Rainforest Alliance Week 2011 Highlights

From September 19 to 23, we celebrated our first-ever Rainforest Alliance Week. With the help of thousands of friends, members, students, journalists and businesses, we showed consumers how to support a healthier planet by following the frog and choosing Rainforest Alliance Certified™ goods.

A few highlights…

Allegro Coffee Company sampled Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees in several Whole Foods Markets in New York City. Shoppers were treated to a welcome pick-me-up and had an opportunity to talk to Rainforest Alliance staffers about how certification benefits nature and coffee-growing communities.

Throughout the week, Republic of Tea also held tastings of its Three Gardens Breakfast tea from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in Kenya, Indonesia and Malawi at natural foods markets in California, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Two schools in Jacksonville, Florida celebrated the week with rainforest related activities. Discovery Montessori School (pictured here) sold Rainforest Alliance Certified Endangered Species chocolate bars to benefit conservation projects in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve. Simultaneously, Dinsmore Elementary School kicked-off their school-wide environmental units on the rainforest.

Grade schools and students from London, England and Brooklyn, New York also commemorated the week with environmental activities.

Birds and Beans sponsored a migratory bird walk in Toronto, giving participants a glimpse of birds en route to their wintering grounds in the rainforests of Central and South America where Rainforest Alliance Certified shaded coffee farms are sometimes their last refuge.

Photo credit: CCFEW

Big Screen Plaza, an outdoor entertainment venue in New York City, featured Rainforest Alliance videos throughout the week. Visitors could get a reprieve from the noisy city, order a cup of Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee in the café and enjoy the show(s)!

A number of tourism operators – including Adventure Life, Country Walkers, Hands Up Holidays, Unicornio Azul, Uxlabil EcoHotels, VaPues Tours and Yampu Tours – commemorated the week by offering discounts on eco-friendly trips and hotel accommodations throughout Latin America. (Some offers available until December 2011; see our blog for details.)

Students at the University of Rochester learned about the Rainforest Alliance at a tabling event hosted by former intern, Joey Hartmann-Dow. In addition to answering questions and handing out brochures, Hartmann-Dow invited visitors to answer environmental trivia questions to win free samples of Rainforest Alliance Certified chocolate.

At Connecticut College, intern Colin Puth hosted a similar tabling event and a “Follow the Frog” frisbee golf challenge. Sixteen students joined the fun and high scorers took home a few Rainforest Alliance Certified goodies.

Looking for ideas on how to help spread the word about sustainability on your campus? Visit our Rainforest Alliance on Campus webpages.

Noah Jackson (independent trainer and auditor) and Sabrina Vigilante (director of markets and sustainable value chains) spoke with more than 40 participants in a webinar hosted by the Rainforest Alliance. Jackson and Vigilante talked about our work with farmers around the world and explored producers’ connections with the global marketplace.

(To hear more from Jackson, watch an audio slide show about “Our Collective Harvest” and the road to sustainability.)

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