Monday, December 19, 2011

Keepin' It Real

It’s that time of year again. Twinkling white lights line the doorways, gifts are being wrapped in a hurry, and the fresh smell of pine fills the air. And of course, the holiday season wouldn’t be the same without one thing: a Christmas tree.

But as Americans are becoming more environmentally conscious, people are having a hard time choosing between buying a fake tree or cutting down a real one. And while many consumers think they’re “going green” by getting this year’s tree at a big box retailer, they might want to think again. According to National Geographic, your plastic tree isn’t all that environmentally friendly after all. The New York Times reports that “The annual carbon emissions associated with using a real tree every year were just one-third of those created by an artificial tree over a typical six-year lifespan.”

Think about it: your newly purchased tree isn’t manufactured in your backyard. In fact, most are typically shipped all the way from China… a long trip that results in a ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Some might argue that a fake tree is better because it lasts longer. But most people reuse theirs only 4 or 5 years in a row…and then it goes to the dump where it sits for centuries on end. On the other hand, your pine-needled tree will biodegrade—and will help prevent erosion and build up shorelines in the process.

So, instead of putting up a fake tree this year (one that is packaged in a cardboard box, remember), keep it real and help reduce your carbon footprint. We don’t need to make drastic changes to help improve the environment---which is the exact concept behind Ecovention, LLC’s GreenBox: a product that re-invents the typical pizza box. Just 50 million of these in circulation would save 280,250 trees, 1,041 acres of land, 85,750,000 gallons of water, and 50,225,000 kilowatts of energy.

Remember: it’s our planet, and our responsibility. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Tribute to GreenBox Creator William Walsh

© David Friedman

On November 16, 2011, we at Ecovention lost our friend, business partner and CEO, William Walsh.  Will was a passionate innovator with creative spirit.  His energy and enthusiasm were the driving force behind our growth.

Will created and patented our flagship product, the GreenBox, a pizza box that breaks into plates and a storage container (see demo video here).  He never wavered in his belief that it would become the standard in the pizza industry and we plan to continue to make that vision a reality.

If you get a moment, Google “William Walsh” and the word “pizza box” and check out the many articles out there about Will and his great product. You can also view Will’s TV appearances on YouTube

Will, you will be dearly missed.
© David Friedman

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Build Good Pizza and They Will Come

Build good pizza and they will come… even the U.S. President.  Just ask Chris Sommers of Pi Pizzeria based in St. Louis Missouri.   That’s just what happened back in 2008, when Obama was passing through on his campaign trail.  The advance team had ordered carryout from Pi and when Obama tasted it he proclaimed it to be the best pizza he’d ever eaten. 

Obama talked so much about “that pizza in St. Louis,” in fact, that when he became President, his assistant, Reggie Love, called in May 2009 and invited the Pi team to the White House to “satiate their cravings” (in the words of Sommers).

Pi attributes the success of its pizza to the quality of its ingredients.  The restaurant’s thin crust dough is always vegan and their deep-dish crust pizza is vegan, on request.  Gluten-free crust made from rice flour tapioca flour, potato starch, egg whites, olive oil, vegetable oil and water is also on the menu as is vegan cheese and vegan meats.

Pi is also committed to creating ecologically sustainable, “environmentally benign” restaurants.  90% of the restaurant’s materials, including art, furniture and flooring, are reclaimed and only 25% of its waste goes to landfill.  And Pi was the first restaurant in St. Louis to adopt the 100% recycled multifunctional GreenBox pizza box.  Sommers involves his restaurant in Earth Day too, with a focus on developing a green restaurant division for the organization.

So what has Sommers been up to since 2008?  He opened a Pi restaurant in Washington, D.C., of course!  Not to mention three more stores in the St. Louis area as well as a couple of roaming pizza trucks.  He also did some catering recently for the President’s recent campaign fundraiser in the St. Louis area, a nice by-product of producing quality pizza.

