Virtual Events: At Home Tastings Tea and Wellness

Let’s face it, the pandemic and its restrictions have had a huge impact on all of our lives in so many ways.  While we continue to comply with stay-at-home recommendations from the health authorities, we’re all probably a little bored, maybe we’re a little bit lonely, and we’ve probably exhausted our watch list on our favorite streaming service and have spent countless hours looking for the next series to binge. Virtual events offer education and entertainment, yes, but they offer so much more—safety, a great value, product sampling, expert instruction, and social interaction with like-minded enthusiasts. Virtual events offer expert guidance, samples delivered to your home, and an interactive experience.  Here's our pick for an upcoming virtual event you’re sure to love!

TEA & WELLNESS—April 18, 2021—In this 90-minute virtual Tea & Wellness event, you’ll be led through a guided, tutored-tasting of four teas/tisanes while you learn about their amazing health benefits.  A tea tasting kit, including the four teas/tisanes to be brewed together as part of this seminar, is included and shipped to your home. Serves 4.

The concept of tea drinking is ancient, yet new ideas and blends for tea consumption are constantly evolving. In this educational virtual seminar, Ludmilla Wikkeling-Scott, founder and owner of Drink Our Hi-G tea company provides instruction and inspiration for using tea and traditional herbs and spices for your health, healing, and overall happiness.

The popular Drink Our Hi-G brand (the Hi-G stands for Hibiscus and Ginger) is widely associated with health and wellness, relaxation, and having fun, all while nurturing individuals and communities through tea. Their carefully handcrafted teas include some of your favorite herbs, flowers, fruits, roots and spices—bringing you a unique experience unlike those traditionally seen in western tea tasting events.

Tea and Wellness

In this virtual Tea & Wellness event, you’ll be led through a guided, tutored-tasting of four teas/tisanes while you learn about their amazing health benefits for calming, relaxing, supporting detox, promoting better sleep, aiding in digestion and weight loss, improving skin and hair, boosting brain power and more. This seminar provides practical, accessible, and easy-to-understand information that can be incorporated into one’s daily life and routine.
Take time and focus on self-care starting with some creative tea blends that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine for your overall health and wellness.

CLICK HERE to register or for more info.


We Be Jammin’

Crofter’s Organic is a family-owned business that’s been dedicated to creating affordable organic spreads that are chock-full of flavor and nutrition since 1989. Today they are leaders in sustainability from their suppliers to their innovative production practices.  Sweet, tart, fresh, and flavorful. When was the last time you said that about your supermarket jam?

With three guiding principles, the folks at Crofter’s Organic really deliver—affordable organic spreads, responsible creation, and jars chock-full of flavor and nutrition.

At Crofter’s Organics, they believe in letting the fruit do all the talking. Each of their scrumptious Premium and Just Fruit spreads features 33% less sugar than your average jam, so you can experience the full flavor, aroma, and health benefits of their specially selected varieties of organic fruit—it is not at all surprising that Crofter’s is North America’s #1 organic jam. Crofter's Organic

From dark red Camarosa Strawberries to antioxidant-packed Morello Cherries, their fruit is sourced from fair-trade and environmentally responsible suppliers around the world, and packaged at a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to sustainability and environmental stewardship.  How many products do you know that check so many boxes? 

Crofter’s Highlights:

  • Crafted with 33% less sugar than standard jams, jellies, and preserves
  • Bursting with lip-smacking fruit flavor
  • Made with specific and heritage fruit varieties chosen for their superior flavor
  • Uses fair-trade sugar from the Green Cane Project to sweeten and support soil restoration
  • Supports 8,500 acres of sustainable organic farmland
  • Recycles 99% of raw materials’ packaging
  • Uses its own wastewater treatment plant to reduce water consumption by over 85%
  • Certified Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • No added color or high fructose corn syrup
  • Vegan and vegetarian
  • Allergen-free

Available in several flavors including:  apricot, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, mango, these jams are, hands-down, the best we’ve ever tried—the trouble we had was picking a favorite.  Crofter’s Organic products can be purchased online at http://www.croftersorganic.com as well as retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Safeway, Kroger, Walmart, and more!


What Is Green Driving?

Green Driving, also known as Energy-Efficient Driving, Eco Driving and Smart Driving is a combination of efficient driving techniques that you can use to reduce your carbon footprint.  These green driving practices can save you money AND it is better for the environment by producing less carbon emissions—a true win-win.  And the best part? It’s REALLY easy to drive green.  Here are 10 actionable tips for driving greener from Zutobi, affordable online Driver’s education resource that teaches you everything there is about driving and driver safety.


