The Earthy Report is the personal blog of John Vlahakis, a lifelong advocate for the environment, entrepreneur and community activist. He founded the brand Earth Friendly Products in 1990 as an offshoot of Venus Laboratories, Inc. a family business. After a family litigation dispute, John created the holistic brand Earthy that provides organic and GMO-free consumer goods for home, body, and pet.
John has been an advocate for the environment since childhood, constantly looking for ways to raise public awareness about the links between our health and the health of our planet.
In seventh grade, John and his classmates painted paper bags with environmental slogans and stood on street corners to pass them out to motorists. After the police arrived and stopped them, they took their case to the village board. John and his friends convinced the board to let them continue distributing the bags. This experience served as a catalyst for his environmental activism and was a building block for his motto: One by one, we can change the world.
In 1980, John graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in communication studies and political science. He later attended Northwestern’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, which helped him hone his entrepreneurial skills. He graduated from Kellogg in 1985 with a Master of Management degree in marketing, transportation and organizational behavior.
In 1993, John applied his education and experience in the family business to his interest in the environment. Under Venus Labs, he launched environmentally safe cleaning products to the industrial and institutional marketplace. While that generated some interest, the mainstream consumer was still missing from the environmental equation.
After the birth of his daughter, the pieces fell into place for John and his passion for the environment was re-energized.
“I had an epiphany,” John said. “As I held my infant daughter, I did not want any harm to come to her. I realized that everything that was harming the environment would also be harming her. I felt I had to make a difference for her, to make the world a better place for her. I had to show her that one person could change the world.”
Among John’s personal interests are environmental landscape and street photography. (His photography can be seen at his website ) In 1999 he was invited and approved to become a member of the prestigious Social Venture Network, an elite business organization of social activists, dedicated to advancing socially responsible businesses. John has also served as a Super Mentor for the Good Food Business Accelerator in Chicago.