Green Apple Supply

  • Help End the Single-Use Habit

    It is no wonder we love our affiliates and partners here at Green Apple Supply.

    We partner with companies that share our vision of a healthier planet and the importance of green living.  Our partnerships are vital to our ability to bring affordable green products to our customers and to be an advocate for the environment and planet.

     

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    Plastic Pollution Coalition, our partner in Plastic Antidote (www.plasticantidote.com) is a global alliance of individuals, organizations and businesses working together to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, animals and the environment.  Specifically, they ask that coalition members pledge to refuse the use of single-use disposable plastics.  You can take the pledge here.  We hope you will take the pledge today!

     

    Green Apple Supply is a proud coalition member and we take the pledge seriously.  Green Apple Supply refuses to use single-use disposable plastics!  And we tend to see one disposable plastic all over the place – plastic grocery bags!  They are on the sides of streets, stuck in trees, and even blowing in the wind.  For that reason, we proudly offer ChicoBag® reusable grocery bags.  ChicoBag deserves kudos for their efforts in reducing the consumption of disposable plastic bags and addressing the single bag use habit.  They not only offer a wide variety of quality reusable alternatives to disposable bags, but they are also committed to educating consumers about sustainability and the harmful effects of single-use plastics.

     

    Our Call to Action:  Eliminate those plastic grocery bags!  Replace your single use plastic bags with reusable alternatives.

     

    ChicoBag reports that an average person goes through 500 plastic grocery bags in one year.   Multiply that by the number of people shopping and its easy to understand why this is a growing problem. Fortunately, replacing single-use plastic bags with reusable alternatives is an easy and impactful way to reduce the use of disposable plastics and help the environment.

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    Here are some other ways you can take action to help reduce single-use plastic consumption and waste:

    1. Get educated!  Check out the basic concepts here.

    2.Encourage legislators in your town or city to implement bag bans or fees for the use plastic grocery bags.  For more information, contact ChicoBag at advocacy@chicobag.com.

    1)   Get involved with a local environmental group focused on waste reduction and community education projects.

    2)   Participate in community clean up efforts to pick up trash at parks, lakes, along rivers and waterways, and other public spaces.

    3)   Write a letter to your congress representative about the need for stronger regulations around environmental waste.

    4)   Give reusable bags as gifts to friends, family, and co-workers.  They make great gift wrap!

    5)   Get your kids involved - help them start disposable plastic reduction projects at their schools.

    6)   Take it a step further - start using reusable water bottles as well as reusable bags.  Even better, see what other single use plastic items you can eliminate from your daily life by using a reusable alternative!

  • Process, Intention & Resolution

    Photo Credit: John Spalvins, Wetuber Photo Credit: John Spalvins, Wetubers.com

    By Stephanie Tobor, Founder/CEO of Green Apple Supply

    It is the first month of a new year and, while I have been known to hop into the resolution craze as fervently as anyone, this year I choose to start out differently.  I did not begin the year with an ardent January 1 blog about what I will accomplish personally and to address current environmental issues (that in itself is a great accomplishment for me!).  Instead, I have welcomed 2014 slowly, getting a feel for it and allowing the last two weeks to settle around me like a warm blanket.  I have fought the urge to reorganize the pantry, hit the gym or clean out one of many junk drawers.  Rather than jumping into action, I have taken these and many other impulses and catalogued them, allowing them to settle around me and my cozy 2014 blanket.

    Not your typical green-caped, eco-friendly action figure

    What has become most apparent is my innate need to GSD (get stuff done).  I typically think of something that needs doing and immediately jump into action.  I would much rather move into this mindless activity than sit with intention for even a minute – seeking out the sense of achievement and accomplishment that result from a job well done.

    Therefore, my official resolution for 2014 is TO PROCESS.   Rather than jumping into action like some green-caped eco action figure, I will sit with my problems and allow them to wash over me, and into me.  I will live WITH them rather than try to arrest the discomfort by taking action. I will FEEL them and allow calm to prevail.  And I will even attempt to relish in the unresolved, finding the peace within.  I believe that for some, this is called FATE.

    If you like, join me here for a moment of relishing what IS.