10 Green Driving Tips for Energy-Efficient Driving:

  • Maintain a steady average speed instead of jerky driving – in practice this means that you should avoid accelerating and braking often. Remember that each acceleration and deceleration requires fuel.
  • Try to engine brake as often as possible – instead of braking with the brake pedal, you can shift down through gears and let your car brake without using fuel. Lower gears equal more engine braking.
  • Avoid idling when parked – limiting idling time to no more than 30 seconds to prevent unnecessary fuel consumption.
  • Check your tire pressure by making sure they are properly inflated to the manufacturers recommended tire pressure.  Properly inflated tires can save you up to 3% on fuel.
  • Perform regular car maintenance – a proper engine tune-up, wheel alignment, and air filter change can make a real difference in emissions.
  • Remove unnecessary weight when driving – heavier loads equal more fuel consumption.
  • Turn off your heater or air conditioning – most people don’t realize how much energy the AC needs to function. It can increase fuel consumption by up to 20% depending on your car and other conditions.
  • Close windows at high speeds – close your windows over 50 mph to prevent aerodynamic drag.
  • Plan your trips! Knowing where you’re going can lead to fewer stops, less traffic and less idling.
  • Consider carpooling or ridesharing – that’s one less car on the road!


Purina Announces 2021 Pet Care Innovation Prize Winners

Five pet care startups from across the U.S. have been selected as the 2021 winners of the fifth annual Pet Care Innovation Prize powered by Purina. From pet diagnostic health tools and sous-vide pet food to environmentally friendly products for pets and their owners, the 2021 class of Pet Care Innovation Prize winners represents what's new and what's next in the $99 billion* pet care industry.

Petcare Innovation Logo

The 2021 Pet Care Innovation Prize Winners are:

Denver, Colorado-based ClueJay is an innovative, online diagnostic platform that allows pet parents to access lab tests on demand from the comfort and safety of home. ClueJay lets dog and cat owners collect and mail stool (fecal) samples for parasite screening without the hassle and stress of vet visits.

Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Kitty Sift offers a convenient, healthy, and sustainable alternative to the plastic litter box. Made from 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard, Kitty Sift's disposable sifting litter boxes and liners enable pet owners to ditch plastic alternatives for a more sanitary, eco-friendly solution that protects their kitty and the planet.Dogs

Austin, Texas-based A Pup Above makes fresh dog food that's cooked sous-vide, a unique cooking method that makes meat extra tender and moist while also preserving nutrients. Made with 100% human-grade ingredients that are fully traceable back to the source, A Pup Above delivers on average 72% more protein than other leading gently cooked dog foods.

Chicago, Illinois-based Mella Pet Care builds accessible technology and diagnostic products for veterinarians and pet parents to better understand and track pet health to help their pets live longer, healthier lives. Co-created with veterinarians, Mella Pet Care is launching the first smart axillary thermometer, which measures temperature under the foreleg rather than rectally.

Florida-based VetGuardian is the only zero touch remote telemonitor for veterinarians. The device continuously gathers a patient's vitals like pulse, temperature, and respiration rate from up to five feet away without the need for wires or physical contact—eliminating unnecessary stress to animals.

ClueJay, Kitty Sift, A Pup Above, Mella Pet Care and VetGuardian were among more than 100 companies from 43 cities globally that applied for the 2021 Pet Care Innovation Prize. As winners, each of the five startups will receive $10,000, mentorship from the Pet Care Innovation team and, this week, will participate in a virtual accelerator boot camp featuring pet experts from across Purina and the industry that is tailored to meet their business needs.

During a culminating (virtual) pitch competition in March, the five winners will get the chance to present their businesses to an audience of industry influencers and investors, and a grand prize winner will be chosen to receive an additional $10,000 in cash and an opportunity to partner with Purina on a project.

"Purina is committed to supporting early-stage pet care startups," said Blair Morgan, co-lead of Purina's 9 Square Ventures group, and vice president, strategy and innovation for Purina. "Our culture thrives on collaboration and mentorship, and by extending that outside of our walls to startups who share our passion for enriching the lives of pets, we are able to both help and be inspired by a new generation of entrepreneurs."

As Purina's corporate venturing group, 9 Square Ventures has been focused on connecting with pet care startups since 2014. The team's mission is to leverage Purina's knowledge, experience, and financial resources to help emerging pet care startups scale their businesses and make a positive impact on the lives of as many pets and their owners as possible. The group has been steadily investing millions of dollars in a diverse set of early-stage pet care startups.

The Pet Care Innovation Prize is a collaborative effort of Purina's 9 Square Ventures group and investing leaders Active Capital to support and connect with early-stage pet care startups that are currently in market with an innovative business addressing pet and pet owner needs in the areas of pet health and wellness, services, technology, and food, treats or litter.

For more information, visit www.petcareinnovation.net

*American Pet Products Association


CVS Responds to Consumers and Takes Significant Steps to "Skip the Slip," Move to Digital, Non-toxic Receipts

As paper receipt usage sees a dramatic reduction because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CVS, the largest U.S. pharmacy chain, is responding to pressure from Green America and thousands of consumers and stopped using thermal receipt paper coated in Bisphenol S (BPS), an endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to health issues. The company has implemented phenol-free, recyclable paper in all its 10,000 stores across the country. Since 2017, Green America, the nation’s leading green economy organization, has urged CVS and other retailers to reduce paper receipt waste and toxicity through its Skip the Slip campaign.Skip The Slip

Per Green America’s urging, CVS has also increased promotion of its digital receipt option which led to over one million new customer sign-ups in 2019. The company reports that its digital program has resulted in saving 49 million yards of receipt paper, which Green America estimates is more than enough paper to circle the globe.

