Thursday, December 5, 2013

Twas the night before Christmas.... Amazon Drone delivery.... right down the chimney?

It must be the future as we are on the cusp of closing out 2013.   This year as we close out the year I can't help but to think about the science fiction we used to only dream of in comic books and movies.   Who remembers the Dick Tracy comic?  The squared off jaw and squintey eyed Tracy used to talk into his futuristic wrist watch and fly around in a rocket powered trash can.  Never a chance this will become reality?  Think again.   By know we have all seen the Samsung watch.  Looks suspiciously like the Dick Tracy special.  I wonder if there will be a law suit over this?
How about the flying trash can?  Well from some of the YouTube Videos I've seen that is not far off.  How about the water jet powered boots you can slap on... attached by a tether and fly around like Iron Man or Wonder Women? 

No doubt technology is passing many of us by faster than a high speed bullet train.  This year has been one of great hope, progress, setback, disaster, growth/destruction, life/death.  A mixed bag for sure.  As you wade through the list of things yet to do in 2013 try and contemplate the blessings we have as a  nation.  Just a short few years ago we were flat on our backs as a country with massive bankruptcies from institutional titans who were not to big to fail.  Today many have made adjustments to the "new realities" and perhaps it is for the better.

All that aside I want to take this time to say "Thank You" to all who have helped us stay on the mission of growing from a seed that has begun to take root.  If you visited with us at an event or clicked on our store site this thanks you is for.  We certainly are in a different place today then when things got started in April 2011.   Not as much running from event to event.  Not as many hours trying to tweak the plan.

The e commerce store has taken hold across the country and I cannot think of a better operational partner than Amazon for the platform.   One of my favorite things to do is tell people about "who" from "where" has selected "what".   Truth be told I think of this as what Ernie Harwell used to in the golden days when he would announce "That ball was caught by a man from Kalamazoo, Michigan...".  How'd he know that?   Did he really know the man was from Kalamazoo?   What I find interesting is places I've never heard of like Arkadelphia, Arkansas or Sunnyvale California.  I have visited Sunnyvale and will likely return but have not yet visited Arkadelphia.

So in the theme of the celebration of the Christmas season I want to take you to a new reality for the legendary St. Nicholas. Imagine the new stories to be written about the trials and tribulation in the near future when the sleigh and reindeer have to share the air space with the delivery drones from Amazon.  How shocking this will be to Santa and how reindeer will be startled! If you haven't heard this story that broke last week on a CBS interview with the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos Amazon is piloting the use of drones to deliver packages right to the door step.  Science fiction?  Maybe... just like the Dick Tracey watch!

What ever happened to "Down the Chimney with Old St. Nick.  Santa may be replaced or perhaps develope his own fleet of smart drones for delivey right down the Chimney?   Only time will tell... but one thing is clear... get ready for the future.

All the best to you and yours as we turn over the calender to 2014.

Best Regards,

Don Sherman
President of

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fundraising made easier... 2.0 platform

Operational Partnership:
This post is intended to provide some instruction on our next steps to make a seemless, simple, and effective fund raising partner for your school or civic group.

First of all we have gone through some major overhauls in our "operating systems" since our original web site build out from days past.   The original site was "cute" but not necessarily the most effective platform.  Let's fast forward to 2013 and looking at our operational parternship with Amazon.

Amazon has millions of customers who visit and shop on line every day.  It is a name that customers know and trust which has been proven by their phenominal growth.  Why not align your self with the most trusted and proven e commerce platform in the history of.... history? 

Enter the partnership and the platform.

How does it work? 

Simple   You organize your group and direct them to the webstore.   Your group membership can shop on line in our Amazon storefront 24 X 7 any time or day.

 Easy   Upon check out simply include your organizations name after your own name.   Our system tracks orders that come in from your group each week and credits your group for each order placed by your membership.  

Effective   Each month our system will automatically update and send a percentage of profits to your organization.

Our new process has no forms to fill out, no complicated registration, no cost or set up fee's.  It is in effect...  a greening of the greenfundraiserstore!

For more information on our brief history and work visit:

We are adding new products each month so be sure to check in for new updates.

Best Regards,

Don Sherman
President of

*Disclaimer- Only products located within the Amazon store front are eligible for a shared percentage of proceeds.  Amazon is not responsible for nor is a participant in fund raising activites of or it's affiliated companies.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies in Michigan

Press Release:  September 6th, 2013

Today we received notification that was again selected as one of the
101 Best And Brightest Sustainable Companies in Michigan for 2013.   The awards will be presented at a symposium scheduled for September 18th, 2013 at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.   Michigan Govenor Rick Snyder will be in attendance to honor the recipients.

The selection criteria is based on an assesment completed  earlier this year which was judged scored by an indepedent research organizaion.   Area's of assesment include:

Education. The level of education provided to employees on sustainable practices along with industry best practices.

Communication.  The extent of outreach in reporting our results of sustainable business efforts to employees, customers, suppliers and community.
Strategic Planning & Operantional Implementation.  The depth to which our organization measures all maters of sustainability and the support of senior management for long term viability of the organization.