So build good pizza and they will come… Oh, and don’t be afraid to create some hype about it.  Chris Sommers wasn’t, as evidenced by his multiple television appearances and press mentions… not to mention his 2008 launch of election win pizza, the Broccoli O'Bama.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pairing Organic and Local Wines with Pizza!

This past weekend I took my very first trip to California’s Napa Valley.  Given my love of wine and Napa Valley’s reputation as one of the top Viticultural Areas in America, I’m kicking myself for not making that trip a long time ago, but better late than never I guess. 

Napa Valley is beautiful at this time of year - it just the perfect temperature and there is something so fun about stumbling across a small boutique winery off the beaten path and discovering a wine that you’ll never find at retail.  And one of the wonderful things I learned on my many winery visits was just how far organic wines have come over the past few years (1,200 acres to date the Napa region alone, in fact).

What does “organic” mean when it comes to wines?  It simply means that no chemicals can be used in the vineyard; no chemical fertilizers, weed killers or insecticides. The only substance that is permitted for use is elemental sulfur, which is itself organic and which is used to prevent powdery mildew.

Both organic and local wines represent a neat opportunity for pizza operators to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Slice pizzeria, for example promotes an “Organic Wine Pairing Night” at their restaurant in New York.  For $35, clients enjoy two glasses of wine, an appetizer, gourmet pizza entree and dessert.  Mobile pizza vendor Beatrice’s Inferno, a user of the eco-friendly and multifunctional GreenBox pizza box, is invited many weekends to Galen Glen Vineyard and Winery in Andreas, PA and Va La Vineyards in Avondale, PA because these winemakers know that pizza and wine together create great draws from their local communities.

So to pizza operators that haven’t stomped their feet in the organic and local wine barrels yet - give them a chance.  By turning your organic and local wine pairings into a fun experience as did identical twin owners Slice founders Miki and Radha Agrawal and Beatrice’s Inferno owner Jason Brown, you can generate traffic, help your local and organic vineyards and most importantly, bring something different and more unique to the table than your competitors.

My personal organic fave on my visit to Napa?  Frog’s Leap!  It is a winery that tries not to take itself to seriously that has an impressive of list of very good, albeit sometimes a little pricy, wines, including zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, rosé, and even a dessert wine.  


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Green Spotlight On… Pizza Boli’s New Multifunctional SmartBox!

If you’ve ever spent time at college, or even crashed for a weekend in a friend’s dorm, you’ll know that students and pizza go hand in hand. Case in point, one resourceful student at the University of Maine, which has an annual enrollment of just 11,500 students, calculated that over 17,000 pizzas are delivered to Maine campus each month, equating to 25 tons of waste each academic year. Considering there are 2,680 colleges and universities in the US alone, the number of pizza boxes that end up on campuses each month becomes even more staggering.

Such a volume poses a significant challenge for campuses around the country. Regular pizza boxes don’t fit down in school recycling bins and trash chutes and routinely sit for days on end in the dorm rooms of students until they finally find the gumption to figure out a way to dispose of them.  In fact, according to a manager of one of University of Pennsylvania’s largest college houses, pizza boxes are the “single biggest attractant of pests,” as reported by the residence’s extermination service.

Such a predicament is one of the many reasons why Pizza Boli’s, a chain whose stores are situated on and near many a college campus, decided to provide an innovative solution.  Pizza Boli’s new SmartBox pizza box is perforated and scored, allowing for easy disposal into recycling, compost and trash bins (whichever disposal receptacle is required by the relevant municipalities).  What’s more, these perforations and scores allow the SmartBox to be broken down into plates and a storage container, thereby addressing age-old problems experienced by college students of (a) never having plates and (b) never being able to fit the pizza box with leftovers into a dorm room bar fridge.

With eye-catching new graphics, copy that touts the SmartBox as well as an entertaining new commercial, Pizza Boli’s is making sure that its green pizza box technology makes a huge splash with its customers.  With future green initiatives on the horizon, Pizza Boli’s even calls out a website page on its new box that will highlight its ongoing efforts on this front.

