Happy 40th Earth Day! Reflections Of….

Forty years ago on April 22, 1970 the first Earth Day was held.  The state of the environment was not on the national political agenda and Senator Gaylord Nelson wanted to change that. With the support of President Kennedy, he had a vision of tapping the anti-war “teach-ins” movement sweeping college campuses and organizing a huge grassroots protest over what was happening to the environment.  He invited the country to join him and they did. Earth Day was born, and more than 20 million demonstrators, schools and local communities rallied on April 22nd 1970 to share their concern over the state of their lands, rivers, lakes and air.

This year marks a milestone event in the environmental movement, celebrating the 40th Earth Day with the largest Climate Rally in history on the National Mall this Sunday, April 24th. Political activists, environmental leaders, and celebrities will share their voice in support of political action and human action that can change the fate of our great planet. Schlumpy, BlueAvocado’s plus-size ambassador for change, will join them, rolling past the memorials that represent the leadership of our great nation – the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Wall, and the White House.  Schlumpy will invite thousands of Americans to kick their plastic bag habit on his crusade to get 1 billion bags off our streets and oceans (just a percent of the more than 340 billion plastic bags we consume every year).

But at BlueAvocado world headquarters, every day is Earth Day. We were inspired by a simple idea. How can we get our Moms, sisters, and friends to take a first step and recognize that environmental action starts with each of us? Our vision is simply to start with a ripple that leads to a splash.  The coolest reusable shopping system was just our first step, we are now taking many more.  Our triple-bottom line vision allows us to measurement of our economic, environmental and social impact every day with a reminder on a red chalkboard that dons our hallway of our stats to date.  And etched above our door way and on every email, we embrace our mission - “Do good. Get it done.”

We strive to make this real – in our processes, our products and our people. In each of our products, we have a carbon footprint label that invites our shoppers to feel good about the difference they are making, reminding them of the plastic bags and CO2 they avoid every time they shop. And our fabric supplier – Repreve by Unifi – helps us make that easy, reclaiming waste (water bottles & yarn) and turning that into the fabulous products are customers love. So together our BlueAvocado customers with the help of our 600 retailers throughout the US and Canada have helped to avoid 20 million plastic bags, more than 1 million pounds of CO2 emissions and over 100 micro-loans via our 1% partnership with Kiva.org

We are on a journey, and it is our belief that we continuously strive for better. But this year, in celebration of the 40th Earth Day we decided to step up our game.  Here are some of the things that we are doing behind the scenes to reduce our impact on the planet and inspire our collective team members to be part of our ripple - to think and act differently.

  • 10% Carbon Footprint Reduction @ World HQ: Every employee calculated our carbon footprint and committed to reduce it by 10% by June 2010, some are taking on projects in their personal life (reusable coffee cups, biking), at their home (air filters) and community (planting school gardens) to find ways to reduce their impact. And we are celebrating this change.
  • Our  Sales Team Greens Up: Much of our national sales team has taken the challenge, calculating their carbon footprint for the first time, and making plans to reduce their impact as part of the Earth Day Network manifesto. We are rewarding them for their actions, too!
  • Inspired Sur La Table Carbon Footprint Awareness & Internal Green Challenge: This Earth Day Sur La Table CEO issued a challenge to employees to calculate their carbon footprint, strive to reduce it, and receive a gift from BlueAvocado.  The company went a step further, and invited their employees to share the ideas of the ways the company could “green its ways” inviting a GRAND PRIZE for the best idea.
  • Support Whole Foods Corporate Team & Stores: BlueAvocado participates with Whole Foods corporate headquarters, inviting their team members to join our billion bag pledge and rewarding them with reusable totes.
  • Schlumpy Takes National Stage: Schlumpy will take on the millions at the National Mall in DC this weekend with a goal to get closer to his goal of 1 billion plastic bags, just a fraction of the 340 billion we consume each year that litter our beaches and highways.

So if you haven’t already – calculate your carbon footprint – now.   If you need some ideas on ways to invite change and become a more conscious shopper, click here.  If you are paralyzed as to how to take the first step and don’t know where to start, dump your green guilt for good as it relates to keeping you from going green. Share your concerns with Schlumpy Nation and we will work together (with Schlumpy) to transform it into something magical! And if you’re looking for something to do in your community, find Earth Day activities that you can be a part of right now.  And at the end of the day, it is about reflecting on those values that lie at your personal core and inviting change from that place. Afterall, we are all on the journey - together!

