Sunday, March 18, 2012 Spring 2012

Spring has arrived in Michigan.... even though the calendar says it is winter for another week.... nature will not wait!  For the past few weeks... winter has really already left.  My snow plow sits there on the driveway with a sad rusty grin.... no work in March!  However.... while the plow may feel unappreciated... my wifes garden is already coming to life like never before!  Yes... there are little purple flowers already fully developed in the grown cover AND full ripe buds on other plants that I don't know the proper name for that are ready to burst open any minute.  The birds are up at 5:30.... HOO, HOO and Chirp...Chirp... so.... am I.  I live for this time of year.... up early and usually exhausted by sundown... the way it was meant for us to live.

This past week has been without a doubt the most significant week in the development of the life cycle.  May I tell you about it?   After careful consideration and a lot of contemplation about an implied threat of sorts.... I am going ahead with the 2012 fund raiser for the Michigan Green Schools Eco Tee.   I know you've heard this before... nothing in life worthy of doing is easy.... and that is the case here.  Last year we created an idea for an iconic tee that would help promote, celebrate, educate, and raise money for schools all over Michigan who are involved in the Michigan Green Schools program.

Those of you who follow GFS will recall that picture of the presistant young lady who would not take "NO" as an answer from me at our display.  I created one sample shirt with the MGS logo as an idea to pitch to the various MGS groups throughout the area.  Along the way... I was told that someone claims to own the rights to the logo and that I should refrain from using it for fear of repercussions.   Because of the timing of the process I decided to go with a gift or promotional give away that did not include the beautifully done logo and simply went with a congratulatory message to the MGS school recipients branded on an jar opener made from recycled tire rubber.   That was indeed the one and only MGS shirt and now it is owned by a proud young lady in the Southfield School district.

Fast forward to Michigan Green Schools 2012 and again.... the activity is reaching a frenzied level!  This is the time of year when the schools engage in their focused green activities... and rightfully so.  Time to be respectful of the beauty that is unfolding all around us in the annual renewal of spring and the beauty of the up-welling of new life and renewal.   This year I feel differently about the MGS Eco Tee project and have enough time and experience behind us to take it to launch.  We carefully analyzed the potential good will VS implied threat of the project and have decided that there is so much good that will come from this activity that I simply cannot let an implied threat stand in the way.  The logo has no visible trademark, registration or copyright markings that would have been placed there to prevent use.  That in of it self speaks volumes over the implied threat of use.

We stopped to consider other symbols and representations that might parallel this concept.  For example.... if we flash the peace symbol.... do we need to fear the original hippy who may stake claim to own it?  OR... if we show the chasing arrows of the recycling symbol... will the original stake holder show up to prevent this?  How about the American Flag?  Will the Ross family show up to claim that Betsy is the controlling interest here?   We considered all of it and came out with this final conclusion.
We are promoting a cause in the Michigan Green Schools program, we support their mission,  we are in turn educating/creating awareness/advocating their cause,  AND we are able to raise funds for partnering schools own green efforts.   That is plenty of up side... with little down side.  And... that is a risk we will take in doing good.

So... keep an eye out for more information from your school and if you don't see any out reach from them... then take this PDF to them and get involved.   Our program will run through the end of March for those who want to engage and have delivery before the arrival of Earth Day 2012.  Our goal is to have the Eco Tees delivered to the schools in time for the Michigan Green schools Awards ceremony in April.

Enjoy the early spring... and support your schools MGS efforts!