Head on over to SheKnows.com’s Miso Vegan to check out “Mom’s” interview and eco-family tips! This eco-fabulous channel on SheKnows.com features the best in vegan recipes, updates, and news, and “Mom” was honored to share a bit of her story. Thanks, Miso Vegan!

Leslie McCann, founder of My Mama’s Love, stopped by Tiny Green Mom for a quick interview, and wow – what a powerfully driven woman in all facets of her life! From her business to her own life, she is a true inspiration! Oh, did we mention that her product line is simply eco-fabulous?

An Interview with Leslie McCann, Founder of My Mama’s Love

Tell us About Your Eco-Inspired Company.

The creation of my first product (Complete Skin Ailment Curative) was driven out of pure desperation. My daughter’s skin issues were so bad that diaper changes were painful for both of us. She also had scratches all over from scratching her itchy and eczema-ridden skin; she’d scratch herself until she bled. When I found a solution, I could not keep it to myself knowing there were other parents out there who were equally as frustrated with what they were finding on the market. The first commitment I made was that all my products would be safe enough to eat. It eventually evolved into eco-friendly, too.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

It’s been a process, and I am still learning new things all the time. I am aware of everything I buy now, where before I just didn’t think about the packaging, where something came from, what eco-system was affected by the manufacturing process, or how far something traveled – thereby creating all sorts of eco-insults. I think long and hard before I buy something, I do a great deal of shopping at consignment stores and on Craigslist. I buy local and I grow my own food (when my thumbs cooperate, that is). I recently swore off bottled water and using any new bags whatsoever. I compost my food scraps for my garden and I buy organic almost exclusively. Most of my choices originated from considering the health of my family, but as I learned more, it became painfully obvious that without considering our planet, we are feeding into the viscous cycle which is affecting all of our health.

Guilty green pleasure?

Theo’s organic chocolate – a divine local company!

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Oh, boy. Well, I guess I’d say that if you’re in it for the profit, you should probably reconsider. It’s not that you can’t be profitable being good to people and planet, it’s just that if you are blinded by profit-potential, it’s much easier to fall into eco-offending traps. Even in the few short years I’ve been in business the prices on eco-friendly products have come down and the options have gone up, however, there are still less expensive options when you go with things that are not planet/people friendly – and they are much less work to find. We have to think of ourselves as a cooperative – all of us eco-friendly businesses – we are working together to change something much more significant than the “average balance” in our bank account. The more of us who stick to the goal, the more we contribute to the well-being of mankind and the planet, spread consciousness and conscientiousness and eventually should enjoy a larger monetary gain with less effort. But, most importantly, we are making it easier for other companies to follow in our footsteps by setting up the demand – if you think of us all as cooperative partners, the need to compete goes away, because we are all after the same thing: change.

Mom” recently had the distinct pleaure of interviewing the founders of a sustainable and unique new company, me & goji! Adam and Alexander, the “cereal guys” behind this custom, artisanal cereal that is delivered right to your doorstep, are definitely onto something eco-fabulous!

An Interview with the Founders of me & goji

Tell us about your eco-inspired company.

me & goji is the first custom cereal & granola company where you can design your own cereal from 60+ all-natural ingredients, name your creation, and upload a picture right to the label.

We are a sustainable company that believes in using its resources to benefit the environment (carbon neutral!). We currently offer green tags upon checkout to offset the emissions from shipping your cereal.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

Since me & goji is our life, we go green everyday. We utilize post consumer waste products whenever possible, recycle all the waste from our facility and home and only use public transportation or our bikes to get around.

Guilty green pleasure?

How do I cheat on the environment? Definitely my iphone. My favorite green company is Tender Greens. A restaurant located in Southern California that sources it’s ingredients locally and adheres to organic standards. Simple, yet delicious food: http://www.tendergreensfood.com.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

As sustainable business practices become more mainstream, it is becoming easier and more affordable for small businesses to go green. Even if it is something as simple as recycling, take that first step and build on it. me & goji strives to be not just sustainable, but restorative. Eliminating our carbon footprint is not enough; sustainability is a parabolic process and as a business we must accept culpability for not just our employees, but humans as a race. We don’t want to be invisible; we want to be an active force in creating solutions for environmental problems. As we grow, so will our dedication to sustainability and our radius for change.

Successful celebrity stylist Peter Lamas stopped by Tiny Green Mom to answer some questions about Peter Lamas Products, his 100% Vegan line of skincare, haircare, and bodycare products that was launched in 2004.

An Interview with Celebrity Stylist Peter Lamas

Tell us about your eco-inspired company.

I worked as a hair and makeup stylist for many years and was appalled to see some of the harsh chemical ingredients that were being added to many commonly-used beauty products. I was determined to find a balance between nature and healthy science to create effective products that perform to a professional standard. Each product combines exotic extracts, powerful botanicals and potent herbs to enhance all skin and hair types. My company and I remain committed to being beauty innovators to make sure we offer products that are healthy for people and for the planet.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

It is about making a conscious decision to be green and being aware of the effects of my actions on the environment. For example, I make sure to purchase products with the least amount of packaging to reduce waste or buy products that use recycled materials. I also tend to eat locally grown, organic food to make sure no harmful pesticides were used. Even if it is something as simple as switching to LED lighting – these small changes add up.