Because just like Senator Gaylor Nelson realized 40 years ago – a spontaneous response at the grassroots level can invite real change.  You are proof of that.

Happy 40th Earth Day to our BlueAvocado family – from one small green business inviting the world to “do good and get it done.”

Big luv! Melissa, Amy & Paige


Schlumpy Hits A Million!

Well in a small twist of fate, Schlumpy could quite possibly have been the cleanest participant at this year’s ACL festival. As Zilker park turned into literal mud bath, Schlumpy braved the weather and won the hearts of hundreds.  While the precise calculation is still being processed, it looks like Schlumpy hit an important milestone - 1 million bags pledged to keep off the street!

We are grateful to C3 Presents (of which Schlumpy has a HUGE crush) for including Schlumpy in the festivities and for keeping our planet millions of pounds lighter. Thanks to the amazing TKO team for their support and enthusiasm in helping Schlumpy achieve his rockstar status!

Stay tuned for pictures on our Facebook. In the meantime, check us out on the ACL Festival Blog. Rock on!


Schlumpy’s A Rock Star @ Lollapalooza

Recently Schlumpy and the billion bag pledge made a stop at Lollapalooza’s Green Street in Chicago. Not only did he and our amazing team brave the rain (thanks TKO), but he got some serious luv and made a HUGE impact. Check out Schlumpy in the Chicago Sun Times! To date Schlumpy has helped to keep 646,341 plastic bags off the street (and we’re not done calculating:-)

Check out all of Schlumpy’s new friends on our Facebook page and keep an eye out for Schlumpy at Austin City Limits Festival on October 2-4. Thanks to C3 Presents for this incredible opportunity to make a huge impact and for making Schlumpy such a rockstar!!


Kiva, Karma and Keepin’ The Faith

One of the things that we are most proud of at BlueAvocado is our 1% partnership with Kiva.org.  Even before BlueAvocado was a mere pit, our inspiration and love for Kiva was as profound as it was impactful.

When we first started dreaming up the concept of BlueAvocado and talking to experts, advisers and future customers, we used Kiva as our personal thank you note and making loans on their behalf.  It was a way to help keep us focused on a bigger vision that lies at the core of one of our key values - empowering women entrepreneurs around the globe.  To date - we have personally and collectively provided over 30 loans to women all around the world - Nicaragua, Honduras, Samoa, Senegal.

Whether good times or challenging times, it is through our re-investment of these women around the globe that help keep us grounded on a common purpose and faithful of a larger collective impact.  And at the end of the day, we believe that every journey begins with a single step. Understanding that one small ripple can inspire many more, ultimately, we hope to turn these ripples into waves.

So sure, we may get caught up in the glitz and glamor as our gro-pak blossoms into the world of retail and into the hands of our beloved customers, but let’s be clear, this bag holds ALOT of dreams! Join the journey and jump on the Kiva bandwagon with us! And if it’s not obvious - We Heart Kiva!!

Written by Paige in: Green Inspiration | Tags: ,

Big Luv Altert! Calling All Dads, Bros, Papas, Uncles, and Boyfriends

We will be the first to admit that we can get a bit overboard with the women empowerment thing here at BA HQ.  So if there is ever a time to quiet our inner goddesses and embrace all the men in our lives, Father’s Day is the time.

If we don’t say it enough, we are beyond grateful for the support, love, and feedback (whether solicited or not:-) that we receive from the special men in our lives.  And what is better than beginning to see BlueAvocado sightings of men sporting their gro-paks around town. While many are wearing the solid line pride, we have to give a big shout out to those men who can where our bright signature avocados (especially the raspberry) with as much pride.  And lets be clear - there are alot:-)

But it is with a heavy heart, that this day also reminds us of the men that are no longer with us. Whether a father, an uncle, a brother, a grandfather, boyfriend, or friend, we hold your memories deep in our hearts.  We remember you in the smallest ways be it a childhood trip to the coffee shop for donuts, or teaching us to dive for the first time, or inspiring an entrepreneurial spirit and drive for success that we may not have realized at the time you were here.  You are in our hearts and we believe you would be so proud.

So on this Father’s Day 2009, lets celebrate ALL the men in our lives. To all of you - We Heart You!!

ps. thanks to Alan, father of 4 for sharing his BlueAvocado luv in the above picture:-) Lookin’ good Alan!

