Nikki Pava's blog

EcoTuesday Over The Years - A Recap

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My life’s purpose is to create awareness for alternative living choices for people who might not have access to them. This is why EcoTuesday started way back in 2007 and why I founded my new company, Alegria Partners, earlier this year.

One of the many things that I’m proud of about EcoTuesday is that the people that come each month and the companies that are represented tend to be those with incredibly strong ethics that are tied to the great possibility of “Turning the Tide” of our current business models and paradigms. Those in the EcoTuesday community are work on new technologies that save water, clean our air, and help us decrease our dependence on fossil fuel. Participants also share their voices through the way they spend their dollars, investing in other people’s dreams through crowdfunding campaigns, and sharing the tangible objects they have through the access economy’s platforms. There is a huge push to share information and knowledge, rather than keep all of that information to ourselves.  All of these things affect how companies work, and those who attend EcoTuesday have really embraced this shift.

Over the past (almost) six years, EcoTuesday has hosted approximately 250 events in 13 cities across the country. People from many other countries have attended the events and some have even replicated them in their own countries. This has been a great form of flattery! In San Francisco alone, we’ve had 61 events, including 4 fantastic panel discussions focusing on very specific areas of sustainability. This means that hundreds and hundreds of people have attended EcoTuesday events over the years.

For me, the most powerful part of attending an EcoTuesday event is hearing about all the incredible things that everyone shares about during the Introduction Circle. While many beautiful things are happening in the world, we also have a lot of not-so-nice things happening in our world, such as climate change, border tensions, homelessness, lack of funding for education. When I hear 50 people - or more - share what they’re passionate about, I know that what they’re sharing about is so incredibly tied to their own personal lives. This might not be blended into the business of the company they work for or the company they started, but it really shows what’s true to them personally. I’ve had the honor and opportunity to learn about some of the most innovative, progressive companies first-hand and all are excellent. It’s been incredible to learn about how all these different companies work, about their relationships with the vendors on their supply chains, and how they relate with their customers. Thanks so much for giving me this fantastic opportunity over the years to be a witness to all of this.

EcoTuesday stands for sharing information, being a platform for education and connecting people with similar values and interests so that people can take what they’ve learned at an EcoTuesday event and share it with friends, family and colleagues so that what we talk about here doesn’t just stay here - it ripples out so that in some way, shape or form, everyone has access to this type of education and awareness.

My hope is that what EcoTuesday stands for has impacted all of your lives.

EcoTuesday is now transitioning into a new phase and will be under the umbrella of Alegria Partners, where I provide sustainability initiative development and marketing strategy services to mission-driven companies. Right now, there aren’t any plans for more monthly events in San Francisco in the future. However, and I’ve mentioned this before, I do hope to have 1-2 full of half-day events at some point next year. When we meet again next time, we’ll even have other things in store for you, such as an unconference, more panel discussions, or longer keynote speakers. To make this happen, I’ll need your help. I’ll be looking for people to help me create a strategy and execute the event. Volunteers are golden! I’ll also need the help of those out there who can become sponsors to invest funds to help cover operational costs of a bigger event. The great thing about sponsorship is that it provides you and/or your company exposure to this fantastic audience, so it’s definitely a win-win situation for everyone! Larger events have a lot more costs and I’d love to keep the per ticket prices reasonable so that more people in our community have access to these larger EcoTuesday events.

I see this change from monthly events to less frequent events not as a death, but as a shift or a transformation.

I’ve used the word “bittersweet” to describe how I feel about this shift. It’s been a challenging choice, but I know in my heart that it’s a good one and I am excited about having more time to spend on my blossoming family and expanding business.

I do hope that you’ll all keep in touch - sign up for the EcoTuesday mailing list, be our friend on FB, join our linkedin group and follow us on Twitter. Wow - that’s a lot of social media! But this way, you’ll be able to stay updated about what’s going on with EcoTuesday and I’ll share more news and information about our partners and friends.

Thank you all so much for supporting EcoTuesday over the years, and being a part of our sustainable community!

Final Notes For The Last EcoTuesday in SF

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Yes, this is the final reminder for tomorrow night's last monthly event in San Francisco (although this is not the last newsletter you'll receive from EcoTuesday). I hope you can make it to the W Hotel tomorrow night at 6:30 pm. Here's what we have in store for you:

  • I'm speaking about "Ethics and your business model - what they are and why they're important," in addition to sharing about this EcoTuesday shift.
  • We'll have a complimentary champagne toast!
  • Everyone who wants to will have the opportunity to share about their EcoTuesday memories: the special connections they've made and how the event has impacted their lives and careers.
  • The Introduction Circle, of course! 
  • Time for networking - see old friends and making new friends!

