Monday, May 23, 2011

Michigan Green Schools Award Ceremony May 25th, 2011

The big day is now just around the corner.  No... it is not the highly publicized "end" that thankfully didn't come.  It is something much more important.   Schools all over Michigan have been working on meeting a standards system designed to meet a criteria of over 20 key points.   These are not MEAP standards... no they are something much more meaningful... at least to me.   They are the Michigan Green Schools standards.

For weeks now  has been promoting AND raising funds for MGS of Oakland County.  I want to give a large and  very special shout out to several key supporters of our initiative.   Let me first thank all the individuals who allowed us to teach them about composting and the composting system we sold as the fundraising tool.   Second... not all of our local suppliers are equal when it comes to embracing grass roots initiatives like this.   Rule of thumb... the bigger they are... the more self centered and difficult to work with.

That being said... let me start out with a big thank you to Western Market of Ferndale.  Not only were the Selvaggio brothers receptive to the idea... but they invited me into the store, introduced me to their key players AND now stock the system as a regular item.  THAT my friends is an example of a Green Certified business.  They have met the standards and can proudly display the certification emblem on their premise.

I need to make a mention of Hollywood Markets for a couple mentions.  One... they invited me into their corporate HQ to talk about and show the system. TWO... they allowed me to do a demo day on Mothers day at their Rochester location.  THREE... they stepped up and created two (to my knowledge) beautiful brand new stores in former Farmer Jack locations that would otherwise probably be empty holes in our community.   We are still in conversation about the possibility of carrying the green products and Green Certification.

On a more local level to me in Oxford Michigan.... let me thank Simply Organic,  Oxford True Value Hardware,  Don Sherman Insurance Agency,  Orion Art Center,  Oxford Down Town Development Authority, Oxford Chamber of Commerce and the Orion Area Chamber of Commerce for helping promote and support the efforts.

I also want to thank these two unique partners in The Michigan Green Team AND for their support in the way of media exposure,  consulting services,  table and location opportunities, and other countless gifts of kind.  These organizations are the back bone of Metro Detroit green initiatives.  

We will proudly stand side by side with the Michigan Green Schools folks in support of the 190 plus Oakland County schools who will be recognized and awarded on Wednesday.  Great Job to all and to those who did not qualify this year.... contact me (866-752-6626) and we will make sure your there next year.

In closing....The one moment that occurred over the past weeks of fund raising that I will call the defining moment was as follows.   On the Sunday of the green living festival....after raining heavily all night and continuing on into the start of the event... I was ready to pack it all in when my helper friend and neighbor Katherine arrived with a spirit of let's do this.  So... with new energy we unrolled a condensed version of our display and began to welcome the hearty souls into the tent.  You have got to give it up for anyone who came out in the unfavorable conditions to see the green vendors.  Our neighbor.... Gina was full of spirit and energy and that helped lift our spirits.  Gina does something very similar and so we became friends instantly.

The magic moment came when Katherine introduced me to a father and two young (6 to 8) year olds who came a long way in the rain to find out answer to a burning question.  The father explained that his daughter was combing over the list of the schools who were Michigan Green Schools.  When she found that her school was not on the list.... she wanted to know why AND more importantly.... what did they need to do to get on the list next year.  SHE IS MY HERO.... and so is her dad for bringing them out on such a unfavorable day.  As we finished our short 10 minute talk about MGS , things that can be done to meet the standards and a list of resources... I tried to drive home a point.  It takes an advocate DAD,  the one person who is willing to stand up and take the lead... DAD,  and speak up to say we need to do this... DAD and he and I connected on that point.   I'm pretty sure they will be on the list and at the award ceremony in 2012.

CONGRATULATIONS to all of the award recipients for your focused efforts to become Michigan Green Schools!