The message to pizza operators? Look for sustainable solutions that will have a direct positive impact on your community and don’t worry about starting small. Going green does not have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Every little bit helps when it comes to the environment and small changes by every pizzeria create a big impact overall.  Most importantly, don’t be shy when it comes to touting your efforts to go green. Being a ‘green leader’ in your community will pay off in spades in the long term via customer goodwill, loyalty and, ultimately, increased sales.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pizza Operators: Get Your Green Message Off and Running!

Chef Ed, Diego and Miguel of Pizza by Certe (L to R) and Jennifer of Ecovention
In June this year, I received a fun, albeit slightly daunting, invitation from Edward Sylvia, owner of Pizza by Certe'.  Chef Ed, as he is affectionately known, challenged me to participate in a unique event called the NYC Pizza Run.

In its second year, the NYC Pizza Run takes place in the heart of NYC’s Alphabet City and is for a great cause (entry fees benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International based in New York).  Participants are required to run a 2.25 mile course that winds through and around Tompkins Square Park, stopping along the way to scarf down pizza at three separate checkpoints.

I like running. I do. I’m not one of those gazelle-like creatures that can spring swiftly and effortlessly, but I can plod with the best of them and 2.25 miles is well within my realm of capability.  And I like pizza… a lot actually.  I like doing something charitable every once in awhile too.  So when Chef Ed proposed this challenge, I jumped right on board. 

Now, I wouldn’t put "running and pizza" in the same category as "chocolate and peanut butter", but I will say this – it does make for great PR.  For green pizza operators, getting involved in unique events like the NYC Pizza Run is a great way to gain exposure and drive home their eco-friendly message.

For Pizza by Certe’ that message is to buy green and source locally and Chef Ed reinforced this at the NYC Pizza Run every chance he got.  He did so both subtly (by using and displaying the 100% recycled GreenBox pizza box) and directly (by highlighting the eco-friendly aspects of his parlor to the many TV and print journalists that were present).  He also managed to give prominence to the Pizza by Certe’ logo by displaying it on the backs of the official NYC Pizza Run T-Shirts that were handed out, and on the coupons and menus included with the official NYC Pizza Run swag.  The result of Chef Ed’s efforts?  A video on the NY Times site and mentions in the NY Times, the NY Daily News, USA Today, the Huffington Post and multiple other blogs.

The message to pizza operators:  Look for interesting events to get involved in to get your green message out there.  For the cost of a few pizzas and a bit of your time you’ll end up with some powerful publicity that matches the marketing power of a much larger chain that puts you on the map!

So how’d I do? Well, unfortunately on my third and final lap around the park, I somehow (perhaps intentionally, on some subconscious level) took a wrong turn, which ultimately landed me in the home stretch far quicker than I ever should have been.  Phew. There. I got that off my chest. A secret held by me and a cameraman who looked at me sideways as I raised my arms up in triumph at the finish line.  Ah well, I finished – somewhere in the middle of the pack - that’s all that matters. And it’s too late to take back my T-Shirt.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hold The Pine Nuts

So a funny thing happened to me the other day.  While munching on blueberries one morning, I experienced, quite suddenly, a bitter, metallic and very pervasive taste throughout my entire mouth. 

Convinced that my blueberries were the culprits despite their wonderfully fresh appearance, I made the decision to toss them and seek out a pallet cleanser that would quickly eliminate this most unpleasant taste.  I theorized that citrus fruit, maybe an orange, would do the trick given their acidity… but that didn’t do a thing to solve the problem. I then figured that crackers might work (they work so perfectly at wine tastings)… but that didn’t solve the problem either. 