Guilty green pleasure?

There plenty of great restaurants that offer macrobiotic or sustainable foods. The food tastes amazing and you know the meal is healthy for your body and for the environment.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Be conscious of your expenses. Being green does not mean you have to pay more for materials and services. Also, just like any other business, you need focus, commitment and determination to succeed.

*Images provided by Peter Lamas Products.*

As we enter the season of giving, there is no better gift than the gift of health, and what better way to show your loved ones (and yourself!) you care than to pamper and protect the skin with items from the little twig personal care line. little twig was founded in 2003 by Lenie Ramos, who teaches us all to go green in our daily lives!

An Interview with Lenie Ramos, Founder of little twig

Tell us about your eco-inspired company.

One year I gave my niece a bottle of bubble bath and found out that she could not use it because of all the harsh ingredients. I became inspired to start a personal care line for children using natural and organic ingredients to nurture sensitive skin. I have always been committed to protecting the environment and found a way to incorporate this philosophy into my business plan.
How do you choose to go green in your own life?

I certainly go green in my own life. I drive a Prius because it is fuel effecient and better for the environment. I am very conscious of my paper consumption. I sometimes drive my book keeper crazy because I always want to print on both sides of paper! I have also taught my friends, family and customers about the importance of recycling.

Guilty green pleasure?

My guilty green pleasure is little twig’s Happy Tangerine Bubble Bath. There is nothing more relaxing than to end a long day with bubbles!

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

I would encourage other business owners to pursue their dreams of starting a small sustainable business and to not get discouraged. The hardest part of running a sustainable business is making sure that you are eco-friendly but also making profits. If you business is not making any money, you cannot continue to educate people about the importance of going green or provide them with green alternatives!

*Image courtesy of little twig.*

Launched in 2009 by David Luks, Deluxe Honeydrop Beverages offers delightful, organic honey infused juices and tea. Very light and refreshing, the beverages were developed out of necessity by David Luks. Read his inspiring story below!

An Interview With Deluxe Honeydrop Beverages Founder, David Luks

Tell Us About Your Eco-Inspired Company.

In 2006 I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Fortunately, I was able to survive that scare and due to my diagnosis, started to learn about the benefits of an organic and natural lifestyle. In 2008, while reading research from Johns Hopkins and the University of Memphis, I learned honey has many medicinal benefits such as:

  • Honey alleviates sore throats, soothes throat better an any cough syrup, protects against chronic conditions such as obesity and hypertension
  • Honey is lower on the glycemic index (64) relative to sugar (100), making it an attractive sweetener for diabetics
  • An alternative for athletes as it contains glucose and fructose; glucose burns slow for lasting energy, and fructose burns fast for instant energy and performance.
  • Honey also naturally contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

In 2009, I launched Honeydrop Beverages. Honeydrop currently includes three organic honey infused organic juices and one tea. They contain only 40 calories per serving (2 servings per 16.9 oz PBA-free, recyclable bottle). Each bottle has a ‘spoonful’ of honey with these heavenly flavors (more on the way by December 2010):

1. Bee Alive – Blood Orange

2. Bee Calm – Chamomile

3. Bee Strong – Blueberry

The flavors are USDA Organic Certified, sweetened ONLY with a spoonful of organic honey from Brazil. Honeydrop cannot use local honey because US farms do not have the 2-mile ‘drift” into crop that is required for certified organic requirements. Honeydrop also does not use honey with GMO’s (genetically modified organisms).
How Do You Choose To Go Green in Your Own life?

Getting diagnosed with cancer really scared me. I started to think about the choices I made in life, and specifically the hormones and genetically modified foods I was eating relative to my cancer diagnosis. Getting cancer was the worst but best thing for me as it made me “go green” with my life.

Guilty Green Pleasure?

Organic Vanilla Bean and Honey Ice Cream!

Can You Offer Any Encouraging Words For Those With a Small Sustainable Business?

Keep at it. It is very hard starting a small business, and one that is sustainable that might have access to less available ingredients or supplies. Nevertheless, it is important work that helps everyone who touches it.

*Image provided by Honeydrop Beverages.*

Mom” had the distinct opportunity to interview Peggy Cross, the entrepreneur behind EcoTensil, a company on a mission to reduce the amount of “one-taste waste.” Peggy is an inspiration to us all to think about each action we make, even the seemingly small ones, and how they do add up to the bigger picture.

Tell us about your eco-inspired company.

Our new Ultra-green tasting spoon, EcoTaster Mini, is made from a silky smooth paperboard (feels like a milk carton). One easy fold creates a sturdy and fun spoon. It’s 100% biodegradable, renewable, recyclable, and composts in just a few weeks (while we love all biodegradable utensils, others can take over 6 months to biodegrade). EcoTasters are great at in-store samplings, events, trade shows, etc. Our full-sized EcoTensil is great for serving up anything from a big bowl of yogurt or frozen yogurt to a hot cup of chili. SpoonLidz comes attached to the top of single-serve cups, like yogurt. Great for lunch packing!