REGISTER NOW! SEE YOU THERE!

End of this EcoTuesday Era & Info About 2013

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This post is to share that Tuesday, November 27th will mark the very last monthly EcoTuesday event in San Francisco. It's been a great five and a half years and I'm so proud of all that EcoTuesday has accomplished since the first event in February of 2007.

Showcasing Solar at EcoTuesday San Francisco - Plus Some Great Raffle Opportunities!

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We are excited to have Heather Kernahan from Enphase Energy at our September’s EcoTuesday in San Francisco (which will take place on September 25th).  Ephase Energy is based in Northern California and led by veterans from the solar, telecom, networking and software industries. 

 

What does Enphase do?

Enphase Energy delivers solar power to homes and businesses with the Enphase Microinverter System, making solar power systems more productive, more reliable, and smarter.  Enphase's vision” is to make solar simple and energy smart so everyone is empowered to create a zero energy footprint for themselves, their home and their business. Our mission is to build the world's finest networked energy system and revolutionize power generation on a global scale - one solar panel, one kilowatt hour at a time.”

At EcoTuesday, Heather will discuss:

  • The entire project lifecycle of a solar project
  • Ways we can all help to increase awareness of residential solar
  • What to look out for on a global level pertaining to solar

 

Register today and join us at CompoClay on September 25th at 6:30!

We have a few other highlights of the event that will make joining us even more attractive! Everyone can add their business card into a drawing to win their chance to do their "elevator pitch" in front of the entire audience! We've had a great time doing this in the past, and it's such an informative and quick way for the entire room to learn more about a few companies (as there's more time that we have for each person in the Intro Circle). 

 

"RAFFLE" Prizes You Can Win & Enjoy!

Also, everyone who attends will have the opportunity to win tickets to SXSW Eco & Crowdfunding Bootcamp. SXSW Eco is the sister conference to the incredibly popular SXSW Music Conference. "Eco" is a 3-day event packed with workshops, sessions, keynote speeches and fun social events, bringing together sustainability professionals from all levels. Another lucky winner will win a ticket to Crowdfunding Bootcamp, which gives entrepreneurs a roadmap to raising capital within the new laws using crowdfund investing. Everyone who attends will leave with a plan in hand and the connections to make it happen! 

 

We have a handful of great sponsors who are helping to make the event happen. They include: 

Presidio Graduate School: Educates and inspires a new generation of skilled, visionary and enterprising leaders to transform business and public policy and create a more just, prosperous and sustainable world.

CompoClay CompoClay offers stylish, eco-friendly home decor, garden ornaments, building materials and architectural moldings.

Frey Organic Wine: Organic and Biodynamic wine, no sulfites added – from America’s first organic winery.

Runa is a pioneering organization that partners with over 1000 indigenous farmers in Ecuador to organically produce and export guayusa from Ecuador. They will be providing the perfect beverage to give EcoTuesday attendees focused energy and health benefits throughout the evening.

Alegria Partners: Integrated marketing and sustainability consulting to help you manage & grow your business. Think of Alegria Partners as your on-site or “virtual” marketing or sustainability department. We offer excellent project management services by supporting you in the creation, design, development and implementation of your program.

 

Dr. Nammy Patel's Whole Almond Infusion Butter

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Dr. Nammy Patel is an accomplished green certified dentist in California. In fact, her practice (Green Dentistry) is the only green dentist in San Francisco. Her dental practice is flourishing with the attention to detail she gives, but her dedication to health and well-being became a huge priority in her life when she became unwell. An eating regime from her dietician included almonds - lots of almonds - and she had to incorporate them into her diet at every available opportunity. This lead her to the kitchen, where she created her whole almond infusion butter. It was an instant hit with friends and staff at the practice, so she decided to make it available for a wider audience. 

 

We have been very excited that Dr. Patel and Green Dentistry has sponsored EcoTuesday for the past few months. Her passion for caring for the environment, for people’s health and for eating well has been an inspiration. We recently sat down with her for a valuable ‘Question and Answer’ session. She had many insights to share which we have summed up for you.

