Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks is CEO of Earth Friendly Products in Cypress

Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks is CEO of Earth Friendly Products in Cypress
Photograph courtesy of Earth Friendly Products

The realities of the global climate crisis can seem overwhelming. Every day, there’s new information about how the environment and human health are being threatened. And the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic has people wondering about possible parallels.

But there are plenty of Orange County residents fighting to make positive change. We highlight that great work here—from green businesses and university researchers to volunteer groups and civil servants. Passionate locals are working together to create a sustainable future; let them inspire you to take action in ways large and small.


The Cypress-based company is the maker of ECOS environmentally friendly cleaning products.

“Having recently hit our 50th anniversary, we are proud the be the first company to have hit that carbon-neutral, water-neutral, and zero-waste trifecta,” says Vlahakis-Hanks. “We achieved carbon neutrality by having four facilities in different parts of the U.S. so that we don’t have to ship our products across the country. We partner with the EPA’s SmartWay program to participate in sustainable shipping and trucking. We have solar panels so that 100 percent of our energy is renewable. And we source most of our ingredients and containers locally. We also incentivize employees to reduce their emissions. They earn $2,000 if they buy solar panels or an electric car. We are water-neutral because although we do have to use water, we offset that by investing in organizations that help restore water to critically endangered habitats. And we are certified Platinum Zero Waste by the TRUE Zero Waste organization because we divert 95 percent of our waste from landfills.”

Read more from this cover story at orangecoast.com/sustainingoc.

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