Last year Real Simple Magazine introduced the ‘Green Innovation Awards‘, an initiative aimed at applauding “home-grown green products, services and solutions as well as those entrepreneurs who are turning the eco-problems of today into green solutions for the future”.

It’s a great way of highlighting some of the folks out there who really are making being green so much easier for the rest of us (and therefore encouraging more people to go that route).

I think it’s worth putting the spotlight back on last year’s winners, so here they are:

  • Green innovator of the year and Green food: Debbie Alcock | Gourmet Africa, Burchells Foods
  • Green design: Haldane Martin
  • Green service: Gary Fort | Abundance Recycling Initiative
  • Green fashion: Brett Kaplan | Woolworths Green Label
  • Green household: Larry Lachman | Probac Biogenic
  • Green beauty: Grant McMurray | SOiL
  • Green children: Leonard Mead and Thys Strydom | Olli Organic
  • Green packaging: Alison Gilson and Iona Palmer | Good for the Ground
  • Green home: Etienne Bruwer | Greenhaus Architects

The categories for this year’s awards are very similar, but with one or two changes. Green beauty, green design, green fashion, green food, green household, and green service remain the same – as does overall green innovation.

‘Green home’ has become ‘green habitat’ and two new categories – ‘green media and education’ and ‘green inspiration’ – seem to have replaced ‘green children’ and ‘green packaging’.

What I find unusual about these awards is that it doesn’t appear to be a process of nomination – companies/individuals have to enter themselves and there doesn’t seem to be any public participation. And there I was about to get all fired up and giving suggestions… but no, ’tis not to be!

So, I guess the way to go is if you know of anyone or any company you feel should be on the list for any of those categories above, make sure they know about the awards, and aren’t shy about putting themselves forward.

Entry forms for each section are available at realsimple.co.za. Entries close 25 November 2008. Winners will be announced in the May 2009 issue of Real Simple.

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