Project Green Prom Update: Summer Rayne & Teens Turning Green

pgp-toolkitMay 14, 2009 I feel like I dropped the ‘carbon offset’ ball with my trek to WildCare on Mother’s Day…

I stopped by to see the Project Green Prom boutique and see how their ‘how to green your prom’ initiative was doing, and forgot to bring the gowns we’ve collected so far at the Greenv Sustainable Center!

Never fear, EcoMom Alliance is here. Kirsten Bollen (eco-mom gal pal) lives in Marin, so she assured me she’d be able to get them to the Teens Turning Green “pop-up store” created for prom/graduation season long before PGP closes June 1 in one big loop from her work environs at Oodle.

Kirsten walks the walk on green living (she was key in the Arbor Day real tree planting from virtual ones in Dizzywood) so she may want to  show up Sat., May 16 to meet Summer Rayne, one of CNN’s “Young People Who Rock,” eco-model, author, and on-air correspondent for Planet Green. (Discovery’s new eco-lifestyle network)

ttg-summerLike teen change agent Sejal Hathi I wrote about awhile back, Summer Rayne (at left) is making good on her vision using media as her mouthpiece for change.

Outside magazine listed her as one of the “Top Environmental Activists” and Vanity Fair has named her a “Global Citizen,” and of course, the whole eco-model angle has had her gracing the pages of Glamour, Allure and other fashion rags with strategic aplomb.

Summer will be at the Teens Turning Green Project Prom Shop this weekend, May 16  to share beauty secrets, sign books, and hang out with the green teens on hand for green spa mini-treatments.

I missed their big opening bash on April 30, (Flickr photos here) due to my doggie’s demise, sigh, but at least I got to pop in on Mother’s Day…

Lo and behold, co-founder Judi Shils was holding their weekly Sunday meeting with the teens as I entered! No rest for the “mother of a movement” I suppose!

What’s that quote?

“Once you have a mission, you can’t go back to having a job.”

Sure does hold true…It was inspiring to see Judi with the teens “in action” planning events full tilt to wrap up prom season in the next couple of weeks…AND to hear them plot their next eco-shenanigans to create a well-warranted stir. (stay tuned; sworn to secrecy here, mum’s the word…but it’ll be right up there with the lead in lipstick and dirty thirty campaign)

Their PGP shop, (below) is staged like an elegant haute couture boutique, only with gorgeous gowns in the $20 and $30 price-point recycled from prior formal affairs! (I even zipped into a few myself, to see if I could support the cause with some green)


I must say, if you’re based in the S.F. Bay Area it’s worth the visit to see their massive display of natural alternatives in skincare, make up, and their own TTG Collection the teens have created and marketed exclusively via Whole Foods Market.

Ultimately, it’s all about seeding green ideas with less is more minimalism… from prom décor, organic eateries and alternative transportation to fresh thoughts and crowd sourcing from their online teen video contest for greening your prom…or greening your graduation for that matter. (since kids have grads bridging elem to middle and middle to high these days the least we could do is minimize the party trash and think green from the get go!)

ttg-seventeenThey’ve done a fabulous job using every marketing tactic imaginable, as these teens are wise young women who know how to brand their cause with strategic sponsors, strong guerilla marketing, and ‘working it’ with the connections, like their recent eco-spread in Seventeen magazine and Teen Vogue.

Ironically, the winner in the video below mentions one idea of an affordable candelight meal at home, to save green (and transportation!) and it made me laugh recalling my own role as ‘waitress’ for my older brother’s Junior Prom where we’d set up a full prix fix menu with selections to choose from within each category sooooooo long ago. (it was a huge hit with his date; very unique, intimate, and custom caring)

These teens and supporters sure know what they’re doing, and have quite a logo-laden page of sponsors, not even including lil’ ol’ volunteers like me! Impressive!

Big brands from Burt’s Bees to John Masters Organics and Pangea underwrite their green spa events and activities often…


And Pottery Barn Teen provided the comfy teen lounge you see here with my daughter sprawled on the couch…

These ladies know how to work their sponsorships!

Nonprofits, fundraising school-parents and event leaders might want to check out how they’ve made use of this event space that the sponsor has donated as a prototype for your own events too:

“We are offering the PGP Shop as a place to host your party. It’s large and gorgeous with an expansive room in the back that will feature a PBteen lounge with great lighting and seating…

pgp-get-glamIt makes a great place for a party for an organization, business event, girl’s night out, mother-daugher evening, PTA event, etc.

We have an event planner that will help make your evening fabulous! We can invite our green beauty partners to host mini-facials and makeovers and ask a teen to present the campaign issues for the ultimate experience. (We can organize an organic wine tasting for adults)

To rent the PGP Shop for 2-3 hour blocks of time, we are asking for a donation of $500. Some people are inviting a group of friends to come at $25.00 a person. Proceeds benefit the campaign.”

Smart. Smart. Smart!

Yep, these ladies know how to ‘think multi-purpose’ and capture attention in a very public way!

green-beansHere’s more about what they’re up to in the final weeks ahead from green coffee house concerts May 22, to gearing up for “green graduations”…

Want to start a TTG chapter in your community?

Here’s how!

I wish they could keep their Project Prom Project open year-round to give people ‘party prep’ tips to think through events from garden parties to fall homecoming dances next season…after all, their FREE toolkit of tips (complete with video blog and action steps by dvGreen event planners in New York City!) is applicable to ANY social bash.

Who knows? In this economy, the ‘pop up’ store space may not lease too fast, so if they had more teen volunteers to staff it, I’d think it would be a great eco-literacy education venue and hands-on teen training ground year-round.

Any underwriters out there?

Meanwhile, I have a feeling Summer Rayne and the Teens Turning Green crew will end up on the ‘green carpet’ of worthy role models joining the ‘ecorazzi’ celebrity circuit for how to make a difference using media, messaging, and fun!

Here’s the winner of their Project Prom Online Video Contest for Teens, some great ideas here, from Claudia O., Dallas, Texas.

Get ready for green graduation, next!

Related Resources

Teens Turning Green: Search for the Cause Campaign

Project Green Prom: FREE Eco-Prom/Party ToolKit

ABC News PGP Coverage, Dirty 30: Chemicals to Watch Out For

Have a Green Prom (Smart Girls Know)

The Green Girl: Great Green Graduation Gifts

Friends of Live Earth: Green Graduation Basics

Eco-Bites: Green Celebrations

Natural Home Magazine: Green Prom/Graduation Parties

Common Sense Media: Best Prom Movie Picks


As you can see by the gorgeous photo above, the Project Green Prom Toolkit by dvGreen in NYC is a must see. At the end they list other eco-event consultants and  planner resources with fun names like “Promoceans” etc. and a whole slew of ‘do it yourself’ suppliers in different cities in their ‘green gift guide’…

DIY Resources Include:






Highly worth the peek.

Also kinda cool for the ‘earth day is everyday’ eco-reminders:

2009 Environmental Holiday Calendar

2009 EcoFactory Event Calendar


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