    Let go of your worries and preoccupations of the day (just for a minute!) - your financial woes, your hectic schedule, kids, car pool, Facebook newsfeed and yes, even your environmental activism.  Take a moment and just look up at the sky. Appreciate its magnitude, its range, its scope.  Watch the clouds roll in and out of formation and visualize your daily struggles in just this way – at one moment a grandiose and audacious structure and at the next moment, merely a wisp.

    Rather than tackling our challenges at their most intimidating, let’s invite them to sit with us a while.  As we get to know them better, they too will change in shape, in proximity, in importance.  Some may simply float away.  Like the clouds in our beautiful sky, we can learn to observe them rather than react to them.  And when the time comes to act, something inside of us will know.  Like the touch of a raindrop on our shoulder, I have faith that our inner wisdom and grace will guide us into kind and gentle action.

    I wish you all a peaceful, patient and content 2014.

  • 5 Ways to Give Back This ThanksGIVING

    I love this time of year when we can appreciate the first stirrings of winter. Autumnal colors, cozy evenings by the fire, and warm, comforting drinks help us usher in the seasonal shift. But the season is fleeting and I’m often left still wanting as the branches become bare and the snow begins to accumulate. Yet I find the brevity of the Fall a very appropriate place for Thanksgiving—the shorter days an apropos reminder of the ephemeral moments of joy, health and peace that might otherwise go unrecognized.

    Many of us take time out this month to show our appreciation by expressing daily gratitude or volunteering to support those less fortunate. In the hope that we can each find a way to give back this season, here are 5 creative ways of expressing thanks:

    1. Give thanks – Has someone gone out of their way for you? Is there a particular person who may at times escape your attention? It could be someone very close (a spouse, parent or coworker) or someone with whom you have very little contact (the cleaning staff in your office, mail carrier or toll taker). Take the time to thoughtfully craft a letter—the old-fashioned way—in your handwriting on a piece of quality paper. Let them know you’re thinking of them this Thanksgiving.

    2. Give a gift – Of course, there are some for whom you wish to show your gratitude with a gift. I like to bring gifts that are lasting, personal and that don’t have to be shared at a gathering (like wine or dessert). That way, once the season has passed, they have a lasting memento of your appreciation.

    3. Give a donation – Thanksgiving is such an appropriate time to make a charitable donation in honor of someone you want to acknowledge. It’s the perfect opportunity to show your appreciation while truly honoring the season. Check for local Thanksgiving donation opportunities in your area.

    4. Give (it a) rest – This is also the time of year to set petty differences aside. Whether you call a temporary truce, agree to disagree, or make lasting peace, this is not only a gift to you and your adversary but a treasure to the whole family.

    5. Give your time and attention – Don’t underestimate how impactful your presence can be! Whether you visit an elderly family member, stop by the office of an unpopular coworker or sit down beside a destitute individual on the sidewalk, taking time out of your day to let someone know that you see them can make all the difference. So many of us stumble through the world, lonely and adrift. Stop for a chat. Make eye contact. Let them know you care.

  • A New, Compassionate Wal-Mart?

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a big box department store and walked out so disappointed, frustrated and defeated. Walking through aisle after aisle full of plastics, toxic chemicals and wasteful impulse buys leaves me feeling hopeless. I’m incredulous that so many large corporations with buildings full of people working on product mix a­­nd customer retention can be so blind.

    Clearly, a corporation’s job is to make money, and cheap products allow for great margins, but why would you continuously poison your patrons? It’s as if they consider both money and human capital infinite. Maybe the poison is part of a bigger plan? Do big box stores also own pharmaceutical companies?

    Well, Wal-Mart blew my socks off recently when they announced a new “Policy on Sustainable Chemistry in Consumables” that requires manufacturers of cosmetics and cleaning products to disclose ingredients and remove priority hazardous chemicals! Hallelujah!

    As part of its policy, Wal-Mart pledges to work with suppliers towards policy application. Beginning January 2015, Wal-Mart will require suppliers to list product ingredients online. Initially, Wal-Mart has prioritized a list of 10 chemical ingredients for “continuous reduction, restriction, and elimination.” Additionally, the company will begin to label its private label products in accordance with the EPA’s Design for the Environment Safer Product Labeling Program.

