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Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Contest Winners Make The World a Better Place

The two winners will be receiving two Zhena’s Gypsy Tea samplers, 50 Birchbox points, and this beautiful tea set —a total value of $138!

We here at Birchbox love Zhena’s Gypsy Tea (especially the boys in our office!), not only because their teas are especially delicious, but also because of the brand’s deep commitment social responsibility. Even from the company’s inception, it was all about doing good: Zhena Muzyka founded it as a way to help pay for her son’s health insurance. Born with a severe birth defect, he needed several surgeries in order to survive and she was determined to find a way to finance them.

In light of the brand’s continued dedication to do it’s part, we wanted to find out what other people were doing to make a world a better place. We asked people to submit, in 150 words or less, the big or small things they do to improve our planet. There were so many good submissions to choose from, but with the help of Zhena herself, selected the final two winners: Brenda McCartney and Cheryl Doroah. Click through to read their truly inspiring stories!

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The #Promise Conference Recap

While Hayley and Katia were running to meetings with amazing beauty brands (hello NARS!), I popped into ThinkSocial’s #Promise conference. The #Promise, part of Internet Week, brought together tons of smart people to talk about social responsibility, both with respect to corporations and individuals. It was thought-provoking, interesting, and inspiring. I dashed off a stream-of-consciousness email to Hayley and Katia during one of the presentations, punctuated with phrases like “core mission,” “do good and be good,” and “integrity! empowerment!” I’m excited to think about ways in which we can marshal our social media powers, our communication channels, and our energy to not just make people pretty and happy, but to also have a positive impact.

A few of my takeaways:

Add it to the reading list: Douglas Rushkoff’s books, especially his latest, Life, Inc.

Website list: Check out Crowdrise, Edward Norton’s new media meets fundraising website, Hunch, Caterina Fake’s website, and Howcast, the best how-to vids on the web.

Girl crush: Caterina Fake, founder of Flickr and Hunch. “I’m an extrovert and a homebody so I was an early adopter of social networking.” Fabulous, funny, smart. Love her.

Award for beating my expectations: GE Global Marketing Director Linda Boff talked about their healthymagination campaign and other initiatives and was candid, interesting, and made good use of videos - especially this hysterical yoga clip.