After transforming more than 1,500 pounds of recycled personal care waste into a Garnier Green Garden in Harlem and overhauling a garden at a special needs school in the Bronx, TerraCycle and Garnier took their eco efforts on the road with the "Where Should Our Garden Grow?" campaign to award one recipient with a new community garden. After a public voting period, The ReFresh Project of New Orleans was named the winner.
The campaign, which kicked off in April 2014 and ran through June 15, 2014, asked fans to vote for which deserving community should win its very own Green Garden. The ReFresh Project's ReFresh Community Farm is a new teaching farm located in Treme/Mid-City New Orleans. The new garden will be capable of yielding more than 2,000 pounds of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers. It will not only provide New Orleans residents with a safe space to connect and enjoy nature, but will also allow community members to grow their own fresh food locally. The groundbreaking is expected to take place in fall 2014.
The plastic components of the garden, such as raised beds, picnic tables and trash receptacles, are made from recycled beauty waste collected through Garnier and Terracycle's Personal Care and Beauty Brigade. The Brigade is a free fundraising program that donates money to a charity of the collector's choice for every piece of beauty and personal care waste returned to TerraCycle for recycling. The collected beauty waste, which would otherwise be destined for landfills, consists of non-recyclable hair care, skin care and cosmetic packaging.
"We are thrilled to announce The Refresh Project in New Orleans as the community where the next Garnier Green Garden will plant seeds and flourish," said David Greenberg, president of Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie. "Keeping beauty packaging waste out of landfills is only part of the mission. It is equally important to make sure that we help communities across the country create sustainable gardens and playgrounds, and this is a perfect way to use the beauty waste we've been able to collect through our Brigade. We are excited to see this project come to life."
Out of the hundreds of nominations received during the campaign entry phase, Garnier and TerraCycle narrowed the candidates down to five deserving organizations. The four runners-up are The Green Scheme in Washington, D.C., The Michigan Urban Farming Initiative in Detroit, Garfield Park in Chicago, and the Social Justice Learning Institute in Los Angeles. Each runner up will also receive a prize.
"Each of the five finalists should be commended for its efforts to provide resources that better the community and residents' daily lives," said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. "As an expanding teaching farm, the ReFresh Community Farm is a deserving winner of the Garnier Green Garden grand prize."