Yesterday was the 2013 Greening Our Children event to benefit the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC). It was an absolutely amazing experience and great event.
The event included the following: 2 Educational Seminars, a “green” vendor expo, a Lunch, a silent auction, and a meet and greet with Jessica Alba for members of press and social media. (I am apologizing in advance for the quality of my pictures. I realized at the event that I am in dire need of a GOOD real camera. At some point I couldn’t take anymore pictures- but someone else took them for me so I will add them later.) This is a long post folks but stay with me here, I promise it is worth it (there are pics of Jessica Alba!)
The Day’s Events
10am- a little before 10 am I checked in at the event which was scheduled from 10-4.
They immediately asked about swiping a credit card for the auction. I gave them a card knowing full well that I would never be able to afford anything!
The educational seminars started at 10, the expo opened at 10 and I THINK the silent auction started then also. Lunch was supposed to be at 11:45 or 12.
Expo (10am) – The vendors at the expo were promoting toxin free products, green living, eco-friendly products, and organic food.
The Honest Company was the first vendor when you walked in the doors. They displayed their products and were also giving out free lip balm.
One product that really impressed me was Tower Garden. A way to grow your own fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers without soil. This is a great idea for people who don’t have yards (or space)! It works by constantly funneling the necessary nutrients throughout the tower and feeding the plants roots. Brilliant!
Full Circle was displaying some of their natural, eco-friendly cleaning solutions. The products seem pretty awesome and I am going to check them out. They were giving out magnets with DIY home cleaning solution recipes- of course this will be going on my refrigerator!
Roan Skye Healthy Homes is a company that builds green and healthy spaces for children and families. This is very similar to the goal of Hoppy Bottoms (the business). I spoke a little with Annalise Stack the president of the company and she was very passionate about what Roan Skye represents. I hope that I can grow Hoppy Bottoms successfully the way she has grow Roan Skye. It is nice to know that there are more people out there who care about this.
Happy Family (Organic Superfoods) was giving out some free samples. I already know about them, I use their cereals for Eco-Baby. After reading a lot of labels and being really nervous about giving her anything from the store I went with the Happy Bellies cereals, I trust their products. I started out trying to make my own rice cereal (I will post about that disaster another day) and while I do make my own baby food, I decided to buy the cereal. Eco-Baby eats Happy Bellies Oatmeal and Multi-Grain baby cereal.
Babo Botanicals an all natural baby care product company had some great stuff. If you read my blog, you know I swear by The Honest Co. Balm for Eco-Baby but the Babo Botanicals Oatmilk Calendula Diaper Cream might be next in line for me. I was told it was cloth diaper safe (it won’t stain – not sure if it will affect absorbency) and the woman at the table rubbed some on my hand. It had a really nice consistency and smelled really, really good. She even said that she uses it on her face sometimes and it works great. She gave me some samples and I will be trying them out soon.
I walked right by the table for Izzi B’s Allergen Free Cupcakes but I got to try one during the luncheon. My friend Angela over at Working on Working Mom let me try the vegan Oreo Cupcake (it might actually be called Cookies and Cream) in her sample pack and it was delicious! I hope I get to try more of their products soon.
These are the vendors I spoke to and chose to highlight. For a full list of vendors please click here.
Educational Seminars also started at 10am or maybe a few minutes after. So once I was done in the expo I walked to the seminars. There were two, and if I am being honest I thought I would be able to attend both but they ran at the same time. I decided to go to the Organic Food for Thought Seminar (read a description of the seminars here). It was incredibly informative. I tried to tweet from inside the seminar because there were a lot of great facts being thrown out but the wireless service wasn’t working in the room. I might write more about this another day but here are just a couple of the things mentioned (That I tweeted about):
The Silent Auction went on all day long. They had people in very sparkly hats walking around with tablets asking if people wanted to bid. I did not bid on anything and I didn’t take pictures (sorry!). I think the auction probably raised the CEHC a lot of money.
Jessica Alba –Then came that moment we were all waiting for – the arrival of Jessica Alba. She was late and we were very impatient. When she did arrive she looked unhappy but I think it was nerves. She looked gorgeous (but I mean, when does’t she look that way?) and later in the day when the setting was more intimate she couldn’t have been sweeter or more likable.
When she arrived she met with the people who work at the CEHC and run the event. She took pictures, some with Chirstopher Gavigan who co-founded The Honest Company with her. He is very good looking, I am just going to put that out there…
Anyway, once she was done being gawked at we all headed to lunch.
Lunch and Awards Lunch was all organic and it was delicious. There was Quinoa, Hummus some vegetables for topping our salads and a few other things. During lunch the keynote speaker gave his speech and Jessica Alba received the Mount Sinai Champion for Children Award.
