CYPRESS, Calif., May 1, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, April 28, 2017, Earth Friendly Products, one of the nation's leading green cleaning products companies and maker of the ECOS™ brand of products, hosted a number of California and Environmental VIPs to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary, in conjunction with Earth Month and in honor of Arbor Day. The event, hosted by President and CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, took place at the company's Cypress manufacturing facility. To honor its achievement, Earth Friendly Products gave back to the community by presenting a $150,000 check to the Discovery Cube Museums of Orange County and Los Angeles. The donation supports the museums' award-winning Eco Challenge exhibit and brings green chemistry into classrooms to empower children with the tools they need to "think green" at an early age. Additionally, all employees of the company were gifted with an extra week's salary for Earth Month.
More than 300 guests were in attendance, including:
- California Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva
- U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein's Deputy State Director Peter Muller
- U.S. Senator Kamala Harris' Field Representative, Brent Robinson
- U.S. Representative Alan Lowenthal's Deputy Press Secretary Irantzu Pujadas and Senior Constituent Service Representative Robin McCray
- U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman's District Director, Scott Abrams
- Cypress Mayor Paulo Morales, Cypress Police Chief Rod Cox, Cypress Chamber of Commerce President Ed Munson, and members the Cypress City Council
- Actor Ed O'Ross, who starred as Earth Friendly Products' founder Van Vlahakis in the major motion picture biography A Green Story
- Debbie Levin, president of the Environmental Media Association
- Actor Frances Fisher, Environmental Media Association board member and star of films such as Titanic and Unforgiven and television series such as Resurrection and Criminal Minds
Representatives from the University of Southern California's prestigious Food Industry Management Program and from two of Vlahakis-Hanks' alma maters – Chapman University and UCLA – attended the celebration. Also on hand were numerous non-profit organizations that Earth Friendly Products partners with, including the American Cancer Society, Autism Hope Alliance, Grades of Green, the National Women's History Museum, Orange County Coastkeeper, and Second Harvest Food Bank.
Brent Robinson read a personal statement from Senator Harris that commended Earth Friendly Products for "protecting Californians with a $17-an-hour living wage." Irantzu Pujadas and Robin McCray from Congressman Alan Lowenthal's office commented on how Earth Friendly Products "has thrived for 50 years, not solely because of its good products, but because of its people and the Vlahakis family." Scott Abrams from Congressman Brad Sherman's office announced that Congressman Sherman has entered a statement about Earth Friendly Products' accomplishments into the U.S. Congressional Record.
A plant-based luncheon, prepared by chef Brandon Hall, was served in the eco-garden under a large tent. During the inspiring afternoon, Vlahakis-Hanks spoke about her love of the environment and gave heartfelt praise to her employees. She thanked Congressman Lowenthal for his work to clean up millions of tons of pollutants from the port of Long Beach, Senator Harris for championing immigrant rights, Congressman Sherman for his support of the Greek community, Senator Feinstein for promoting policies to address climate change and support renewable energy, and Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva for her 31 years of public service. Vlahakis-Hanks encouraged guests to "read labels and know what you bring into your house," and she thanked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for selecting Earth Friendly Products as the agency's 2017 Safer Choice Partner of the Year.
As Vlahakis-Hanks stood on the podium, she told the moving story of her father, Van Vlahakis, a Greek immigrant who came to the U.S. with $22 in his pocket and faced many struggles. "My father was an eco-pioneer who founded this at the dawn of the environmental movement. He said that success comes to those who do the right thing – for their customers, for their employees and for the environment. The vision that guided him then continues to guide us today, as we continue to break barriers in green science. Remember that the choices you make, even the small ones, can have big consequences for your health and for our planet."
Did you know?
- Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970. Earth Friendly Products was established only three years earlier, in 1967, by Van Vlahakis. Unable to speak a word of English when he came to the U.S., Vlahakis chose to study chemistry because the root words of chemistry were in his native Greek language.
- On the first Earth Day in 1970, 20 million people from all backgrounds – Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor – came together to place the environment on the national agenda.
- The success of the first Earth Day led to the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act by the end of that year.
- On Earth Day in 2017, over 1 billion people in 192 countries came together to rally, plant trees, clean beaches, and spread the message about protecting the environment.
- The U.S. government currently has no requirements on ingredient disclosure for household cleaning products.
- The pollution inside homes is 5-70 times worse than outdoor air pollution; this is based on the noxious chemicals typically used in cleaning products.
- Earth Friendly Products' entry-level employees are among the highest paid minimum wage workers in the nation.
- Earth Friendly Products has achieved the unprecedented Triple Crown of sustainable manufacturing: carbon neutrality, water neutrality, and Platinum-level Zero Waste certification.
- Arbor Day was established in 1872, 145 years ago, and during the last 44 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted worldwide.
About Earth Friendly Products Family owned and operated since 1967, Earth Friendly Products is the maker of ECOSTM Laundry Detergent and over 200 other environmentally friendly products that are safer for people, pets and the planet. Made with plant-powered ingredients, ECOSTM cleaners are thoughtfully sourced, pH balanced, readily biodegradable, easily recyclable and never tested on animals. Earth Friendly Products is a primary manufacturer that makes its own products in sustainable manufacturing facilities located across the U.S. All Earth Friendly Products facilities are carbon neutral, water neutral and Zero Waste Platinum certified, saving over 53 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually and diverting over 95% of all waste from landfills. Over 100 ECOSTM products have received the coveted U.S. EPA Safer Choice certification, which means that every ingredient is the safest in its class and that the product has proven superior performance. ECOSTM, Disney Baby ECOSTM, ECOSTM for Pets! and ECOSTM Pro cleaners are available at selected major retailers throughout the U.S., in over 60 countries and online at ecos.com.
Alyson Dutch / Andrea Schnorr, BROWN + DUTCH PR, INC.
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SOURCE Earth Friendly Products