    To top it all off, the policy will be implemented in both Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs and will begin almost immediately! Wal-Mart will begin identifying private brand products for new labels and monitoring suppliers for progress in their own products in January 2014 and will begin publicly reporting progress in January 2016. Beginning January 2018, items still containing any of the high priority chemicals will be required to disclose them on their packaging.

    Wal-Mart’s new policy is also a huge victory in my own crusade for Compassionate Capitalism. Wal-Mart is known for its low pricing, so I’m incredibly enthused to watch cleaner, safer, more affordable products begin to occupy increasing percentages of shelf space.

    And, as Wal-Mart’s vendors begin to work towards compliance, economies of scale will begin to work in favor of the eco movement. I know that many of us have vowed to steer clear of big box stores, but this is a time for collaboration. Let’s show Wal-Mart a little love and, in doing so, let the world know that we demand safe, affordable products for our families and for our planet.

    P.S. Who would have ever thought I would be writing in favor of big box shopping and in agreement with a Wal-Mart policy??? Still shaking my head…

  • Perfection vs Progress

    A very wise friend once told me that “we cannot let perfection stand in the way of progress.” That statement has stayed with me for years, running through my mind at opportune moments, always with a little picture of her smiling face attached, as if it were a Facebook post. It is with me when I am sourcing new products for Green Apple Supply and trying to assess their level of sustainability. And it is with me when I am tempted to judge another's use of products I see as poisons. And it is definitely with me on the days when I feel overwhelmed by the task ahead and exhausted by the endless work of saving the planet from humanity, or maybe more accurately, saving humanity from itself. And her voice speaks the loudest when I find myself speaking to someone new to the green movement. Someone who would like to make safer choices for themselves and their families, but are overwhelmed by the idea of where to start or what to buy. This is arguably when my messaging is of the utmost importance. It is the first impression of what it means to be eco-friendly, a person’s lasting idea of just how hard this change is going to be.

    It is so tempting to brazenly spout all of my eco knowledge; to become a geyser of the terminology, facts, experiences and wisdom that I have picked up along the way. But this is the time for discretion. This newcomer need not understand the challenges I face, now miles down the road; they need only understand the steps they must take tomorrow.

    In fact, it’s not yet time for sharing at all. Knowing that someone wants to go green is not near enough information to elicit a compelling response. What are their specific reasons for going green? I can tailor my response to their desires. Although the “perfect” version of sustainability may be an interconnected web of all actions and all things, those desiring cleaner air to breathe may take an entirely different path than those considering the health of wildlife or those specifically upset by a particular illness.

  • The Green Journey: Beyond Back-to-School Shopping

    I set out to dedicate the month of August to Back-to-School blogs, which seemed very logical at the time. After all, it’s back-to-school season and Green Apple Supply was inspired in part by a particularly poignant back-to-school shopping experience. Yet, here I am, one week in, with writer’s block. How is that possible?!

    I have spent the past week tossing and turning back-to-school blog ideas around in my head, asking for input from friends, family, complete strangers…and nothing. Although I am unquestionably dedicated to the health and safety of our children, the idea of blogging about the specifics of their day-to-day is not where I want my blog to focus. Quite frankly, the variety of blogs is astounding – I would be arrogant in assuming that I could do better than the amazing options that already exist.

    I want to dedicate my blog to the core concepts behind Green Apple Supply and Compassionate Capitalism. I want to discuss how they have infiltrated my life and I want to inspire others to bring them into theirs. Of course, these concepts have relevance to back-to-school season, but I feel that was adequately covered last week. And these concepts are bigger than any one “season”. This is about bringing business strategy and sustainability, in all senses of the word, into our daily decision making.

