In an effort to educate America about eco-friendly home furnishings options, Hickory Springs created the EarthCare Challenge, a nationwide contest chronicling the challenges of six contestants aspiring to live more sustainable lifestyles. The contest will take place entirely on the Internet on social networking communities Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and EarthCareInside.com. The following six regional finalists have been selected to embark on a 45-day Green Makeover: 1. Ray Bariso, a business manager from Warren, NJ, who is considering cutting-edge products to make his home more energy efficient, such as solar panels and geothermal heating. 2. My Bui, from Highland, CA, a kinesiology major at California State University, who wants to lead by example by teaching her friends and family about the benefits of going green. 3. Idona Cabrinha, a mother of two from Los Osos, CA, who wants to take her love of gardening to a whole new level by growing her own food. 4. Laura Dillon, a hairstylist from San Bernardino, CA, who realizes she consumes more than her fair share of water and energy and wants to learn eco-friendly habits to help cut down on her cost of living. 5. A performer from Clifton, NJ, who goes by "Justina," who pays little attention to the food she eats but wants to change that for the better, keeping the environment in mind. 6. San Francisco resident Jackie Walker, a recent graduate from Cal Poly Pomona, who wants to practice eco-friendly habits to benefit her health. The following panel of Green Lifestyle Experts will guide the finalists toward their own sustainable lifestyle: Cindy Ojczyk, LEED AP, owner of Simply Green Design, a residential design firm leading the interior design field in sustainability, and co-owner of Verified Green, a green building consulting and training firm; Michael Anschel, a nationally recognized expert on green remodeling, owner of Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build, a national award-winning firm known for the ability to produce high end design that is sustainable, and co-founder of Verified Green; and Amy Todisco, a green lifestyle writer, life coach and owner of GreenLivingNow.com, a green products ecommerce site. The contestants’ progress will be chronicled through social media sites, while the public at large will be invited to participate by voting for their favorite contestant and becoming a fan of designated sites for a chance to win special discounts and prizes. One grand prize winner will be announced on or about January 18, 2010. The winner will be selected by Hickory Springs based on who has made the most dramatic makeover, and will be awarded their own personal collection of eco-friendly furnishings for their home. Hickory Springs’ decision as to grand prize winner is final. Total estimated actual value of grand prize offered is $5,000. Full story at www.hfbusiness.com.
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