 

Out of all of the great food products that are beneficial to a person's health, why did you choose almond butter? What was your inspiration?

 

Apart from being delicious, almonds represent one of the richest natural protein sources of any nut.  An ounce of almonds have an equivalent amount of protein to a large egg. They have no cholesterol, and little to no sodium.  The nuts don’t only stave off hunger but are also are a good source of fiber and contain other key nutrients, including calcium, riboflavin, niacin and the antioxidant alpha-tocopheral vitamin E. The flavor of almonds blends well with other spices, and I found that not only did they promote health, they mixed well with spices that were good for you, too. My inspiration of spices mirror the not for profit organization I have set up in India promoting green dentistry. It’s been a great mix of my two strongest passions. 

 

Can you share some of the benefits your customers have received since by eating Almond Fusion?

Almond infusion butter is a super food in a jar! The first thing they notice is how good it tastes, then when they know how good it is for them they feel justified in enjoying it. It’s a complete menu of nutrients which helps to help manage weight and food cravings, offers a source of protein without the added bad cholesterol, and helps reduce heart disease. It also assists in balancing your body’s PH in addition to the added benefit that it helps decrease cavities. For instance, garlic, one of the ingredients, is known for its healthy heart and antibacterial properties due to its levels of selenium - an antioxidant that protects against various forms of cancer. Another ingredient, capsicum, is a natural anti-inflammatory. All the ingredients promote health in some way.  

 

How does this venture tie into green dentistry? 

Going green isn’t just good for the planet, it’s good for our patients. I believe there are many ways to use the natural resources we have to improve what we do. San Francisco Green Dentistry is a LEED Certified Green practice dedicated to keeping clients healthy through environmentally sustainable practices.  In big and small ways, we’ve invested in the technology to make a trip to the dentist good for you and the planet. I have a deep commitment to doing what is best for our bodies, and my almond fusion butter is a way to enjoy a natural super food that is kind to your teeth and can prevent tooth cavities, as well improve your whole health. Prevention is always better than cure, and it’s the most delicious form of prevention I know!

 

Can you share a favorite recipe?

This is a wonderfully easy, but utterly delicious, way to introduce Almond fusion butter into your diet, and it’s a pleaser for all palettes.

 

Carrots Royale, with Almond Butter 

Created by: Almond Board of California

Servings 4

Ingredients 

2 cups thinly sliced carrots

2 Tbs. butter

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1 Tbs. orange-flavored liqueur

1/3 cup almond fusion (Mild or hot to personal preference) 

 

Preparation: Sauté carrots in butter until tender-crisp, stirring constantly.   Stir in remaining ingredients, tossing to coat evenly. Serve.

 

Did you have aspirations to get into the gourmet food market?

If you asked me two years ago what I’d be doing with my life, I would have told you I would just be working with my patients and loving life. But life has a way of shaking you up a little. I was unwell, and thankfully my nutritionist suggested almonds, and it all flowed from there. I didn’t know how good they were until I had to use them for my own health, and now I want to share it, it’s as simple as that. But it is a great feeling to create something with a gourmet flavor with every bite and it’s also healthy for you! Both are delicious, the Mild Almond Fusion and Heated Almond Fusion are great for health while also impressing even your snobbiest gourmet foodie inclinations. I promise!

 

Our time with Dr. Nammy Patel was informative and the results were very tasty! Anyone who’s philosophy is to make a trip to the dentist as relaxing as going to a spa gets a huge green thumbs up from us, but her creative problem solving the natural way was inspiring. The benefits of increasing whole foods in everyone’s diets is apparent, but it was Nammy’s devotion to bringing whole foods to a larger audience that made it such a great time.  We are grateful to her for sponsoring EcoTuesday, and wish her well in all her green endeavors.

Healthy Teeth Equals Healthy Living

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We're happy to showcase Green Dentistry during the June and July EcoTuesday events in San Francisco. 

 

Green Dentistry is a truly revolutionary dental practice. Its founder, Dr. Nammy Patel, is the first dentist to make a serious commitment to green, sustainable business practices in the City. She and her staff take a unique approach to combine dentistry and conserve the environment, using non-toxicproducts, reducing waste and being minimally invasive. The team strives to save all types of energy in its daily practice and reduce the office's carbon footprint. Green Dentistry is the first LEED certified dental office in San Francisco and is located in Union Square.

