The Blender Girl at Women Of The Green Generation 2011
The Blender Girl at Women Of Green GenerationI had the most inspiring day attending the second annual Women Of The Green Generation conference sponsored by LA Car Guy (the world's largest hybrid car dealer) at the incredible Marrakesh House in Culver City. Founder Kris Willey did a phenomenal job organizing this incredible event that successfully brought together so many wonderful green women loving the planet and leading by example. I was so excited to meet green women I have admired for such a long time -- leaders in the green movement, who I had previously only connected with in the virtual world on Twitter and Facebook, after having read their books, blogs and websites, tuned into their TV shows, radio programs and podcasts, or by using their products. There is something electric about the energy of a group of intelligent, motivated, mindful, compassionate green women with a common goal. I walked away feeling so optimistic -- as if anything was possible.
Pam Sterling kicked off the event with a fantastic presentation sharing her seven secrets for sharpening your creative edge with the power of visualisation and positive thinking. The day then continued, packed full of interesting and informative panel discussions, speeches and forums. I was thrilled to meet the incredible Tracy Dinunzio from Recycled Bride, Siel Ju from Green LA Girl, Kelly Layne, the marketing magician behind the impressive events calendar at the Venice Whole Foods, Susan Emmer from the fabulous green communications agency Farmacy, and Susan Neisloss from Working For Green, who all shared their incredible insight into green marketing and social media strategies. The wonderfully creative Stephanie Witherspoon from Alternatif Design also shared her branding tips for eco businesses.
This was followed by an interesting panel discussion facilitated by the divine Jennifer Grayson, who writes the Eco Etiquette section of the Huffington Post Green section, and the fabulous eco blog The Red, White and Green. She and I have been tweeting back and forth for months, and it was fantastic to finally meet her in person. She was talking with another favourite of mine -- Anna Getty from Pure Style Living. I absolutely love her green cookbook. The incredible Jessica Iclisoy, founder of the wonderful green company California Baby, and the hilarious Caroline Howell from Green Beanie all shared their tips on how to maintain a healthy balance when making green choices for your family and being an eco-conscious role-model raising the next generation of green stewards of the earth.
Then I was really excited to finally see fellow Aussie, Sarah Backhouse, host and producer of Planet Green's Planet 100 speak. I have also been tweeting with her for many months and was particularly proud to see an Australian leading the charge with sustainability issues over here in the U.S. Another really impressive green lady was Sherry Simpson Dean, who, in her role as executive director of The United Nations Association and through her association with Opportunity Green, has been working to bridge the gap between commerce and sustainability. DeAna Vitela Hayashi was of particular interest to me, speaking about the water crisis and how we need to manage our water supply moving forward. We suffer from a very serious water shortage in Australia, and I am always interested in water conservation initiatives. Alison Suffet Diaz, who was the first person I met at the event while waiting for the shuttle in the parking lot before breakfast, is an incredible lady, who as the Executive Director of Environmental Charter Schools, is leading a team of wonderful teachers who, inside and outside of the classroom, are guiding the next generation of eco warriors.
Speaking of green warriors, Zhena Muzyka, CEO of Zhena's Gypsy Tea who spoke about her inspirational business model that is going beyond Fair-Trade and towards Direct Trade, serves as a glowing example of a loving humanitarian approach to business, as she embraces every one of her tea pickers as her family -- funding health and education initiatives in her community of tea plantations to create a better quality of life whilst preserving the integrity of her product. She really embodied the principle of "personalizing the green movement," which was the focus of the afternoon's discussions. I was also thrilled to meet the green folks from Farmscapes, an organization that builds and manages urban organic edible gardens, as well as one of my favourite raw eco chefs, Ani Phyo, speaking about the importance of diet on the green journey. Those of you who have been following me for a while might remember me meeting Ani when I visited 105 Degrees in Oklahoma City last year. She was just as vibrant and driven as ever, as ever much the poster model for the power of live raw foods. She is absolutely gorgeous. As is the fabulous Alexandra Spunt of No More Dirty Looks, who spoke about natural skin care and green make-up alternatives. This was supported by the offerings of the luminous Karen Stewart, designer of the exquisite eco clothing line Stewart Brown, who has brought the glamour into green. Her inspired designs are a far cry from the shapeless hemp sacks on offer a few years ago, and her gentle approach to business was particularly appealing to me. While we are talking about fashion, check out Mink Shoes, a vegan non-leather shoe line hand made in Italy. I love their tag line, "For the fashion forward eco-minded conscious consumer who knows that class never intended to be cruel."
We had some other spirited, feisty green women at the event. The sexy funny actress Izabella Miko was there promoting her new eco candle line Eko Miko Candles. I bought one and they are AMAZING! Made out of pure coconut oil, they are set in recycled bottles and double as a moisturizing lotion. You know me, show me an inventive way to slather coconut on my body and I am in in heaven. Just DIVINE! Tamara Henry, sassy eco mystic and host of Green T With Tamara, was a familiar face that I met when I was interviewing eco businesses at the Go Green Expo. Her fun, spirited approach to green stewardship is infectious. As is the energy of the self-professed "reluctant green" Rachelle Carson Begley, from Living WIth Ed, who was on hand, serving as comic relief, giving us a taste of the good natured humour with which she approaches green issues. This was echoed in the final address of the day, presented by the delightful "ultimate green girl," Sophie Uliano, of Gorgeously Green fame. If you haven't read her fabulously entertaining series of green books, they are well worth a read. What I love about Sophie is how she approaches green issues with a nice balance and sense of fun that seems to strike a cord with mainstream America, and is ultimately very effective in sharing the green message. I just LOVE her!
Now, no post about an event would be complete without a full run-down on the food! The vegetarian food was divine. There was a myriad of vegan, vegetarian, raw, gluten free and allergy free treats on offer, such as gluten free brownies from Tia's Bakery, raw vegan power balls from My Bites of Bliss, and scrumptious vegan truffles from Nicobella Organics. Not to mention a delectable vegetarian lunch presented by Large Marge Sustainables. YUMMO! This was all washed down with glorious filtered water provided by Life Source and H2O Restructured. My friend Christine Barlow of 5 Phases (AMAZING shatter-resistant glass baby bottles) and I were very content munching our way around the conference with our new friend Barbara Bishop from BBPR Inc.
I also must mention some of my major discoveries of the day. Those of you who know we well know of my penchant for natural food-grade organic skin care lines. I won't put anything on my skin that I wouldn't put in my mouth. I brought home some exquisite natural skin care products that I can honestly say WORK! I I bought an entire regime from Dosha Care, a new Ayurvedic line developed by Patty Schmucker. Her Ama Release Tonic is the most incredible exfoliant I have ever used. My skin just glows after I use it each week. Wow! I am also a new fan of Ashley Beckman's Golden Path Alchemy's natural renew serum, made from organic essential oils and herbs. Ashley is a gorgeous girl and her holistic herbal handmade products are fabulous. Last, but not least, the gorgeous natural creations from Elisha Reverby from Elique Organics. Her wild homey and lavender whipped moisturizer is incredible. I spent much of the afternoon slathering that magical concoction on one part of my body or another. She is a ton of fun too!
Suffice to say, Women Of The Green Generation was absolutely extraordinary and is already on my calendar for next year. Plan a trip next May for WOTGG 2012! You will not be disappointed. I can't stop smiling. I was just so inspired.