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Contestants Exercise Eco-Abilities in

Hickory Springs Inaugural “EarthCare Challenge”


Finalists to Compete Entirely on Social Media Sites


December 9, 2009 - Six of the nation’s most eco-oblivious citizens were chosen as finalists this week to face off in the Hickory Springs “EarthCare Challenge.” Finalists now advance on a 45-day sustainable lifestyle makeover for a chance to win their own personal collection of earth-friendly home furnishings.


Hickory Springs announced the final six on the contest’s Facebook page on December 1. The contest chronicles real, live challenges facing the contestants as they abandon their old ways and adopt an eco-friendly upgrade to their home and lifestyle.


Taking place entirely on the Internet on social networking communities Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and, The EarthCare Challenge highlights Hickory Springs’ line of EarthCare Inside components for upholstered furniture.


“From a 23-year-old aspiring singer who doesn’t recycle to a father of two looking to lower the impact of his 3,000 square foot home, each one of our contestants can share a valuable lesson about what it means to be earth-conscious,” said Hickory Springs Executive Vice President Dwayne Welch. “Just as we’re showing with our EarthCare Inside components for the country’s leading furniture makers, positive change is possible – from the inside out.”


The finalists are as follows:

  • Ray Bariso, a business manager from Warren, N.J., is considering cutting-edge products to make his home more energy efficient, such as solar panels and geothermal heating.

  • My Bui, from Highland, Cali., is a kinesiology major at California State University who wants to lead by example by teaching her friends and family about the benefits of going green.

  • Idona Cabrinha, a mother of two from Los Osos, Cali., wants to take her love of gardening to a whole new level by growing her own food.

  • Laura Dillon, a hairstylist from San Bernardino, Cali., realizes she consumes more than her fair share of water and energy and wants to learn eco-friendly habits to help cut down on her cost of living.

  • A performer from Clifton, N.J., who goes by “Justina,” pays little attention to the food she eats but wants to change that for the better, keeping the environment in mind.

  • San Francisco resident, Jackie Walker, a recent graduate from Cal Poly Pomona, wants to practice eco-friendly habits to benefit her health.

The contestants are guided by experts who specialize in the areas of green lifestyle, diet and eco-friendly home: Cindy Ojczyk, LEED AP, owner of Simply Green Design, a residential design firm leading the interior design field in sustainability, and co-owner of Verified Green, a green building consulting and training firm; Michael Anschel, a nationally recognized expert on green remodeling, owner of Otogawa-Anschel Design-Build, a national award-winning firm known for the ability to produce high end design that is sustainable, and co-founder of Verified Green; and Amy Todisco, a green lifestyle writer, life coach and owner of, a green products ecommerce site.


Social media sites document their progress through daily tweets, photos, videos and other activities, as the public is invited to participate by voting for their favorite contestant and becoming a fan of designated online sites for a chance to win special discounts and prizes for themselves.


Components from the company’s EarthCare Inside line can be found in products from some of the country’s leading furniture makers including Alan White Furniture, Craftmaster, England and H.M. Richards.


In January 2010, Hickory Springs will award the grand prize to the contestant who has made the most dramatic makeover – taking home the title of green champion and a personal collection of EarthCare Inside home furnishings with a retail value of $5,000.


For more information on The Hickory Springs EarthCare Challenge, visit: and click on “Take the Challenge.”


About Hickory Springs

Hickory Springs’ headquarters is located in Hickory, North Carolina, where the international, privately-held company was first founded in 1944 as a producer of furniture springs. Hickory Springs has grown into one of the nation’s largest integrated manufacturers to the furniture and bedding industries with more than 60 operating facilities throughout the United States. In 2008, the company launched its EarthCare Inside line of components for upholstered furniture, including the industry-leading Preserve® bio-based foam, 100% recycled cotton, recycled sinuous steel and coils, among many other sustainable options.


For more information, visit: and


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