With my ‘metal mouth’ still 100% present I decided that the cause of my ailment must be far more sinister and infinitely more serious than I previously suspected.  My logic in thinking so?  A commercial from the 90s that ran through my head… the details were sketchy but I distinctly recall the recounting of a story of a woman tasting burnt toast before seizures… 

Being a person of the new millennium, I decided to do next what most responsible people would do under my circumstances – I googled my symptoms.  I take that back; I first did an exhaustive search for the burnt toast commercial.  For nostalgic reasons, I guess. Here it is for any readers that enjoy tangents, but be warned in advance that the burnt toast lady will be inexplicably emblazoned in your minds forevermore. 

Once off my tangent and with a renewed focus on my potentially fatal affliction, I began to grow nervous … Did I have lyme disease? A tumor?  Had I contracted a rare mouth disease that would cause my teeth to slowly rot from my head?  Whatever the ailment was, I resolved myself to be strong and pondered ways in which I would break my sad news to my family.  As I clicked through my Google search results it wasn’t long before I had my diagnosis – and it was weirder and more comical then I could ever have imagined… I had (gasp) Pine Mouth. Apparently, the pine nuts that were in the Eggplant Involtini I had cooked the night before were to blame.

For those of you out there that haven’t heard of Pine Mouth, you might want to pay attention... It’s a bizarre and little known problem that has only cropped up in recent years.  Here are the details in a nutshell, no pun intended (I’ve never seen pine nut shells before so this unintentional pun did just lead me to another, decidedly uninteresting, google tangent):

-       Over the past two years the FDA has received a number of complaints from consumers about Pine Mouth, a bitter metallic taste associated with pine nuts. The taste begins 12 to 48 hours after consumption and lasts anywhere from a few days to four weeks.
-       The FDA continues to review consumer complaints to identify potential causes of Pine Mouth, but findings to date indicate that the problem stems from pine nuts sourced from China.  Evidently the skyrocketing price of pine nuts has encouraged Chinese sellers to include non-edible and off-grade (i.e. immature, shriveled, oily, brown centered, rancid, spotted) kernels into the mix.

What does all this mean for pizza operators? With the consumer trend toward organic and locally sourced ingredients growing every day, it might be high time for pizzerias to join the movement.  Offering organic and locally sourced ingredients while reducing environmental impact carries benefits for both pizza operators and their customers.  It is no surprise that organic and locally sourced ingredients can often cost more, but serving a healthy, premium quality pizza that customers feel good about eating (i.e. one that is devoid of risks like Pine Mouth), will ultimately have a big impact on the top and bottom lines of pizza operators. 

The key to making such a strategy successful? Charge a little more for your healthy, premium quality pizza, inform customers which ingredients have been sourced locally, find substitutes for ingredients that are too pricy (case-in-point), shop around and, most importantly, hold the pine nuts!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Recycling That Greasy Pizza Box? “Don’t Worry About It!”

John J. Doherty, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation

Given the age-old debate about the recyclability of pizza boxes, the title of my blog this week might peak the attention (and criticism) of just a few of my 'za- and earth-loving friends out there. I'm hoping so, of course, because what's a blog without some extreme opinions and lively debate? But, before my compatriots jump to the comments section to refute too quickly... I'll acquiesce a little. My title is true only sometimes. Here is the truth:

There is no universal answer to the question as to whether pizza boxes are recyclable.

Put simply, in some municipalities pizza boxes are recyclable; in others, they are not. Many bloggers out there have tried to clear up this longstanding debate. They have failed miserably, however, by making blanket statements on the subject that supposedly apply to every single municipality in the country. This is irresponsible, in my opinion, given the simple statement I note above (i.e. that there is no single correct answer). To prove this point, I took a few minutes to find out more about the different recycling policies of various municipalities. Here is what I learned:

New York City: Recycle it. John J. Doherty, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Sanitation put it best: "Don't worry about it! Into the recycling bin...and it goes back through the process and out as a new pizza box!"

San Francisco: Compost it. Through its three-cart program (black cart for landfill items, blue cart for recycling items and green cart for compostable items), pizza boxes are placed in the green cart then turned into organic compost for farming.

Philadelphia: Toss it. There's no love for pizza boxes here. According to the city's website, pizza boxes are not recyclable and end up in landfill with the regular trash. 