Innovation & Problem Solving. The extent to which your organization monitors the entire cycle of your company's product(s) or services(s) to determine the impact and needed changes.

Environmental. The extent to which your organization monitors all aspects of the environmental output as a result of your organizations product(s) or servcies(s).

Building & Grounds.  The extent to which your organization has implemented changes to your building and grounds to impove sustainability and lessen consumption and emisisions.

Community Leadership.  The level of community outreach, monitoring of economic impact , and promotion of sustainable practices your organization provides to the community.

Workforce.  The extent of encouragment and support your organization provides employees for participating in sustainable initiatives at the organization and in the community.

Financial Performance.  Your organizations effectiveness in monitoring its sustainable performance and innovation on improving its financial performance.

Our business has evolved since it's inception in 2010 yet the vision of providing education, awareness, and advocay for "Green Shifts' in the course of daily living remains firmily at the core of the organization. 

Thank you for your kind words of encouragment and support as we continue on this journey.


Don Sherman
President of

Associated articles:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Winding up Summer of 2013....

They say time fly's when your having fun. We must be having a real blast because summer has made a late appearance in 2013 and like Ernie Harwell used to say as the voice of the Detroit Tiger's.... "It's long.... Gone...".

This is a good time of year to get ready for the fall projects that you may have put off during summer and will come ready or not. Check out our Amazon store for some of our most popular tried and true home helpers.

If your like me you pick up a bundle of lawn and leaf bags here and there when your around town. Why not have us ship you the mother load with a bundle of 50 bags? It will cover you for the big leaf fall and perhaps a few left over for spring clean up. I know this looks like a giant lunch bag... but it is actually a standard 16 X 25X 35 50 pound unprinted biodegradable lawn/leaf bag.

Hey... look up... better yet... look down.... Wow you better get ready to grab a rake and get busy! The big box store tries to impress you with their impulse crate of 3 or 5 bags... but let's face it... do you really want to promote "Stuff Mart" at your curb? Do you overflow with pride when you drag their bag to your curb. I didn't think so. GO BIG or GO HOME with the greenfundraiserstore fall special bundle of 50... that's right... a few left over for spring cleaning next year... AND your buying from a company with a B corp plan of action. That means that a stated percentage of our proceeds goes toward a stated social mission of "Education, Awareness, and Advocacy for Green Shift's in the course of daily living.

Good news... we just received notice that has been recognized as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies for 2013. We are happy to accept this honor for a second year in a row. We are happy to receive the award and will continue with our mission of promoting "Green Shifts" in the course of daily living!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer is easy living in Michigan...

It has's  been a while since our last blog and update to you and so we are overdue.  Let's start with the undeniable truth that it has taken a while for it to arrive... much longer than last year.... but Summer is here both on the calendar and in my heart.   My friends often ask me as part of common courtesy.... "How are you doing?" and my new standard reply is "Summer is always easy my friend!"  It could never be more true than here in the mitten state. Did you hear that Wisconsin tried to steal that for themselves?  It's true!  I pulled out a map and tried to see what the fuss was over.  Wisconsin DOES NOT look anything like a mitten.  Unless your hand was crushed in a bad industrial accident or your blind Grand Mother knit you a pair of mittens.  Time out!

I can't help myself... time for a commercial interruption to help pay some bills....

They come in Green, Red, and Grey.... free shipping if you mention this blog. Use redemption code:
michmitt13 at the check out.... ;)

So it is clear to me that Michigan is indeed the Mitten state... and the rabbit state if you live above the bridge... we have no tie in at this time for a rabbit promotion... just yet... ;)

What make summer living so easy?  Let me count the ways.  First... a flexible schedule.  No 6 am wake ups in the cold, dark and potentially snowy mornings.  Second... flip flops in shorts.  Now I know the professional standards of dress have changed over the decades.  I used to wear a suit, dress shirt , and tie every day for at least the first decade of my professional career.   But... someone invented casual Friday and I could hardly have needed to be told twice.  Who's idea was the neck tie anyway?  I say it had to be...I dare take the risk to say this.... a woman.  Stop to consider the idea of taking a length of silk AND then making various maneuvers to create noting short of a noose... to go around the neck.... to be pulled tightly around the neck of a man... which in reality restricts blood flow to the brain... no wonder men can be so stupid!   My point is... shorts and flip flops are a more intelligent choice.  No restricted blood flow to the brain... because you certainly could not wear a dress shirt and tie with shorts and flops!  It is the intelligent choice!   I hear Men's Wearhouse just fired their long time spokesman... George Zimmer.  Look for a new lineup of shorts and flip flops to arrive in their stores soon.  I GUARANTEE IT!  

