SeeĀ entire February 16, 2011 newsletter

So much to write about, so little time – as in sometimes I think time is running out. So what to write about? How fun it is being Mrs. Green? Been there, done that, will probably always do that. Plastic bags? Bottles? Recycling? I will write about those things forever too. How about human trafficking? How the heck can I tie this one to sustainability and Mrs. Green? The real question is: how can I not? Sometimes I just have to write about the dark side of our world with the intention of trying to change things – in this particular case, the dark side of chocolate. And it all ties in with my theme for the year anyway – living consciously.

Please don’t stop reading because 8 year olds “working” in the Ivory Coast need you. And so do the 10 year olds and the 12 year olds. And Hershey’s does not. Case in point: their CEO got about a $6 million bonus last year. I am an uber capitalist but I won’t make my money on the backs of children or overworked staff or at the expense of the environment. Call me a softie…

So let’s let a few facts get in the way of our kisses:

  • Hershey is the favorite chocolate brand in the U.S., with 42.5% of the market.
  • Hershey’s and M&M/Mars alone control two-thirds of the $13 billion U.S. chocolate candy market.
  • Every major cocoa company except Hershey is adopting third-party certification for at least some of their cocoa in order to track and eliminate the worst forms of abuse.
  • Hershey’s refuses to adopt third-party certification for chocolates that bear the company’s name.
  • U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations since they don’t own them.

I know it’s a bit extreme but isn’t the head in the sand approach reminiscent of atrocities happening during World War II? How many children is it okay to kidnap, not pay, practically starve and, in some cases, beat before chocolate manufacturers in the U.S. are responsible for the conditions? Food for thought – no pun intended.

If you want to read more and get some more facts, please check out my blog.

If you want to do Just One Thing, sign the petition.

But the easiest one of all? Hit Hershey’s with your best shot: don’t buy anything made by them.

Who IS the Greenest of Them All?

We are thrilled, excited and genuinely ecstatic about announcing our second annual “Who’s the Greenest of Them All?” contest/competition. Lest you forget, our very own John Smith (now lovingly known as Big John, The Toilet Guy) was last year’s proud winner. The purpose of the contest is to honor people who are walking the green/sustainability walk and helping others to do the same. Do you have someone in your life, your business, your family who is making a difference for their community and ultimately the planet because of their commitment to walking the green walk? Not only do we want to know about them, we want to share their story with everyone in Mrs. Green’s ever-expanding world!

As part of this exciting contest, we are thrilled to announce our first EVER sponsor of a Mrs. Green’s World Contest – newest partner WellHome. You can read all about them below – who they are, what they do AND help your nominee win the first prize – a FREE Whole -House Assessment AND 2-night stay at Loew’s Ventana Canyon Resort compliments of Legendary World. Read more below…

Who's the Greenest of Them All contest

Welcome WellHome – our newest partner!

Sometimes you meet someone and just click. I am happy to say that I have had another one of those times and his name is Alan Kennedy. Besides being a truly nice person, he is as passionate about what he is doing with WellHome as I am about being Mrs. Green. I don’t say that often. The Mrs. Green team is proud to welcome them as our newest sponsor of the Mrs. Green mission and vision – including sponsorship of our “Who’s the Greenest of Them All” contest launching this week.

In plain English, the WellHome staff do Whole-House Assessments – that is, they determine air and duct tightness, examine your insulation, assess your windows, check out your lighting (and I am sure recommend CFL lighting), evaluate your air quality and assess your heating and cooling systems. Once they do that, they of course give you a report and then YOU get to decide what changes, if any, you want to make to improve your home’s energy efficiency and make it a healthier place to live. And they are there to help you every step of the way. I hope you will take your first step to a healthier and more energy efficient home and contact Alan or one of his team of experts today. And, yes, I am going to schedule one too!