So there you have it. Three cities with three different recycling practices for pizza boxes. What's the moral here? It is the responsibility of all pizza operators to educate their customers about the acceptable recycling practices of their communities. Don't take the easy way out and listen to the weberalities (my new term for web generalities)... get the facts!

What's your city's policy regarding the recycling of pizza box? Leave your comment below.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blindly Recycling

   Since I've been interning at ECOvention, LLC, my eyes are opening to a lot more when it comes to sustainability and recycling. For example, I never really took notice to the fact that my mother would save the soda cans we use, instead of just throwing them away in the trash. Throwing them away was what I would always do...  My mother would constantly tell me to put the cans and, for that matter, the plastic and glass bottles, in a special recycling bag.

   Now, without my mother even having to remind me, I unconsciously just do it. I asked my mother the other day when it is that she actually brings the bottles and cans we collect to the recycling machine.  I know that you can redeem money from the cans and bottles that are inserted. I learned that she saves them for others that are already collecting them. Usually around the neighborhood where I live, the people who collect them push carts with bags full of cans and bottles that they are going to recycle. For some, it is something they do on the side as a hobby; for others, it is their nine to five. 

   Not to long ago I read an article about can and bottle collecting. At the end of the article there was a chart that told you how many cans one would have to collect for a certain item or opportunity, as well as the amount of money one could make and the time it would take to do so.  I thought it was interesting to learn that it would take 880,000 cans to pay for one year at Brooklyn Law School. The amount made from the cans and bottles on average would be $44,000 and it would take three hundred and thirty nine days to do so.

   After reading this article, I felt that my mother was doing more than recycling but helping others as well. Sustainability and recycling to me now is more than just helping the planet. It begins with helping others who are willing to help the planet as well. I sort of see it as a cycle. By helping society, we can, in a way, help the planet. I am glad that my mother has gotten me into the habit of recycling. After saving the cans and bottles in that special recycling bag we have at home, I feel good, especially knowing that I am contributing to something that is great.

-Excited Intern K.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Out With the Old, In With the New

   Last week was my first week interning for ECOvention, LLC, and I must say that I am quite impressed at the level of interest people have when it comes to the GreenBox.  One of my first tasks that week was to send out emails to potential GreenBox users. The email was pretty straight foward, discussing the GreenBox and basically getting people interested in it being something that they can use for their business.

   While I was sending out more emails, Ned told me that he got an email back from someone who I'd sent an email out too. Although getting a reply from an email is normal, it made me do a little dance in my head because it was my first experience of people showing interest in their business using the GreenBox. I am not quite sure, but I think the person replyed by asking for a sample. It's good to know that the GreenBox is becoming of interest to many. The more people begin to learn more about and use the GreenBox, sooner or later the "normal box" may be obselete. It's on a mission and I wonder what's next?

-Excited Intern K.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The GreenBox and I

   As the new intern for ECOvention, LLC, I was (and still am) very excited about the idea of the new and improved pizza box, the GreenBox! When Jen and Ned explained to me about the idea and concept, I began to wonder why a few of my favorite pizza chains haven't started using it as of yet, it is PURE GENIUS. With the U.S. and other countries beginning to get environmentally friendly, I found this invention to be revolutionary in a sense that not only will the pizza box take on a new look and use but other food containers will too.

   I've had pizza from two different pizza chains in the last two weeks and it's sad to say that I had to use plates (more dishes to wash and the use of water that can be conserved) and aluminum foil to store the left overs (the routine everytime I order pizza). The GreenBox makes the "normal box" seem so... I don't know, a bit useless if you ask me. The GreenBox has purpose, it has life, it has storage, it has perforated plates, it has... everything!? And the GreenBox is much more conventional, more cool... looks better too.  I wouldn't be surprised if the models used it as an accessory at New York Fashion week. 