  • Top of Your List

    One red, spiral, 80-sheet, college-rule notebook? A blue, 3-ring, 2-inch D-ring binder? Sure, back to school shopping is stressful enough without adding yet another thing to the list. But, with everything we are learning concerning the vulnerable state of our planet, purchasing eco-friendly school supplies should not just be another item. It should be at the top of the list. We send our children to school for a comprehensive education, preparing them for the challenges they will face as adults. One of the largest (if not the largest!) challenges facing our children today is maintaining the Earth for future generations. Both during school and outside of it, they are constantly faced with pressure to make “green” decisions. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” has become the “Duck and Cover” of this generation. Like the imminent threat of bombing, it is impossible that this sort of pressure isn’t affecting our children’s mental health and feelings of security. In the article, “No Kidding, One in Three Children Fear Earth Apocalypse,” the article reports that “one out of three children aged 6 to 11 fears that Ma Mother Earth won't exist when they grow up, while more than half—56 percent—worry that the planet will be a blasted heath (or at least a very unpleasant place to live).”

    By supplying our children with eco-friendly school supplies, we reinforce the hard work we do at home and we teach them that helping the planet is universal. You keep it in mind at home, at school, at work…Everywhere. Children today are already faced with an overwhelming amount of mixed messages. They are encouraged to recycle, which is inexpensive and easy, but organic foods that require quite a monetary investment may not be accessible, despite their importance. Likewise, saving water and energy are encouraged, but hybrid or electric vehicles are not. Naturally, most consumers make decisions based on their pocketbooks. But it is important to recognize that many of these decisions fly in the face of what we are teaching our children.

  • Relaunch Reflection

    It’s an amazing feeling to be able to look back on any successful endeavor. And it’s that much sweeter when your professional goals align with your personal values, the way that Green Apple Supply’s do with mine. After over a year of hard work, modifications, setbacks and uncertainties, seeing our new site come alive last week was beyond thrilling! And our customer response was both humbling and exhilarating—the emails and phone calls of support were so very meaningful! Thank you for each and every word!

    And since Green Apple Supply has truly been a family endeavor, it was also incredibly fulfilling to watch my husband and children enjoy the week’s success. On July 30, my daughter’s 10th birthday and the date of the relaunch, my first blog posted. So I started the day by reading it to her. It is rare that we can find a reason to celebrate her disease and recognize it as a tool for growth and success. Yet I could see the pride and realization as it shone in her eyes, growing stronger with each word.

  • Popular Supply

    I was raised in a tiny Texas town where my parents had run the area’s general store, Popular Supply. It was a labor of love and I grew up surrounded by stories of the store and the trials of running it. Long after retirement, my parents still held onto some inventory. In fact, although my parents have passed, I still have some of the inventory today. And the store, long since sold, is still standing—a lasting legacy of my parents’ hard work and devotion.

    So, yes, “Supply” makes perfect sense. How strange to have found myself accidentally inheriting this name through a business transaction when it belonged to me all along. It is a powerful feeling to realize the meaning of “Supply” within our family and then apply that to the meaning I hope it will eventually evoke: a reliable, convenient, affordable supply of eco knowledge and goods to the world.

    As I listened to the speech I alluded to at the beginning, I pondered the true power of this name. It is a true embodiment of who we are as a company—our mission, our aspirations, our potential. And it embodies our past, both my family’s and that of Green Apple School Supply, and I can only hope that Green Apple Supply will become my legacy, as Popular Supply was my parents’—still standing long after my demise, and inspiring someone else to embrace their own potential.

    And as I proceed to introduce myself and my company, I hope that you will respond in kind. We want to get to know you and your stories. We have a lot to say, but we also have a lot to learn! Please email your stories to me at steph@greenapplesupply.org. The most inspirational stories will be posted here as guest blogs.

  • The Power of a Name

    Until the following summer, when I was busily placing reorders for the upcoming school supply season. One of our major suppliers was sadly no longer able to keep afloat. I was heartbroken for him and worried for The Green Garage. We sourced many of our most popular products through his store. So, after some complex conversations, he agreed to sell us his remaining inventory, along with the name of the eco side of his business, Green Apple School Supply.

    By then, we had already expanded from the sale of school supplies into household goods, gifts and toys. After all, kids went home from school every night and I wanted to offer families the most green options possible. So we dropped “School” and became Green Apple Supply.

    The “Green Apple” makes perfect sense. It’s fresh, appealing, earthy—a great image for an eco organization. But the “Supply” threw people for a loop. But to me, it made perfect sense...

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