The chairs at the luncheon had some goodies for the guests including a free copy of Jessica Alba’s book The Honest Life, the Organic Lip Balm trio from The Honest Co and some stuff from Mount Sinai (pen, notepad).
We sat at the table with Jessica Alba’s Mom! She was super sweet and such a proud Mom and Grandma. Meeting her Mom really made her so much more of a real person rather than this out of reach actress. If you have read her book, The Honest Life (I just realized I never did a real review of this book!), you will read the story of why she went on this journey to create toxin-free products. I actually heard the story directly from her Mom! So awesome. She also talked about being a grandmother and how Jessica is very family oriented and strict with her kids (she is the grandma who spoils them!). It occurred to me after I left the event that her Mom was there just as that, a proud Mom. Her daughter was receiving an award and she wanted to see it. I think that is wonderful.
Dr. Landrigan who gave the Keynote is an AMAZING person who has really been a pioneer in making people aware of the toxins that we, especially children, live among and how they are affecting us. Read about him and his incredible, ground breaking work here.
Jessica’s speech was great. She was so open and honest and admitted to going off script. You could tell that she was a little nervous and very humbled. In general she is very down to earth.
Press/Social Media Meet & Greet The most exciting part of the day was the meet & greet I was able to attend. I will say this, Jessica Alba truly knows her stuff. She (and Christopher Gavigan) had the answers to all of the questions about toxins, allergies, laws and legislation – they knew it all. So if you read her book and assume that someone else did the research and then she put her name on it- you’re wrong. She talked about having Dr. Landrigan edit the book for her and being a little embarrassed that this renowned scientist was going to review her book that was written more like a helpful guide for a “girlfriend” (which is very accurate).
I asked her and Christopher Gavigan which 5 products they most recommend from their line and they said that the products in the Discovery Kit (read about the discovery kits here) are definitely the items that Moms want and request.
Of course, I had to ask about cloth diapers- they said that they are looking into it but they haven’t been able to come up with a way to develop a great cloth diaper that fits in with their innovative product line and business model. I can appreciate that; they don’t just want to throw crap out there and they want to keep costs down for their consumers. Totally respectable.
They also offered to help my friend Maria over at Tough Cookie Mommy switch over to using more green/toxin free products to try and help her son with his allergies. They are very committed to their cause.
Jessica mentioned that not every parent is concerned about the environmental factors that could be affecting their kids; not because they don’t care but just because they don’t know. And she is right, some parents just don’t pay attention (others just don’t buy into it despite the scientific evidence), it is too overwhelming. She said part of the reason that the Honest Company Diapers are made with adorable, seasonal designs is because they appeal to the Mom “Who just wants it to be cute” but isn’t so concerned with moving away from disposables because of the toxins. This way they are using less harmful products and not even realizing. Now THAT is good marketing. Although, after hearing stories of babies getting chemical burns from “the most absorbent diapers on the market” it is hard to imagine using mainstream disposables.
My Overall Review
The Event: I would give 8/10 stars. It was a wonderful experience but of course as an event planner I found things that could have been done a little better:
1. Give out an itinerary. Now, because almost everything was supposed to start at the same time I guess they didn’t think this was necessary. But I think that there should always be an itinerary for an event like this.
2. Offer the educational seminars at different times or multiple times. I really, really wanted to attend both seminars. But I couldn’t because they were both offered at 10am and as far as I know they were ONLY offered at 10am. These are important topics and the seminars are really informative. It would have been great if they were either offered at separate times OR both offered in the morning and afternoon. It may have been planned this way because of Jessica Alba being there or something but in any case I just wanted more!
3. A menu. The lunch was delicious and there was a place card on the table that indicated that everything was organic. That’s great. But at an event that promotes green living and recognizes the overwhelming number of people with allergies and special diets, it would have been nice to know exactly what we were eating. I wasn’t expecting more choices and what was there was delicious (and healthy) but there were a few things I didn’t eat because I wasn’t sure if they were vegan.
These are very minor complaints – the event was GREAT. But being an event planner, I had to point these things out.
The Food: 9/10. The food was delicious. I didn’t have dessert but it looked really good. Had there been a menu I probably would have given this a 10.
The Meet and Greet: 10/10. It was a very small, personal setting. We were able to take pictures and ask any questions. It was just the right amount of time and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
I am very grateful I had this opportunity!
Greening Our Families Link-Up
In the spirit of “Greener” living let’s get this link-up going!
Together with Frugal Fit Family I want you to link up your posts about how you are “Greening” your family.
Are you working to use less chemicals? Are you making your own cleaning products? Cloth diapering or using toxin free diapers? Composting? Using “eco-friendly” personal care products?
If you are greening we want to see the posts! AND we want you to post to our GROUP Pinterest board. (Clear images only!) Please link up below and leave your name, email and Pinterest name in the comments of this post. I will add you to the board and you will receive an e-mail letting you know!
Be sure to follow both of your hosts