   Excited I am; I really do look forward to my days here. I would love to experience how far the GreenBox can go and I'm pretty sure it can go very far. I mean it's for the environment, and it can help one out in their normal life, what more can one ask for? For me it would be all the pizzas you can eat, of course with high demands that it comes in a GreenBox and only a GreenBox. Maybe seems like a bit much but the more I can benefit the environment (and myself with the extra cheese and pepperoni) the more I'll be one happy camper. 

-Excited Intern K.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pizza Hut Costa Rica Launches Multifunctional “SmartBox" Pizza Box

Look Who's Loving Pizza Hut Costa Rica's New SmartBox!
In partnership with manufacturing partner SigmaQ, we are thrilled to announce the launch of Pizza Hut Costa Rica’s Innovative New Multifunctional “SmartBox” Pizza Box. Using Ecovention's patented GreenBox technology, Pizza Hut Costa Rica’s new “SmartBox” breaks down into plates and a smaller container for leftovers, eliminating the need for disposable plates and ancillary storage materials like aluminum foil and plastic wrap.  The technology elevates Pizza Hut Costa Rica's pizza to a new level of convenience and environmental sustainability for its customers.

In conjunction with the SmartBox introduction, Pizza Hut Costa Rica has launched a campaign that not only includes print avertising and television and radio spots but also a social media campaign that includes a contest on Facebook.  The contest encourages customers to upload photos of themselves utilizing the new technology (check out a few of those shots above!), with the winner receiving a pizza an Coca Cola party with thirty friends.

The new SmartBox has already receive an enthusiastic response from customers, as evidenced by a spike in sales since the product's launch, according to a recent article in Prensa Libre, one of Central America's leading newspapers. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blogs We Like!... OpGreen Insights: Top 5 Fashionable and Biodegradable Products

Today is the second edition of a sporadic feature simply entitled “Blogs We Like!”  Since there’s such a constant flow of online coverage of our beloved GreenBox, we’ve decided to highlight, on an ad-hoc basis, some of our company faves for our readers.

This particular entry comes to us from OpGreen Insights, the blog page for Opportunity Green, a conference that brings together today's leading companies and visionaries to showcase the players, opportunities and innovations that drive today's new green economy. 

The folks at Opportunity Green scoured the design world this year to come up with a list of the most stylish and biodegradable items that have turned planned-obsolescence into compostable chic. And which product do you figure might have made the prestigious top-five?  Oh well <blush> we hate to toot our own horn, but... oh who are we kidding? We love tooting our own horn.  It was the GreenBox and we are thrilled to bits by its inclusion. 

Incidentally, this is not the first time that the country's largest sustainability conference has honored the GreenBox. Back in late 2009, Opportunity Green selected the GreenBox as a finalist in its OG25 Innovation Awards competition, resulting in an enviably large photo in the prestigious LA Times as well as a guest spot on Johnny Carson. Pretty cool. Ok, ok, there was no guest spot on Johnny Carson but had it still been airing at the time of the article we are pretty darn certain that there would have been.

Yep, Opportunity Green had some pretty kind words to say in its blog about the GreenBox as well as some other fine products  to boot (check out Verterra dinnerware, for example - very cool!). So, we'll just sign off here and and let the post speak for itself.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ecovention, LLC Announces Launch of PERFORMANCE Foodservice/ROMA Food’s Multifunctional “Serve & Store” Pizza Box

In partnership with manufacturing partners Pratt Industries and Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (NYSE: SSCC), Ecovention, LLC is pleased to announce the launch of the ROMA “Serve & Store” pizza box.  Available exclusively through PERFORMANCE Foodservice/ROMA Food, the ROMA “Serve & Store” is based on Ecovention’s patented GreenBox technology.  Easy to assemble, the ROMA “Serve & Store” breaks down into plates and a smaller container for leftovers, eliminating the need for disposable plates and ancillary storage materials like aluminum foil and plastic wrap.  The technology elevates take-out pizza to a new level of convenience and creates an effective source of differentiation for pizzerias, restaurants and chains.

