Life at Expo West-Hip and Green Companies

Yesterday I came back from my 5th Expo West. Held annually every March at the Anaheim Convention Center, it bring thousands of leaders, shakers, movers and followers from the natural food and lifestyle worlds together under one roof. The convention floor buzzes with excitement (and from the fluorescent lights above), everyone looking to move their business big or small to the next level. I go to to network, to educate myself so that I may better educate those wanting to improve their lifestyles, for themselves and the planet. This year I also did a book signing for my new cook book Anna Getty Easy Green Organic. The highlight is always the Organic Center dinner (organiccenter.org) of which I have been involved with for over 6 years. This past Friday Dr. Andrew Weil was the keynote speaker reminding us all how important food is for us and the planet. The very reason I wrote my book in the first place. I came across some products that although they had been on the market for a while was quite impressed with. The first one is STEAZ, an organic and fair trade soda company which uses green tea at it's base. The company business philosophy focuses on the triple bottom line model of People, Planet, Profit. What was most exciting about them for me is that they have the Steaz SEED Initiative which is "a program that supports causes important to women through the provision of grants to inspirational individuals and organizations who are actively building a healthier world...." See more at www.steaz.com. The day before expo I also had a chance to sit down with one of the founders Eric Schnell to learn more about the company.

It's exciting to see companies being led by individuals whose focus on their business model is holistic and not just about making a ton of money on a trend. It's also exciting that a male run company is so focused on uplifting women. I believe more companies will continue to embrace social, moral, ethical and sustainable practices as building blocks for success. Did I mention the beverages taste delicious and some are zero calorie sweetened with stevia? A plus for those with children addicted to soda pop. Soon they are coming out with a kids beverage as well. I did receive some product from Steaz but no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here are my own. Please verify any product claim, statistic, quote or representation with Steaz.

Nicobella Chocolates (nicobellaorganics.com) won my heart with their Pumpkin Chai truffle. I actually first came across them a few months ago at a green event and stuffed my face with her samples. Not sure if my nursing son appreciated that. Anyway, the chocolates are organic, vegan and fair trade and the packaging is made from sustainably harvested FSC certified trees. The small company is run by Nicole Dandrea and was recently featured on Daily Candy.

Lastly as a former fashionista I was thrilled to connect with the people from Livity Outernational,www.livity.org whose line of hats, shoes, clothing and accessories spice up my mommy wardrobe with cool fabrics made from hemp, recycled plastic bottles (their POWERFLEECE is a blend of the aforementioned), organic cotton and straw. Although many of their products are made in China they reminded me that we cannot shun China, that they too need to learn about manufacturing sustainably. They also partner with artisans in Ghana, Jamaica and Ecuador. I especially LOVE their fedoras. They totally put the eco in "econista."

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