Written by Paige in: Bags, Green Inspiration | Tags: ,

The Raspberry Gro Chronicles - Part I

There is no question, we have the best customers ever! We really like to call them family (in fact many of them are:-).  From the random citings we see of savvy sisters sporting their BlueAvocado gro-pak around town, to the honest feedback we have received on how to improve our product line and processes,  we got some SERIOUS luv to give. In fact, our solid line was in large part inspired by the men in our lives who so clearly expressed that “we do the shopping too.”

So when we received the following testimonial from one of our new BlueAvocado family members, we knew we must be doing something right to inspire such a hilarious and honest take of a day in the life of a gro-pak. Yes, she wrote in the voice of the raspberry gro.  We always had a dream of personifying our bags, and thanks to this creative and lovable take, we may just have to revisit. Please keep in mind that this is simply one of four emails we received. We will keep you updated.  The “Raspberry Gro Chronicles,” may just be a new staple here on The Pit Stop!  Thanks to “Rosie” for making us laugh and inspiring us.

Dear Missy, Paige and Amy:

I would like to tell you the story about my arrival.  It seems as though “my family” had suitcases packed and placed at the door and were walking out to get in the car and proceed to the airport when I arrived with the UPS man.  I was certainly surprised when Rosie opened my package, said, “Oh, that is soooo exciting!  John, I am going to take this wonderful tote to the beach!”  Well, she kind of carefully placed me in a small zipper compartment of her suitcase.  I might say I was just a little frightened wondering where we were going.  I was here to help with the groceries for heaven’s sake.  I had no idea what she had in mind for me.

I rumbled around in the suitcase and you won’t believe who I ran into.  I was in the same suitcase as pod! Now, not just any ole pod… but the halloween pod that she bought in October.  OMG  we had a great reunion.  She told me that she is always in Rosie’s purse and used so often that she even goes on vacations, etc.  She was very glad to see me and we have had so much fun.

I am sending you a picture of us at the beach.  As you can see, we were used to carry toys, etc.  We were beach bags and have been hanging out together all day.  I just love my new home.  I will write you more later…I an so busy holding sea shells, goggles, sunscreen, crocs and valuable things like cameras.  I am very important to the family and feel so good about myself.

Thank you for sending me here.  I will write more later.

Love, Raspberry Gro

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Dear InStyle - Thank You!!

As founders of BlueAvocado, Missy, Amy and I could not be more different. We are three women from completely different styles and sensibilities. However there are a few common ties - InStyle being one of them!

Yes, like most women, we each have our own secret (or not so secret) crush on the magazine. While Missy and Amy treasure those rare moments they have to themselves to soak in all the latest fashion musings when not being super moms, for me, there are few days that grant me as much pleasure as receiving my InStyle in the mail. It marks an official golden ticket to do nothing but bask in all the deets of the monthly bible of fashion.

So when we got word that our beloved gro was about to make it’s debut in the May issue of InStyle with Jennifer Garner on the cover, we were beyond thrilled. Being the cautiously optimistic one of the crew, I refused to believe that it was actually happening until I saw it in person - making that trip to the mailbox in April extra thrilling (after checking like a mad woman for days:-)

And just when we thought we couldn’t have more love for InStyle, we were contacted by them regarding a launch party in NYC of their new hair issue with John Freida.  They wanted the gro to be “the bag” of all the fabulous goodies that all the “A listers” attending the event (ie. Ali Larter) would be receiving.

As if all of that was not enough - they sent us a goody bag as a thank you! I mean SERIOUSLY, it is just too much.  I was like a kid on the morning of Chrismukkah when I opened the fedex box and saw the InStyle branded umbrella (super cute), note pads, thank you notes, and so much InStyle love I was beyond myself.

We are beyond grateful to everyone at InStyle for all the support and want to say an official thank you for helping us to spread the BlueAvocado luv and support our vision to help make the planet billions of pounds lighter.  Welcome to the BlueAvocado family Instyle - we heart you!!

Written by Paige in: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

Our First Celebrity “Luv” - Thanks Jenna Elfman!

When we were presented the opportunity to gift some of Hollywood’s hottest moms we jumped on the opportunity.  With the help of Style Cafe Moms, Kate Winslet, Michelle Williams, Jenna Elfman and Maggie Gyllenhaal (congrats on the marriage Maggie BTW!)  are now the proud owners of our beloved little gro-pak.