Thousands of individuals have signed Green America’s petition to CVS and contacted the company on social media, which resulted in a dialogue between CVS and Green America to discuss receipt alternatives, reducing the length of receipts, providing digital opt-in prompts for customers to sign up for digital receipts, and switching to phenol-free, recyclable paper.

The new Skip the Slip report tracks the progress on receipt practices of 35 major companies, including CVS, Target, which has implemented phenol-free receipt paper and a digital receipt option, and Walmart, which offers a digital option at checkout (but still uses phenol-coated papers). Target received over 51,000 petitions from Mamavation urging the company to drop BPA and BPS from its receipts.
The report also discusses changes in thermal paper demand, which had been steadily increasing each year in the United States but declined since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. used 280,000 metric tons of thermal paper for receipts in 2019, but this has dipped to an estimated 252,000 tons in 2020. The decline could become permanent if consumers continue increased shopping from home and declining paper receipts at the register post-COVID.

CVS Receipt

“CVS’ changes to its receipt practices reflect the growing consumer demand for digital options and non-toxic, recyclable receipt paper,” said Beth Porter, Green America’s Climate Campaigns director. “We encourage the company to build on this progress by identifying the many more opportunities to reduce waste across its operations.”

Since 2017, Green America has campaigned to raise awareness on the unnecessary environmental impacts of paper receipts and the toxins coating paper receipts, most commonly BPA and BPS. Green America estimates that in 2020, U.S. receipt consumption will use over three million trees and nearly nine billion gallons of water. Receipt production requires the energy equivalent to operating nine million refrigerators a year and generates 297 million pounds of solid waste. Receipt production generates the greenhouse gas emission equivalent to over 400,000 cars on the road each year.

“Retailers are spending an estimated $282 million on thermal paper for receipts this year,” said Todd Larsen, Green America’s executive co-director. “Companies should be looking to digital options that are safer, cheaper and better for the environment.”


Chobani Launches New Ready-To-Drink Cold Brew Coffees

Chobani, maker of Greek yogurts, oat milks, probiotic drinks, and dairy & plant-based creamers, is launching Chobani™ Coffee, ready-to-drink coffees that are crafted with single origin cold brew and feature Chobani's oat milks and dairy creamers.

Chobani Cold Brew

"Nutrient dense Greek yogurt and coffee have long been a perfect pair, fueling our lives throughout the day," said Peter McGuinness, President and COO of Chobani. "Chobani™ Coffee is crafted from single origin 100% Arabica beans, geared for the passionate coffee drinker looking for cold-press brews who love the added taste of creamers made from farm fresh milk and oat milk."Chobani Cold Brew

The new Chobani™ Coffee addresses the large and growing $1.6 billion ready-to-drink coffee category, which has grown 17% year-over-year[1]. Starting in January, Chobani will offer consumers four new Chobani™ Coffee flavors: Cold Brew Pure Black (no sugar, no dairy); Cold Brew with Sweet Creamer and Cold Brew with Vanilla (each made from farm-fresh milk); and Cold Brew with Oatmilk (made with gluten-free oats).

Throughout 2020, Chobani successfully introduced products in three new categories, adding an oat milk platform, plant-based and dairy creamers, and functional wellness drinks. Chobani also continued to invest and innovate in the yogurt aisle, where the company reported growth of nearly 12% in 2020 from a year ago[2]. As a modern food company, Chobani believes in nonstop innovation that results in nutritious food, accessible to everyone, while supporting and caring for its people and communities near and far. 

Across the platform, Chobani™ Coffee is authentically crafted and made with only natural ingredients, no artificial flavors or sweeteners, and no preservatives. The oat milk and creamers in the cold brews are inspired by the company's existing Chobani® Oat and Chobani® Coffee Creamer platforms. Chobani™ Coffee provides the caffeine equivalent to a standard cup of coffee, each containing about 85mg of caffeine per serving[3].

Available nationwide at grocery and retail stores, the suggested retail price for Chobani™ Coffee will be $4.49 per 32oz multi-serve or 2/$7 on promotion. The cold brew coffees are made with Tetra Top packaging, making them widely recyclable across the U.S.  For more information about all Chobani products, please visit www.chobani.com.

[1]Source: Nielsen U.S. xAOC, Latest 52-Weeks Ending 10/31/20
[2] Source: Nielsen U.S. Food, Building Calendar Year week ending 12/26/20
[3] Chobani™ Coffee Cold Brew with Creamer and Oatmilk contain 85mg of caffeine per serving, Cold Brew Pure Black contains 125mg; an 8 fl oz cup of coffee contains about 90mg.