 

As a dental client, the experience of visiting Green Dentistry is unlike any other dental experience around. The office is warm and inviting, the technology state-of-the-art, and the "perks," such as the heated lavender neck pillow make going to this dentist truly enjoyable.

 

In addition to her dental practice, Dr. Patel serves on the Board of the Green Chamber of Commerce and is an Enviro-mentor for the San Francisco Environment Agency, which helps small businesses become green. She is also the creator and founder of Whole Fusion, an almond butter spread that's healthy and delicious. Next month we'll share more about this aspect of her business - stay tuned!

 

Dr. Patel and her staff will be at this week's EcoTuesday at Yoshi's and you can meet her in person to ask questions. We look forward to seeing you there - please register beforehand so we know you're coming!

Celebrating Earth :: Next Event - April 24th

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One of my favorite days of the year is quickly approaching - Earth Day. This unofficial "holiday" is now celebrated in over 140 countries across the planet. It's a perfect day for everyone to demonstrate their support for climate change legislation, food security, energy supplies, clean water, and other sustainability solutions. 


Celebrate Earth Day all month by participating in the Earth Day Network's "One Million Acts of Green." You can plant a garden in your yard, participate in a community activity, or pledge to use canvas bags while shopping. 


Please join me for a fantastic event called The Green Business Entrepreneurs Success Summit. This week-long online event is geared toward aspiring social entrepreneurs or professionals who already have a sustainable business that they'd like to take to the next level. Everyone will get valuable information just by attending the series. I'll be interviewed tomorrow at noon (Wednesday, April 18th).


Come and celebrate Earth Day with us on Tuesday, April 24th. EcoTuesday is a great place to meet other professionals and introduce you and your project to new friends. I look forward to seeing you on April 24th (register soon)!

An Easy Way to Support Rio+20

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Thanks so much to everyone who joined us for our Anniversary event last month in San Francisco. It turned out to be a fantastic night where old and new colleagues met, and of course, everyone shared about themselves during the Introduction Circle. I realized how powerful it is to hear 165 people voice their sustainability-related passions all in one room. We're creating shifts in business just by sharing these thoughts with other professionals! If you weren't able to join us for the festivities, please check out the photos. Our events take place on Tuesday, March 27th this month. Please register in advance so we can look forward to seeing you!

 

Recently I saw a film called The Island President, which was the premier of the San Francisco Green Film Festival. It is an incredible story of Mohamed Nashid's first year of presidency of the island country of Maldives. The film begins at his official appointment and ends at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009. During this timeframe, he identified the country's most significant problems to rising sea levels due to climate change. There are other island countries in the same position: the tiny nation of Kiribati is considering buying land in Fiji to ensure that its population has a place to live in the future.

 

My hope is that the gathering at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio this summer will result in a document that increases a commitment to sustainable development and bring greater quality to corporate sustainability practices. These island nations are depending on progress at this conference. Get involved and show your support for these countries (and all types of sustainable development)! 

 

One last thing - I'm on a panel at the upcoming New Living Expo on Friday, April 29th called The Rise of Women in Sustainability. Mark your calendars - we have a great group of women on this panel.

Five Years of EcoTuesday - A Walk Down Memory Lane

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 :: Register for the 5th Anniversary Here! ::

 

Wow - the 5th Anniversary is quickly approaching and it's been so fun to reflect on all the fantastic events we've had in San Francisco (and in other cities) over the past few years. The events in SF have run the gamet from small (around 25 people) to large (around 250 people). Each time, everyone in the room has shared what's important to them with everyone else. I've heard some extremely serious shares and also extremely silly shares. What I've seen is that people are putting so much of their efforts into doing good - for both the planet and for busines. There have been times over the past five years when I thought about ending EcoTuesday, but then I go to an event and get so inspired by all of the incredible work that the participants spend their time on, and it revitalizes my efforts.

 

We have a special guest this month as our speaker. Brian Back, President of Sustainable Industries Magazine, was the very first EcoTuesday speaker back in February 2007. When he spoke at the inaugural event, he shared with us about what the magazine covers and his perspectives on the upcoming trends in different areas of sustainability (such as the consolidation of the solar industry, the different interpretations of clean tech, and more).

 

During this presentation he said, "Last year we thought that this year global warming and climate change would reach a critical mass in interest in business. I think that has largely happened." (How true!) He also mentioned, "In the beginning, the things we wrote about were nowhere near mainstream, but now they are." (What a relief!)