Just being able to say we gifted these amazing women is reward enough, but today we received a good ole’ Thank You note from Jenna Elfman! Just in case you can’t see it in the pic above, it says:

Dear Paige,

Thank you so much for the super efficient and fun grocery bags! We will definitely be using them. You guys did a great job on these products! Congratulations and thanks for thinking of me:-) (note: yes an actual smiley face)

Much love, Jenna Elfman (signature)

We are beyond humbled and grateful that Jenna took time out of her busy lifestyle to share some BlueAvocado luv.

And on a personal note, this is completely full circle. When I moved to Austin from San Francisco several years ago, I was going through a bit of a homesick period for San Francisco. Dharma and Greg was officially in syndication and in the spare time I had from getting certified as a Pilates instructor and opening a Pilates studio, I was obsessed with the show. I felt like Dharma was a bit of an alter ego and ironically how I saw myself. As the years have passed, I still thrive on that inner free spirit, but have realized perhaps I am more like Greg:-)

Regardless, big luv Jenna. Thanks for helping me and all of our BlueAvocado family to bring out our inner Dharmas!  Ohhhmmmm.


TKO @ Austin ADDYs - We Showed, We Saw, We Conquered

Editor’s note: Thanks to TKO for the following contribution to “The Pit Stop” - we are so proud!!

When BlueAvocado asked us at TKO to share the excitement we encountered at the 2009 Austin ADDYs and our ADDY wins (yes, plural) on their blog, we jumped at the opportunity, since it allows us to brag about our success while simultaneously praising a brand we love (or luv! as Paige would say).

So after a 3-year hiatus from the Austin ADDYs, we prepared for what we hoped would be a triumphant return. Would we achieve greatness amongst Austin’s best or remain unrecognized despite long hours of pain and suffering for the love of the craft?

We arrived at the Long Center fashionably late, put on our game faces and headed for the bar. (It’s important to be armed with the perfect cocktail in case of unfavorable news and/or potential awkward run-ins.)

As we skimmed the elaborate displays of creative work that is Austin’s top talent, we saw the usual greats- Southwest Airlines, Shiner Brewing Company, BMW, Whataburger, and quickly realized these were the winning campaigns. Our eyes darted back and forth across the room-long displays in search of our work.

And there it was, our baby, BlueAvocado, the brand we helped mold, holding its own among the well-established, corporate brands. The display lights perfectly accentuating every detail of the avocado-shaped packaging and logo. It literally felt like the Gods were smiling upon us, our dose of good karma received!

Taking home two awards for our work with BlueAvocado meant more to us than any other potential win because we’ve been there from the start- from brainstorming the perfect company name to designing the business cards, to the introduction of the product into Whole Foods. It’s not just about seeing our work; we’re emotionally invested.

The BlueAvocado brand has achieved much success since it’s brief stint in the market, but the beauty of the brand is continually seeing customers, retailers, team members, marketers and advertisers “get it”!

This is just one of the many joys we’ll share with BlueAvocado on their journey to rid the world of billions of CO2; however, it won’t stop us from taking time out to celebrate this particular success with all we’ve got! So here, here to our triumphant return to the ADDYs as we share this joy with our favorite eco-divas!

We’re back!

Written by Paige in: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

BlueAvocado Hearts Me!

It should come as no surprise that we have some SERIOUS crushes at BlueAvocado. Whether it is a good ole’ fashion brand crush like Method, or girl crush on our newest inspiration Michelle Obama, or even a business crush on our marketing partner TKO - they all have our hearts in one way or another. And of course our true love - Schlumpy! Let’s face it, we got a lot of love to give.

So when brainstorming how we could possibly share our love and gratitude with our friends, retail partners, and customers, we just had to be as overt as possible in expressing ourselves. So when our “BlueAvocado Hearts Me” buttons hit the street we were thrilled to see people wearing it with pride.  But what we quickly came to realize, is that people were mistaking our BlueAvocado logo for an eye. So what people are reading is “I Love Me.”

This was officially pointed out to me when I was wearing the button while picking up my morning coffee at my coffee crush spot LIFT, and the barista pointed out how he appreciated my healthy self-esteem.  And for a girl who has been reading books on affirmations and the art of manifesting pretty much since birth, this was an unintentional dream realized! It simply doesn’t get better than seeing some of our greatest fans walking around promoting their own self esteem.   And in a time when so many of us are having such tremendous expectations of ourselves, a little self-love (or BlueAvocado love), however you wish to view it, can’t be a bad thing.

So button or not, take a moment to look in the mirror, and say the words - I Love Me! Or not (we get it is awkward), but you gotta at least get a giggle (even for those who aren’t natural gigglers:-)

big BIG luv! paige

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