Celebrate Earth Day with Carlsbad’s Green Leaders

April 22, 2021

April 22 marks the 51st anniversary of “Earth Day,” the world-recognized holiday that acknowledges the global need for better climate, sustainability, and environmental practices. Over the years, the sentiments of Earth Day have seeped into our everyday lives – with ongoing efforts and initiatives to improve our impact on our Earth’s natural resources. From federal emissions policies to local recycling programs, our collective participation in Earth Day-aligned activities encourages a better life for future generations. Thankfully, there are several ways to up your green game, starting right here in Carlsbad. We’ve highlighted two of Carlsbad’s forward-thinking leaders in the sustainability space and the products they’re making to support a healthier planet.

Sustainable and Edible Coffee Cups

Nowadays, toting your own reusable water bottle has become standard practice. Thanks to stylish brands like Hydroflask, Yeti and S’well, single use plastic bottles are well on their way out. The same can’t be said for hot beverages though. Single use coffee cups are still filling the world’s landfills and have not seen the sustainable progress that cold beverage containers have. While some have invested in reusable containers for hot beverages, Carlsbad-based Amai has come up with an even greener solution in the form of a compostable – and edible – cup. 

Amai’s edible cups come with a 100% recyclable paper sleeve, custom printed with vegetable dye, which provides safe and sanitary handling.

Made from oat bran, Amai cups are thermal resistant, up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, and are the key to disrupting single use, wasteful coffee cups. Made from 100% natural ingredients, the cup is vegan, low calorie, and soy-nut-dairy-egg free. When you’re finished with your morning coffee or tea, toss the cup, which composts naturally in two weeks, or take a bite! The cup doubles as a nutrient rich, healthy snack, and is light, flaky, and slightly sweet.

Carlsbad’s sustainability is part of what drove Amai’s founder, Jeannine Davison, to the city. The open spaces, coastal appreciation, and welcoming startup environment gave Davison the fuel to import this novel product from Europe to the United States. 

“We were impressed to learn that Carlsbad was ranked #7 on the list of the most sustainable cities in the 2019 U.S. Cities Sustainable Development Report,” said Davison. “The support and networking opportunities we’ve experienced from the city and Chamber are second to none. These things, combined with a close knit community, creates an excellent work/life balance.”

Jeannine Davison, the founder of Amai, launched the company in 2019.

Amai is currently run by Davison and her husband, Sven, but is growing fast as they prepare for national distribution and increasing their staff and operations. The company continues to deepen its roots in the community, partnering with like-minded Carlsbad companies like Ocean Junkies and networking with local restaurateurs. The Davison duo takes green initiatives outside the office too as active members of the Chamber of Commerce Green Committee and regular beach cleanup volunteers.

Eco-Conscious Apparel

When we think about industries that are hard on the environment – oil, meat production, travel – clothing production tends to get glossed over. But the fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. For those looking to offset apparel’s impact without downsizing your wardrobe, Carlsbad-based prAna has you covered – literally – with high quality, sustainable clothes. prAna specializes in lifestyle apparel yet its ethos is about much more than chic fashion sense. 

The founders, Beaver and Pam Theodosakis, are longtime veterans in the apparel business and witnessed firsthand the bad practices that led to wastefulness in clothing production. While many companies have been enhancing their green practices lately, prAna was among the first to make sustainability part of its mission, launching its first product in 1992. Utilizing eco-friendly materials, the majority of prAna products are made with organic cotton, recycled content and hemp. prAna’s values connected to its operations are really what set the apparel company apart. Its commitment to Fair Trade standards, reduced water use, elimination of single use plastics in packaging and other benchmarks make prAna not just a clothing company but a comprehensive green movement.

prAna seeks to fundamentally change the way clothing is made.

“prAna is all about our efforts to do good and create positive change,” said Jeff Haack, prAna’s Vice President of Marketing. “Our company is about much more than crafting quality apparel. From the time of our founding until now, our goal has always been to thread sustainability into all that we do.”

It’s this commitment to sustainability that influenced the founders to create the prAna brand right from their garage in Carlsbad over 27 years ago. The coastal community and the ability to thrive among nature’s best conditions really reinforce the drive to ensure that the environment is taken care of. As avid yoga and rock climbing gurus, the founders were very in tune with athleisure needs, especially within our on-the-move culture.

prAna’s design team works hard to not only elevate the look and feel of their seasonal collection, but also improve performance and lessen its impact on the planet.

“prAna makes apparel that fits authentically within the Carlsbad outdoor community, but our clothes aren’t just for beach dwellers” said Haack. “Thanks to Carlsbad’s excellent weather and conditions, we make the kind of clothes that can take you from your morning coffee run to your office to your evening errands. That kind of versatility is really appreciated in Southern California and our enmeshment in Carlsbad definitely helps us achieve that.”

prAna has ambitious goals ahead. By the end of 2022, the company aims to set the standard that 100 percent of its products will have at least one sustainable attribute. That means that while not every element of the garment is 100 percent sustainable, every piece will have a sustainable component. That includes Fair Trade certification, organic cotton, use of recycled polyester, bluesign certified, and more.

“The City of Carlsbad is proud to have a thriving cluster of sustainable companies. This coincides with the city’s green initiatives to emerge as a leader in sustainability,” Matt Sanford, Economic Development Manager for the City of Carlsbad.

In addition to supporting these green businesses, residents are encouraged to participate in other Carlsbad initiatives for Earth Day. For more information on worldwide Earth Day efforts, click here.