 

This month Brian will discuss The Access Economy:

  • How a "stealth" economy has emerged over the past 5 years
  • What happens when we start contributing powerfully to economic development as something other than a consumer?
  • What if we shifted from a one-way transaction to a collaborative interaction?
  • A new approach to innovation

Sustainable Industries has grown by leaps and bounds since 2007, most recently combining forces with Triple Pundit. We're so happy to have Brian back at EcoTuesday!

 

The entire Ambassador team has put a lot of time and energy into making this event much different than our usual events. Participants can enjoy delicious (and free) beverages, desserts, and even sustainable oysters. As we do at every EcoTuesday event - everyone there will have the opportunity to share their name, company name, and a sentence about what they're most passionate about as it pertains to sustainbility in order to make your networking time even more effective.  

 

Thanks so much to the gorgeous Bently Reserve for hosting us, and to all of our sponsors (below) for making this night a true celebration! We look forward to seeing you on February 21st in San Francisco. 

 

OUR FANTASTIC SPONSORS FOR THE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION:

GreenMBA - an engaged learning community that seeks to promote financial viability, ecological sustainability, and social justice in business and organizations of all types. Please read more about the program on EcoTuesday.com.

 

FEARLESS Chocolates: Grown from humble beginnings at local Bay Area farmer’s markets, FEARLESS has become the largest manufacturer of raw chocolate in the world while remaining true to three core values: SUSTAINABILITY, INTEGRITY, and FUN.

 

Frey Organic Wine: Organic and Biodynamic wine, no sulfites added – from America’s first organic winery.

 

Alegria Partners: an integrated marketing and sustainability consulting firm that helps to manage and grow businesses.

 

KOR Water: Celebrate and protect water with the world’s most stylish, functional personal hydration products. The first 85 people to register will receive a beautiful KOR water bottle.

 

Mamma Chia: For health-conscious souls seeking an extra dose of vitality, Mamma Chia is the undeniable drink of choice. Learn more on their FB Page.

 

Presidio Graduate School: Educates and inspires a new generation of skilled, visionary and enterprising leaders to transform business and public policy and create a more just, prosperous and sustainable world.

 

ilovebluesea: Voted best of the city for sustainable seafood in 2011, i love blue sea gives you convenient access to the freshest fish available and allows you flexibility to pick up order locally or have it shipped to your home. Find out more about sustainable seafood here.

 

Contact us about the Exhibit Sponsorship opportunities that are available available for this event only, in addition to our standard Sponsorship package (more bells and whistles).

Celebrating Five Years of EcoTuesday

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February marks the Five Year Anniversary of EcoTuesday, which is almost unbelievable to me. The sustainability community has had so much movement since the first Introduction Circle in 2007. 

At that time, about 60 close friends and colleagues interested in pursuing projects and companies that make a positive impact on the planet attended the first event. Five years ago EcoTuesday was one of the only gatherings for sustainability-minded professionals so the energy in the room was high! Now we have events in cities across the country!

EcoTuesday Go GreenSince that initial gathering, EcoTuesday has held over 400 monthly events in cities across the country, bringing people from all areas of sustainability together to collaborate and connect with one another and learn from high-quality andengaging speakers. Thousands of professionals have attended EcoTuesday throughout this time, sharing their work with others, developing strategic business relationships and even creating long-lasting friendships. My hope is that these actions all support a shift in the way we relate to "business."

Thanks so much to the fantastic Ambassadors across the country who dedicate their personal time to creating the best sustainability events in their city. Additonally, many thanks go out to all of our past Sponsors that have provided support in various ways to keep EcoTuesday running smoothly. Participants, thank you for returning each month and for sharing the event with friends.

We're celebrating the Fifth Anniversary in San Francisco a week earlier than usual (on Tuesday, February 21st). The events in Cleveland, Dallas and Silicon Valley will still take place on the fourth Tuesday of February (February 28th). Register early - that always makes us happy.

On a personal note, it's been an honor for me to lead EcoTuesday for five years. There have been transitions, setbacks and triumphs in all areas of the company and it has continued to grow throughout the entire process. I don't think I'll ever be able to measure the quantitative impact of EcoTuesday, but I am happy to know that the community has changed lives and businesses in many positive ways. 

How has EcoTuesday impacted YOUR life? I'd love to hear. Please email me your story!


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