Earth Day Month

Aveda and Global Greengrants Find Common Ground, and Protect It.
Photo courtesy of Global Greengrants

Photo courtesy of Global Greengrants

Last year, monsoons that generally nourish Koolur, India, didn’t come. Families that needed to irrigate their farms and home gardens weren’t able to harvest any of their crops.

Global Greengrants, a Boulder, CO-based nonprofit, mobilized its network to build a relationship with the community to implement education programs. Families will soon produce a steady source of vegetables, making them less vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies. Aveda—known to you and me as maker of natural products and deliverer of salons—funded the project.

Since 1999, Aveda has led Earth Month, an April-long campaign dedicated to raising environmental awareness by working with local organizations. In 2007, Aveda took it global, launching a unique project alongside Global Greengrants, a grant-giving organization with an ingenious and effective way to aid communities in need: By partnering with NGOs and individuals already stationed in grant-targeted regions, Greengrants and Aveda can ensure that community needs are being met. Together, they encapsulate exactly what it means to work from the grassroots.

This April, stop into any Aveda salon—or participating natural products store—and you’ll see an emblem of the partnership for sale: the limited edition Light the Way soy candle. The candle is decorated by children in communities where Aveda and Greengrants have funded water projects, each a reflection of the grant’s ability to make change through promoting environmental awareness. Ensuring a focus on environmental aid in regions where Aveda sources its natural ingredients, 100 percent of the candle’s proceeds go toward Greengrants projects.

According to Katie Galloway, director of Earth & Community Care at Aveda, “This year, we are working with Greengrants to fund water projects and promote organic agriculture in southwestern India, an area where Aveda procures essential oils.” Galloway says the children’s artwork for the candle ties it all together, demonstrating “the impact that we’ve been able to make with communities and people in the region.”

While it might seem beneficial for a grant organization to partner with any corporation, Greengrants Communications Manager Katy Neusteter says Aveda is unique, “because the company is already involved in the areas where grant work is being done.”

Greengrants’ CEO Terry Odendahl says, “Our Earth Month partnership is special because it shows the kind of lasting change possible when communities have the power to make decisions about how to care for their water, land and health. Not only are we funding community projects so that people have clean water to drink, but we are also working with local leaders to protect their watersheds for the long term.”

The alliance underscores the power of positive, corporate-level partnerships and sets a responsible example for other natural product companies that do business abroad. And by tying in the Light the Way candle, Earth Month will surely warm our homes and our hearts this year.


Photo courtesy of Global Greengrants

Photo courtesy of Global Greengrants

$12 (the suggested price of the Light the Way candle) can…

train four farmers on farming methods that conserve water and are sustainable for years to come.

provide a family of six with access to clean water for six months.

fund a local leader for a day to mobilize communities against mega-dams that threaten to flood their homelands.

Since 2007, Global Greengrants has successfully…

protected more than 750 watersheds.

supported 22,000 women working for clean water.

raised $7.5 million for more than 1,100 grants in 67 countries.

impacted over 660,000 lives.

Connect with Piper @PiperStullLane