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

Since my business has become a huge part of my family’s life, we hope to replace the tons of plastic used for one bite, then lives for centuries in our oceans and landfills.

Besides this, we’re avid recycler/composters. At events I am the recycling maniac who puts the big “Recycle please” sign on the paper bag to try to get everyone to put their cups and forks in it!

Guilty green pleasure?

How can something green be guilty?!

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Stick to your green guns. Persevere. We are trailblazing and frequently we are pushing against the current, but the currents are shifting our way, and we are helping make that happen!

*Image courtesy of EcoTensil.*

Touted as the “Bag Hook for the Eco-Savvy,” Hookeez is every multi-tasking, eco-conscious moms’ dream! Developed by Janae Panzer, this clever little hook made its’ debut in 2008. Janae stopped by Tiny Green Mom to answer some of “Mom’s” questions about her company and her ingenious product.

Tell us about your eco-inspired company.

As a mom, a trip to the grocery store could easily become a hectic experience. I was always unburying my reusable grocery bags when I was at checkout. By the time I got the bags out from underneath all the groceries, baggers had sometimes already started bagging the scanned groceries into plastic bags. That’s when I came up with the Hookeez concept. Now when I go shopping, I easily hook my bags to the outside of the shopping cart, making grocery shopping a lot easier and more efficient.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

I pack all of the kids’ lunches in reusable lunch bags and containers. I drink out of a reusable water bottle. We also use the same jugs of water and refill them at our local grocery store. And of course, I use Hookeez and several reusable grocery bags when I go shopping.

Guilty green pleasure?

My family and I love going to our local farmer’s market every Sunday and stocking up on delicious fruits and vegetables.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Keep plugging away and eventually something good will happen. If you have a good product, word will eventually get out. Hookeez was started by word-of-mouth and it eventually reached the right person. Just be patient.

*Image provided by Hookeez.*

What color is your soul? That is the burning question that the founders of GreenSoul Shoes would like to know! Alastair Ong, Iris Chau, and Stephen Chen have taken the time to answer “Mom’s” questions about their mission to place shoes on the feet of underprivileged children around the globe.

An Interview with the Founders of GreenSoul Shoes

Tell us about your eco-inspired company.

GSS’s mission is to shoe underprivileged children around the world in a sustainable fashion. We work with local artisans from developing nations to produce a 100% up-cycled sandal and for each one that we sell; we give one away to an underprivileged child in need in that same community.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

I am a staunch advocate of composting even if you live in a small apartment: See my blog and a write-up in another blog here.

Guilty green pleasure?

I love recycled bags or any sort. I have a collection of bags made out of juice boxes, sailcloth, nylon, reused cotton.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Because it’s recycled doesn’t mean that it needs to be ugly or uncomfortable or not stylish. Green is chic in itself, and it is our job as inventors, manufacturers, retailers and innovators to make our sustainable products even better than non-sustainable products.

*Image provided by GreenSoul Shoes.*

As parents and designers of the haute, eco-friendly line REVEAL, Terry and Jiaying Omata are truly an inspiration to all! Founded in 2009, REVEAL is already making a statement in the fashion world, and “Mom” was thrilled to be able to glean some insight into their planet-conscious pieces. Take a peek at their collection online at www.revealshop.com.

An Interview with the Designers Behind REVEAL Handbags & Accessories

Tell us about your eco-inspired company.

In 1999, REVEAL’s founders, Terry and Jiaying Omata, backpacked throughout Asia, South America and Africa. As they journeyed through some of the world’s most beautiful developing countries, everywhere they saw people working hard to escape poverty and give their children a better life. Realizing the common desire for people to attain a higher standard of living would ultimately lead to our planet’s deterioration, they created REVEAL to reinvent fashion in an eco-friendly and viable way.

Naturally, our beautiful handbags and accessories are made with the most innovative recycled and sustainable materials available. And our devotion to preserving the planet’s resources is shown through every aspect of our business, from our earth and animal friendly materials and manufacturing processes, to the corporate practices and causes we support.

REVEAL means being true to ourselves, our customers, and the world around us. We design for you – so that being socially responsible, like fashion, is fun and attainable. We design for today’s men and women, with the planet’s future in mind. And we do as our name suggests – we reveal how our products are made, empowering you to make well-informed choices. Finally, you don’t have to choose between fashion and a better planet.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

I avoid driving as much as possible. I make sure to live in a neighborhood where I can walk to work, do my errands, shop and dine. When I absolutely have to drive, I drive my hybrid.

Guilty green pleasure?

Definitely the local farmers market- it’s so great to walk through our local market and connect with the artisans and farmers. Also, since I just had my first baby, I can’t resist purchasing cute little eco-friendly goodies for my baby girl. Seriously, who can pass up those cute little onesies?!
Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

I would just say that we are all in this together and our common goal is to protect and preserve our environment for future generations. Sometimes it’s not easy to design and develop sustainable products and often times it is very difficult, because it isn’t the mainstream way of doing things. But I would like to encourage others to persevere and know that our efforts will pay off and our planet will thank us.

*Image provided by REVEAL.*