Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · The greening of business
. . . .

The greening of business

Rick Coates - April 18th, 2011
The Greening of Business: Michigan Green Consortium blossoms with new ideas
By Rick Coates
“Going Green” may seem trendy or the hip thing to do right now, but soon
businesses may not have an option, it may be law.
While many businesses are incorporating self-imposed green initiatives,
laws are popping up all over the country mandating everything from reduced
energy use to required recycling laws, to the elimination of plastic
shopping bags.
One of the last bills Governor Granholm signed before leaving office was
the PACE law (a loan program for businesses) giving municipalities leeway
to create local green initiatives. Last month the Ann Arbor City
Commission approved several green initiatives for their community, further
suggesting that Michigan is transitioning from “optional” to “mandatory”
green practices. Businesses who start going green now may find it easier
in the future and a Traverse City based organization has been established
to help.

COMMON GOAL
The Michigan Green Consortium (MGC) was founded in the fall of 2008 as a
trade association to promote and encourage environmentally-responsible
businesses in the region. The MGC evolved out of discussion of a few
business owners in Northern Michigan who were familiar with similar
organizations in other states. 
“We are a consortium of member companies that all have one common goal and
that  is businesses need to be committed to protecting the environment,”
said Ella Cooper-Froehlich, board chair and one of the co-founders. “Our
members either produce a green product, provide a service that has
sustainability at its core or they just conduct their day to day business
with stewardship of the environment in mind.”
The organization’s focus is encouragement versus discouragement or
finger-pointing. 
“We want businesses to get involved and join regardless of their level of
current environmental commitment,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “What we see as
these types of businesses rub shoulders with others, they start becoming
more eager and inclined to increase their level of commitment to being
green and add environmental initiatives into their business model.”

EVERY BIT HELPS
Board vice-chair and founding member Mike Hasman of Hasman Restoration has
been in business for over 20 years and believes that businesses are smart
to start adopting green practices now.
“It is better to do this voluntarily because at some point it will be
forced on us all legislatively,” said Mike Hasman. “I was a tree hugger
way back in the ‘70s when it wasn’t so cool. The MGC is about improvement,
not perfection. No one is completely green, so start out small -- every
little bit helps.”
The MGC mission is to create awareness for their members in the community,
while also promoting green initiatives throughout the region. Membership
is $25 annually and the MGC holds monthly mixers as well as larger events,
including their annual community Clean Up & Green Up each spring.
“These monthly events called Green Connections, take place at one of our
members’ businesses and it is essentially an open house with tours,
refreshments and often a speaker,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “These events
also play a key role in another aspect of our mission, and that is
educating our members and the public.”
What MGC members are excited about is the diversity of the membership.
“We are essentially a ‘green chamber of commerce.’ We have dry cleaners,
construction entities, banks, waste management companies, energy
providers, realtors and more,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “This diversity is
great and important because all businesses are able to do something to
become environmentally friendlier.”

SINKING ROOTS
While the MGC is currently operating in Northern Michigan, they plan to
expand statewide soon.
“Northern Michigan is our first chapter,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “We are
currently working on developing other chapters throughout the state but
Traverse City will remain the headquarters.”
Membership starts by filing out an application online and answering a survey.
“We want to assess where new members are at in a variety of areas from
current green practices to current energy uses. We want to find out if
their business has national or international green initiatives they are
following,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “At some point we hope to put together
some certification standards for companies who don’t have industry
standards in place.”
The MGC realizes that “going green” sometimes seems unachievable or
overwhelming for some businesses.
“Being 100% green in everything you do is virtually impossible for any
business, regardless of size,” said Cooper-Froehlich. “The MGC is really
focused on being inclusive. We want new members to understand that, even
if you start small with a simple company recycling program or replace
fluorescent lights with compact fluorescent light bulbs or manage water
usage. What new members find is this is a very supportive and helpful
group, not a judgmental one.”
Mike Hasman agrees.
“There is really no reason for a business not to be a member,” said
Hasman. “This is a great network where a lot of ideas are shared. More and
more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on businesses who are
committed to green practices.”

The next Green Connections event will take place May 18 at the Cambria
Suites in TC. For info on Michigan
Green Consortium, check out their website at www.mgconline.org or call
(231) 947-7368.

 
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