active ingredients include a wide variety of antioxidant-rich plant and marine extracts and vitamins, as well as proprietary plant-based hydrating and brightening complexes. emerginC scientific organics help to rapidly improve skin tone, texture, and clarity, as well as to actively fight free-radical damage and combat the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines associated with aging. And environmental commitments are important to emerginC as well. “We take many steps to minimize our impact on the environment, including planting an indigenous tree for every retail-sized emerginC scientific organics product sold, via our partners at Plant It 2020. Our corporate office runs on wind power, our product boxes and brochures are made from paper from well-managed forests, printed with vegetable inks, and we ship our orders with biodegradable packing "peanuts". We chose [and joined the CarbonFree® Partnership] because of their efficiency, the on-the-ground solutions they deliver and the fact that they don't engage in carbon offset trading.” Ian Lirenman, C.E.O. and Founder Shop their full product line on their website, and be sure to check out the special offers on the emerginC website for special savings.  emerginC products and treatments are available at dermatologist offices and at top spas worldwide, and emerginC is a proud member of the Green Spa Network and a proud compact signer at
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