Recently while diving into wedding planning, I had the pleasure of meeting Kai Cohen, Founder and CEO of Green Canvas. Kai is one of those people who is striving to make a positive impact on the world, and as soon as I started to learn about what his company was all about, I knew I had to share it with y’all on The Sweet Life! Green Canvas collects food and flowers from events (such as weddings) and repurposes those items to those in need. Hope you enjoy as feel inspired by my interview with him below! XO Britt
You make donations really easy! Tell me a little bit more about how Green Canvas works.
Yes! As it should be! At GC we understand that truly solving a problem is a process, and it begins by minimizing the problem first. Early on in the development of the company, we started to notice just how much food and florals were actually going to waste at our clients’ events; about 70% of the total waste flow accumulated from these two things. That is why we partnered with a non-profit, Food Finders, to safely and soundly donate all excess food to homeless shelters. At the end of each event, after our partners have picked up the food donations, our trucks come in and do their sweeps. All the waste is hauled into our truck along with the florals (separately) and taken to our facilities, where everything is sorted. The recyclables are taken to recycling centers, and most of the other waste is delivered to composters and anaerobic digesters all over Los Angeles. The florals are mainly distributed to hospice care centers. By investing our time in sorting the waste, we are fulfilling or duties as waste service providers - not only helping our clients who trust us to fulfill their green needs, but also lending a helping hand to our planet. These are the industry standards to which we believe every waste hauler should be held accountable.
How did you think to start Green Canvas?
Green Canvas began as my passion project, more so than an actual business. Growing up I always recycled and collected bottles, encouraged by my family of recyclers. As I got older my appreciation for and interest in the environment only grew. That is how the seeds of GC were first planted. I have been blessed with the development of my other related businesses, but I most enjoy what I do with GC as I love how many lives we are able to help on any given day. I am a firm believer in taking action, walking your talk, as they say. Anyone can find a way to step out and make a difference somewhere, somehow.
Going after the wedding industry was an amazing idea! How are you spreading the word on your services?
Currently we are getting the word out by trusted word-of-mouth, referrals mainly, and by connecting with wedding planners in the industry. Amazingly, we haven't had to utilize any form of advertising thanks to the power of our message and the mission our company lives by. Many people are drawn to us because of their shared beliefs on sustainability and social consciousness.
Tell me a little bit about the amazing positive impact Green Canvas has been able to make in Los Angeles thus far.
Wow! The impact has been incredible. Currently we have fed over 1000 families all over southern California and have donated florals to more than 500 hospice patients. On any given day it might not be enough to change a person’s life, but then again, it might be just what they needed in that moment.
I love that your flower donation program goes out to hospice care, and alongside them a personal note from the bride and groom. What has the response to this initiative been?
There are many different kinds of people living out the end of their lives in these hospice care centers. They are going through so much from moment to moment. If we can put a smile on just one face, it seems worthwhile to us. From what we've been told, reaction to the program has been very positive. It provides them with a sense of hope and inspiration, which they truly need. Also, these are high quality wedding florals and quite beautiful to have around.
What’s next for Green Canvas?
Apart from continuing to expand our wedding industry services, I am really excited as well for our new direction into the Hollywood scene! Our company is currently working on programs that will help solve the waste issue that has plagued production sets for decades. We are in talks with some of the biggest production companies in the industry at the moment and are hoping to roll out our sustainable custom-built programs in early 2018. So stay tuned!
How can people reach you to get involved?
Green Canvas can be reached via our website at GreenCanvas.co, by email HERE, or just give us a call at 818.274.1710. If you are interested in utilizing our services for weddings, events, or something we have not mentioned here (try us!) please feel free to contact us directly. We will walk you through the process start to finish, and figure out how we can best serve your particular needs.
The Sweet Life By Brittany + Cynthia Daniel