Frito-Lay’s Sunchips and National Geographic Reveal Finalists Competing For Grants in “Green Effect” Initiative

July 7, 2009

Consumers Nationwide to Help Select One of Five Winners via Online Voting; Panel of Eco Ambassadors to Choose Other Four

PLANO, Texas - After receiving more than 2,500 submissions, SunChips, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division’s popular line of multigrain snacks, and National Geographic announced today the 10 finalists in the Green Effect, a national initiative that encourages consumers to take their own small steps toward helping the planet. In April 2009, SunChips and National Geographic invited consumers across the country to submit their ideas on how to make their communities greener. Five winners will each be awarded a $20,000 grant to help turn their green idea into reality. In addition to the grant, the winners and their earth-friendly ideas will be profiled in National Geographic magazine and will travel to Washington, DC to share their projects with environmental leaders.

Now it’s up to green enthusiasts nationwide to choose one of the five winners by voting for their favorite green idea now through July 20, 2009 at The judging panel, which will choose the other four winners, will be comprised of actor Edward Norton, National Geographic’s Boyd Matson, eco-activist Jayni Chase, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green for All and Dave Haft, Group Vice President, Sustainability and Productivity, Frito-Lay North America.

“In our nationwide search for truly unique green ideas, we discovered so many inspiring concepts that can have a positive impact on the planet,” said Gannon Jones, vice president, portfolio marketing, Frito-Lay North America. "Now it’s up to consumers to get inspired and vote for their favorite idea before July 20.”

The Green Effect initiative provides a platform for individuals and groups with unique eco-friendly ideas an opportunity to turn them into reality. Entries came from all across the country, representing individuals, schools, green groups and everything in between. Now through July 20, 2009, fans can cast their vote for their favorite finalist. The winners will be announced on July 22, 2009 at

The 10 finalists (in alphabetical order) and their green idea are:

• Canal Youth Concilio of San Rafael, CA: hopes to add a fleet of industrial tricycles to its four month old community recycling cooperative, helping Canal residents keep their neighborhood trash-free and green.

• CarbonfreeDC of Washington, DC: would launch the “Extreme Green Neighborhood Makeover” to help 20 low-income families from a city block green their homes and save on their energy bills.

• Eureka Recycling of Twin Cities, MN: plans to expand their existing composting education workshops to reach more people in the community, including underserved neighborhoods.

• Galante-Amato family of Echo Park, CA: wants to educate and activate drought-stricken Los Angeles residents to adopt a “gray water” system to help save 70,000+ gallons of water weekly.

• Hingham High School of Hingham, MA: plans to create a campus greenhouse to help educate students on how to live a completely sustainable life.

• Julian Elementary School of Julian, CA: hopes to curb waste created by the use of disposable dishware for class celebrations by creating green classroom party kits of reusable dishware for public schools in San Diego County.

• Kimball School of National City, CA: dreams of establishing “The Little Salt Marsh Schoolhouse,” a science lab for students to conduct field studies on conservation, animal adaptation, etc. using Paradise Creek Salt Marsh.

• The Recreation and Parks District of Mount Shasta, CA: hopes to build a solar-panel roof over the communities’ open-air ice rink to save energy usage throughout the year.

• Palo Alto College’s “Go Green ¡Viva Verde! Committee:” wishes to begin a bike sharing initiative, “Small Steps on Bike Pedals,” on the San Antonio, TX college campus.

• Tristan Frolich of Steamboat Springs, CO: plans to organize a tree planting day to plant 20,000 lodgepole pine saplings around the resort town to replace those killed by the Mountain Bark Beetle.

The Green Effect program is another small step in the SunChips brand’s sustainability journey. Most recently, the SunChips brand announced that in 2010, it plans to introduce the first fully compostable snack chip bag of its kind made from plant-based renewable materials.

SunChips multigrain snacks, originally introduced in 1991, contain a full serving of whole grains, 0 grams of trans fats, and are made with sunflower oil. SunChips snacks, available in Original, Harvest Cheddar, French Onion, Garden Salsa and Peppercorn Ranch flavors, provide 18 grams of whole grains per one ounce serving from a blend of corn, oats and wheat.

Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site,, and the Snack Chat blog,

PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) is one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, with 2008 annual revenues of more than $43 billion. Its principal businesses include: Frito-Lay snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices and Quaker foods. PepsiCo's commitment to sustainable growth, defined as Performance with Purpose, is focused on generating healthy financial returns while giving back to communities the Company serves. This includes meeting consumer needs for a spectrum of convenient foods and beverages, reducing the Company's impact on the environment through water, energy and packaging initiatives, and supporting its employees through a diverse and inclusive culture that recruits and retains world-class talent. For more information, please visit

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. National Geographic reflects the world through its magazines, television programs, films, music and radio, books, DVDs, maps, exhibitions, school publishing programs, interactive media and merchandise. National Geographic magazine, the Society’s official journal, published in English and 31 local-language editions, is read by more than 40 million people each month. The National Geographic Channel reaches 305 million households in 34 languages in 165 countries. National Geographic Digital Media receives more than 12 million visitors a month. National Geographic has funded more than 9,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program combating geography illiteracy. For more information, visit