What is happening with you ask?   After a slow roll out in 2010-12 we spent a great deal of time, effort, resources, and energy running hard.  We attended events in green education, festivals, fairs, school functions, farmers markets, and executive meetings all in an effort to build our brand.
We put fund raising in the first position over everything in the model in an effort to offer a unique platform to provide educational alternative fund raising over the traditional non educational and often less healthy choices being offered in schools and community organizations these days.  Here is what we learned.  Overwhelmingly people told us they loved the concept.   We had countless heads nodding.... yes... this is it... keep going.  Get in touch with us.   And so we did... we kept doing... we did the outreach and followup... but there was resistance.  What was getting in the way... why the lack of engagement with what we have built?  

It comes down to a few simple observations.  First... change is risky.  What if I give up what I'm doing now and this new idea doesn't work out?   I had an Athletic Director of a near by high school look me in the eye and tell me with a straight face that "cookie dough sales are good for $10,000" or more to our fund base.  I stopped to consider why an Athletic Director would trade his soul which is supposed to be about being "athletic" to a company that would line his fund with cash in exchange for calories.  I should have understood this more clearly as what I was coming up against.  This guy did not care at all about the message of selling "sugar" to a sea of addicts... as a drug dealer cares little about selling drugs to a drug addict.  That may seem a little harsh... but from my view it is one in the same.  Childhood obesity, sedentary life styles and we turn a blind eye to this talk from both sides of the mouth?

Second... the inner circle for most of these organizations is a pretty tight circle and can be touch if not impossible to break into.  PTA groups are run by a very few people who I have high regard for.  They do put in valuable amounts of time and energy when others would not never even attend a meeting let alone serve in a meaningful role.   Once again... I found a certain amount of head nodding... with the same remarks of a great concept... but no actin or engagement.   Many have their own agenda's or are associated with an organization that they are going to push to the front and implement.  Not that they are bad idea's but my point is that there is an agenda and that is what gets brought to the front.

Front the beginning there was a struggle about the business model and we debated if we should be a fund raising and educational organization who offers a window into green shifts OR should we be a green product store who offers insight into green shifts in the course of daily living with a fund raising feature on the back end?

This year after closing out 2012 with a somewhat of a disastrous finish... we decided to make a "green shift" in our business model.  Many of you know that in the last quarter of 2012 we moved forward with a brick and mortar version of the with the creation and roll out of "The Little Green Store".

 It was a proud moment and a fulfillment of my dream of taking a run down inefficient old home and creating something new again.   Many of you saw the metamorphosis take place with the building improvements and energy efficiencies we put into the project such as doors, windows, and furnace. One thing we did not get to was an insulation inspection.  That caught up to us in unexpected and disastrous ways in January 13.

I will close this blog by simply leaving you with this question to ponder,  During the week prior to the "event" it was pushing 50 degrees and we really had not seen much from winter yet.  We had just come off a remarkable "non-winter" the year before.   Recall the massive fruit crop failures from the early and untimely emergence of spring only to be lost to heavy freezes that come later.   Was winter 13 going to be a repeat performance.  Then with no warning... like winter always like to do... the temperatures plunged to below freezing AND the wind blew to 40-50 mph gusts.  Just enough to enter a small hole in the framing along the outside wall... fueled by the wind to create a super cold cavity... where the water supply line happened to occupy.  I left the building at 5 pm or so with everything in order and making plans for spring 13

I stopped a friends in town to talk about my plans and even talked about plans of bringing our green businesses together under one roof.  When I arrived I spent the first few minutes doing a walk around and picking up what the wind from the night before had blown around in the yard.  When I passed the south side of the building I noticed what appeared to be what I will describe as a "frozen coke" like substance running out of the side of the building.  Now I am admittedly not the sharpest tool in the shed... but your not supposed to see this coming out of the side of a building!  I knew in that moment that the rest of the day was not going to be as planned.  When I entered the building it was completely frosted over and clearly the furnace had stopped working.  As I turned the corner to check the front office I could hear the sounds of rushing water... and I knew we had a frozen pipe burst.  The chair and desk I was seated at just a few hours ago was completely covered in debris and rushing water.  I made my way to the basement to shut off the water only to find bigger problems.  More than a foot of freezing water had accumulated and that left me only one option... off with the shoes/socks... roll of the pants and take the arctic plunge.  I won't bore you with the rest.

So the question for you is simple... was I a victim of climate change?  OR just an unfortunate guy dealing with a typical ever-day issue with regular changes that come with weather?    

Lessons learned:
#1  Check your insulation
#2  I don't like working retail hours... God bless you shop owners!
#3  Every idea is not a good idea... learn from your mistakes AND move on.
#4  Sometimes your wife is right.... :)

Our revised model for is back to business basics 101.
Find a model that is workable and that shows an ability to be profitable... then grow it to scale.
We are re emerging as an e commerce store... no bricks... no mortar... just good products delivered to the people and places who want them.  This year to date we are tracking at a 650% sales growth rate over our first year and implementation of the e commerce sight.   While that may seem impressive if you consider the possibility that we might have made one sale last year and now we are at six.  Although that is not the case we are still very much in the early stage start up stages and are having success in California, Washington State, Texas, Florida, and various east coast states... we are still alive!

Play it loud!  And enjoy summer in Michigan!  ;)