The technology utilized by the ROMA Food “Serve & Store” has already received an enthusiastic response from both restaurants and consumers after being placed in the spotlight by Ashton Kutcher via a ‘tweet’ to his Twitter followers.  Since then, it has been the subject of various news segments and newspaper articles, has been featured in hundreds of internet blogs and has been the talk of social networking sites around the world.  The Company’s demonstration video for the GreenBox technology has already garnered over 1 million views on YouTube.

Ecovention, LLC is a design, licensing, manufacturing and subcontract management firm dedicated to improving outmoded, outdated and wasteful food packaging. 

PERFORMANCE Foodservice/ROMA Food, part of the PERFORMANCE Food Group family of distributors, specializes in broadline distribution and Italian and Italian-American food products, and services pizzerias and restaurants throughout the US.

Pratt Industries is the industry’s leading manufacturer of 100% recycled containerboard, corrugated packaging and display solutions in the US.  The company employs more than 3,500 highly skilled “green-collar” employees dedicated to the environment and sustainability.

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation is one of the industry’s leading integrated containerboard and corrugated packaging producers and one of the world’s largest paper recyclers.  The company is a member of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and conducts its business in compliance with the environmental, health and safety principles of the American Forest & Paper Association.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Whole Foods GreenBox Part of Brand Packaging's Sustainable Design Gallery

In its April edition every year, Brand Packaging Magazine gives mention to a short list of brands that are "making their mark on the ever-evolving path toward sustainable package design" and which are "thoughtfully incorporating their equities and the needs of consumers into their environmental efforts". Always a top-of-mind-brand when it comes to such criteria, Whole Foods Markets was deservedly, and not surprisingly, included in Brand Packaging magazine's round-up of sustainable packaging solutions. It was, however, the package behind the the organic grocer's mention that got us folks here at Ecovention, LLC quite excited. Yep, you guessed it - it was the GreenBox that caught the attention of Brand Packaging Magazine, and we couldn't be prouder. 

As Brand Packaging Magazine explains so eloquently: "By using 100 percent recycled material, rather than virgin or a mixture of recycled and virgin fiber, the box generates profound environmental benefits: Data from the US Environmental Protection Agency shows that recycling one ton of paper saves three cubic yards of landfill, 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity, 7,000 gallons of water and 17 mature trees."..."The package also reduces waste by eliminating the need for disposable or ceramic plates, as well as food wrap or foil for leftovers — and it can be recycled or composted in communities with appropriate commercial facilities." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

So take a few minutes to peruse the simple, elegant GreenBox and the other ingenious packaging designs it is keeping company with in the latest edition of Brand Packaging Magazine (in print or online)... and enjoy a brick oven pizza from Whole Foods while you're at it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Look Who’s Using the GreenBox… Blackbird Pizzeria!

Today is the first edition of a new feature on the GreenBox blog, simply entitled “Look Who’s Using the GreenBox!”  In this wonderful feature, we plan to showcase pizzerias large and small around the country that are faithfully using our beloved GreenBox pizza box.  To that end, we decided to focus our first edition on Blackbird Pizzeria, Philadelphia’s first all-vegan pizzeria.

Founded by pioneering vegetarian chef Mark Mebus and graphic designer Ryan Moylan, Blackbird Pizzeria is already making waves in the Philadelphia pizza scene. And because Messrs. Mebus and Moylan are a pair of forward-thinking, 21st-century types, they’ve wisely decided to serve their culinary delights in a box that speaks volumes about their commitment to both their customers and the environment.

Check out recent review of the vegan hotspot in CityPaper; it gives a shout-out to the GreenBox and a nice description of Blackbird' Pizzerias signature pizzas, which use Daiya cheese and meat alternatives like seitan sausage and barbecue baked tofu. Another recent article in FlyingKite highlights the interesting backgrounds of both Mebus and Moylan, and shows some wonderful pics of the GreenBox in action to boot.  We’re particularly taken by this quotation:

“It's their punk-rock roots…that are most indicative of their willingness to challenge the long-held conventions of a food that's as popular for its simplicity as it is its consistent flavors.”

