The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265 or

Green America Announces 2009 People's Choice Awards

Lunpads International Wins Shining Light Award, Care2 Wins Green Business of the Year, and Wins Longtime Leadership Award.


Redwood City-based Care received Green America's People's Choice Award for Green Business of the Year. The award, which is given based on consumers from around the country nominating and voting for their favorite green company, was presented at the 2009 San Francisco Green FestivalTM.

Care, of Redwood City, California, is the largest online community for healthy and green living advice, and information on human rights and animal welfare. Beginning in 1998, Randy Paynter started Care to make it easier for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and take action on causes they care about most. Since then, built its base of online activists and 400 nonprofit partners to reach 12 million members that are active on issues from climate change to human rights.

Winning Green America's second-ever Longtime Leadership Award (which honors businesses that take the top spot in the People's Choice contest more than once), Chicago-based helps consumers give up the use-and-toss mentality of picking up a plastic bag every time they shop. The Wall Street Journal called them the best reusable bag company, USA Today calls them "seriously green," and Oprah Winfrey featured their "plastic bag ticker" (counting up the numbers of plastic bags used in this country) on her show in the spring. They're part of "1% For the Planet", and their Web site makes it easy for consumers to encourage retailers to reward BYOB (bring your own bag), or send a message to government officials to voicing concerns. previously won Green America's People Choice Award in 2007. Since 2003, they have empowered 210,000+ customers to save an astounding 800,000,000 use-and-toss items and have been an important catalyst in the broad reusables movement.

"We've always been about much more than just bags. - the new name for our store - accurately reflects our growing family of practical, high-quality reusables for every part of your life," said Vincent Cobb, founder of "From day one, it's been our mission to empower people with the best tools to break their addiction to disposables."

Also this year, Lunapads International received Green America's first-ever "Shining Light" award for a small business that nonetheless received an impressively strong showing of votes. Since 1993, Lunapads has been producing their signature collection of reusable organic-cotton products for women, locally produced in their hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. Created and designed by fashion designer Madeleine Shaw, Lunapads protect women from the potential health hazards of other menstrual products, and cut down on waste. Madeleine and her business partner Suzanne Siemens recently introduced their newest product, Lunapanties, and their company donates products to various women's and girls' causes, including recent participation in a fundraiser to help build a birthing clinic in Uganda.

The People's Choice Award winners are chosen by individual voters across the country. Thousands of consumers nationwide took part in a Green America online questionnaire to select their favorite green businesses. Based on 3,500 ballots submitted by consumers across the U.S., the top-10 finalists for the most popular environmentally-friendly business were: Blue Summit Financial Group, San Diego, CA;, Redwood City, CA; Golden Path Alchemy, Los Angeles, CA; Grounds For Change, Poulsbo, WA; Hazelnut Kids, Traverse City, MI; Lunapads International, Vancouver, BC;, Chicago, IL; Stay Vocal, Norwell MA; To-go Ware, Oakland, CA;, Los Angeles, CA. The public was then invited to vote for their favorite green business amongst the ten finalists. Fifteen thousand people voted for their favorite business.

"It is truly exciting to see tens of thousands of environmentally and socially conscious consumers from around the country take part in voting for their favorite green business this year." said Green America's Green Business Director, Denise Hamler. "All of this year's finalists are leaders in creating a green economy and we thank each of them for their leadership in demonstrating that successful businesses can also uphold the highest environmental and social values."

Green America is a not-for-profit membership organization founded in 1982 and known until January 1, 2009 as "Co-op America." Green America's mission is to harness economic power--the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace--to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.