HICKORY, N.C., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- After 45 days of photos, tweets and videos and an average of over 500 weekly fan votes on Facebook, Hickory Springs today announced Laura Dillon of San Bernardino, Calif., as winner of The EarthCare Challenge. Hairstylist by day, Dillon went from "eco-oblivious" to "eco-chic," ousting five other contestants to win the national competition.
Dillon will appear at the Winter 2010 Las Vegas Furniture Market on February 2, where she will get to "shop" the insiders-only market for her grand prize – a personal collection of EarthCare Inside home furnishings courtesy of Craftmaster Furniture. Her grand prize will carry a retail value of up to $5,000.
Taking place entirely on the Internet on social networking communities Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and EarthCareInside.com, the EarthCare Challenge documented the real, live challenges of six everyday consumers as they abandoned their old ways and adopted eco-friendly upgrades to their home and lifestyle.
"Our congratulations go out to Laura and all of our contestants who shared their personal journeys," said Hickory Springs Executive Vice President Dwayne Welch. "The contest showed how simple decisions whether small (turning off lights) or big (opting for solar panels or a high-efficiency toilet), can really get people talking and inspire positive change."
Dillon won the panel of judges over by demonstrating her transformation towards living more sustainably. She banned her family's daily habit of using paper plates, started a recycling regimen in her home, found eco-alternatives to items such as gift wrap, beauty products and lighting, and began riding her bicycle to the market. She also started a vegetable garden in her backyard, among other initiatives, proving how simple changes can help anyone become "eco-chic."
Announced at the October 2009 High Point Furniture Market, The EarthCare Challenge followed the 45-day makeovers of six national finalists beginning December 1. Family, friends and social media users around the world participated by becoming a fan of the contest on Facebook and voting for their favorite contestant in exchange for a shot at weekly giveaways. More than 500 fans voted in each week by "liking" or contributing to contestants' online updates.
Guiding the contestants were three experts on green lifestyle, diet and home: Cindy Ojczyk, LEED AP, owner of Simply Green Design and co-owner of Verified Green; Michael Anschel, owner of Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build and co-founder of Verified Green; and Amy Todisco, green lifestyle coach and owner of GreenLivingNow.com.
The contest highlights EarthCare Inside, which combines Hickory Springs' soy-based Preserve® foam with other recycled and sustainable components. The products can be found in furniture from leading manufacturers including Alan White, Craftmaster, England and H.M. Richards.
For more information on The Hickory Springs EarthCare Challenge, visit www.earthcareinside.com and click on "Take the Challenge."
About Hickory Springs
Hickory Springs' headquarters is located in Hickory, North Carolina, where the international, privately-held company was first founded in 1944 as a producer of furniture springs. Hickory Springs has grown into one of the nation's largest integrated manufacturers to the furniture and bedding industries with more than 60 operating facilities throughout the United States. In 2008, the company launched its EarthCare Inside line of components for upholstered furniture, including the industry-leading Preserve® bio-based foam, 100% recycled cotton, recycled sinuous steel and coils, among many other sustainable options. For more information, visit www.hickorysprings.com and www.earthcareinside.com.
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SOURCE Hickory Springs