Well put, we think – using the GreenBox goes hand-in-hand with an attitude of progressive exploration. After all, the GreenBox is all about “challenging long-held conventions”. And it’s becoming increasingly obvious that smart, progressive business owners feel that it’s time to give their customers – and the planet – a pizza box that challenges the industry to be more responsible and to offer something of real value to the pizza-eating world.

Mark Mebus and Ryan Moylan are another fine example of the paradigm shift that is happening all over the industry, a shift away from waste and inefficiency and towards a product that does away with both - the GreenBox from Ecovention. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The City of Lights, Black Jack, Billy Manzo and the GreenBox?

Ah, Las Vegas - the city with that “what happens here, stays here” policy.  Well, with our number one pizza box en route to good ol' Sin city, that policy is about to change!  That’s right, the GreenBox is headed to Vegas next week for the all-important industry event, the International Pizza Expo!

If you’re a pizza joint looking for a new edge on your competition, or if you simply need of a break from a rough game of BlackJack, Roma Booth #1035 from March 1st through 3rd will be the place to be! Not only will you witness a live demonstration of the amazing GreenBox but you’ll also get a sneak peak at the Roma Multi-functional, an awesome new pizza box that’ll be rolled out to Roma Foods / Performance Food Group locations nationwide starting in March. With plates and a storage container built right in, the GreenBox and Roma Multi-Functional offer an end-user-friendly experience that will keep customers coming back again and again.

Joining the regular GreenBox entourage of show girls, pizza spinners and plain ol’ pizza lovers will be World Pizza Champion, Billy Manzo. In between performing his official Pizza Expo “World Pizza Games duties”, you can find Chef Billy passionately extolling the virtues of the GreenBox.  With 23 years in the business and a successful pizzeria of his own (Federal Hill Pizza in Rhode Island), Chef Billy knows a good product when he sees one; he is a proud user and a huge proponent!

So come join us – We look forward to seeing you! Below are the deets:
International Pizza Expo, March 1-3, 2011, Las Vegas Convention Center, Roma Booth #1035

By: Katelyn Bachman

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A New Year, A New Intern....Well, Two New Interns

Yes, it is a brand new year and that means a new intern. Since the intern who reigned before me stated that I can not call myself the GreenBox Intern, I’ve decided to call myself the “Awesome GreenBox Intern”.  Though this is a title I have come up with to call myself, I must share it because there is not only just one intern there are two GreenBox Interns! That means double the knowledge, double the strength, and double the awesome!!! Ok, so maybe I got carried away there, but we are still really excited about being part of the GreenBox and the wonderful things it does for people and the environment.

As the new GreenBox Interns, we know that we have what it takes to not only fill in the shoes of our predecessor but to do a little bit more. We may even surprise ourselves with all the work we’ll do with the GreenBox, but I digress. As the GreenBox Interns we will continue to Blog and update you wonderful followers and fans about our favorite GreenBox.

-The Awesome GreenBox Intern One. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blogs We Like!...

Today is the first edition of a ad hoc new feature on the GreenBox blog, simply entitled “Blogs We Like!”  Since there’s such a constant flow of online coverage of the GreenBox, we’ve decided to highlight some of our favorites. We figure this will give you, loyal readers of the GreenBox blog, an easier time of wading through the avalanche of press about our product.

This week’s entry comes to us from Robert Manning, an NYC-based e-marketing expert and all-around enthusiast for innovative design. Mr. Manning stumbled upon the GreenBox recently and, like so many other folks around the world, was enthralled by the intuitive design. Mr. Manning is particularly taken with the way the GreenBox effortlessly synthesizes environmental consciousness with maximum benefit to the consumer (as well he should be).

Mr. Manning is no slouch in the writing department, so I’ll step aside and let him wax eloquent on the virtues of the GreenBox. Give it a read here, and be sure to leave your comments!