LACEY, Wash., April 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mayor of Lacey, Andy Ryder, and representatives from Washington's Senatorial and Congressional offices celebrated Earth Day together in Lacey at the manufacturing facility of the nation's leading environmentally friendly cleaning products company, Earth Friendly Products. A farm to table sustainable luncheon, catered by Elyse's Catering, was hosted in celebration of Earth Friendly Products' 50th anniversary, the same year Lacey was ratified as a city. The employees of the Lacey plant were gifted with an extra week's salary, and they are among some of the highest paid minimum wage employees in the nation. As part of the celebration, the company presented Friends of Costco with a check for $100,000 in support of Seattle Children's Hospital. The 80,000-square-foot, carbon-neutral Lacey facility opened in 2009.
"1967 was a great year," said Mayor Ryder, "When Lacey became an incorporated city and in Illinois a great company was also born." An environmental entrepreneur at heart, Ryder charmed the audience by sharing that he was the first person in the U.S. to create a green carwash. He presented a proclamation thanking Earth Friendly Products for choosing Lacey as one of its four manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S., for creating green jobs for the denizens of Lacey and doing it all with a carbon neutral footprint. He added: this company "lives up to its name of being earth friendly and should be applauded for the work they do."
Other dignitaries present included Rosa McLeod, South Sound and Olympic Peninsula Outreach Director from Senator Maria Cantwell's office, and Phil Gardner, Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman, State of Washington's 10th District, Danny Heck.
The event was hosted by Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, president and CEO of Earth Friendly Products. During the highly inspiring afternoon, Vlahakis-Hanks spoke about her love of the environment and gave heartfelt praise to her employees and Washingtonian partners: the Hands-on Children Museum, the Boys and Girls Club, and Harlequin Productions. She gave gratitude for Washington's support of Earth Friendly Products noting that the Association of Washington Business has thrice presented the company with its Green Manufacturing Excellence Award, and the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce commended the company with its Green Business Designation and Green Business of the Year Award. Vlahakis-Hanks also thanked the Washington State Department of Ecology for awarding the company its Safer Chemistry Champion accolade. She encouraged guests to "read labels, know what you bring into your house" and thanked the EPA for the honor of being chosen as the 2017 Safer Choice Partner of the Year.
As Vlahakis-Hanks stood on the podium, she teared up telling the story of her father, Van Vlahakis, a Greek immigrant who came to the U.S. with $22 in his pocket. "My father was an eco-pioneer who founded this company at the dawn of the environmental movement. He said that success is doing the right thing. That vision guides us to continue to break barriers in green science. I vow to protect people, pets and the planet and finally: the small choices you make – even the smallest – can be big consequences for your health and that of planet."
Did you know?
- Earth Day started on April 22 in 1970. Earth Friendly Products was established only three years before that in 1967 by Van Vlahakis. Not speaking 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.
- On the first Earth Day, 20M people, Democrats and Republicans, rich and poor came together to place the environment on the national agenda.
- In the same year that Earth Day was created, so was the Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
- On Earth Day in 2017, it is estimated that 1B people in 192 countries will come together to rally, plant trees, clean beaches and educate the world about protecting the environment.
- The cornerstone of Mayor Andy Ryder's career was environmental protection; he was the creator of the nation's first green car wash.
- The U.S. government currently has no requirements on ingredient disclosure for household 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.
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.
SOURCE Earth Friendly Products