by guest blogger Caryn Sowell, Portland Showroom Manager
The highlight of 2015 so far, for me, has been attending the Portland Press Herald Source Awards Banquet. Source is a special section in our Sunday paper that The Clean Bedroom advertises in, dedicated to highlighting people and organizations that work toward greater sustainability in Maine.
This year, over 200 nominations poured in for the 1st annual Source Awards. I met some of those nominated at the banquet and these folks are nothing short of amazing! Some standouts included:
· An octogenarian who devised a way in which smaller farmers can act as their own middleman and sell to the big grocers, hospitals and colleges at wholesale prices. He also acts as a mentor to new young farmers.
· An organization called Maine Farmland Trust that has saved about 150 farms in Maine and protected over 40,000 acres of farmland, as well as established a network to match potential owners with available land, and lease back donated land to new farmers.
· A woman who makes local fisheries more sustainable for Maine’s coastal communities and future generations.
· A business that will pick up your garbage food scraps, produce compost and bring it back to you for use in your garden.
· Hannaford Supermarkets, a large grocery chain here in the Northeast, that has its corporate headquarters in Scarborough, Maine. Hannaford knows that grocery stores have a huge carbon footprint and has instituted best practices to make its footprint smaller.
I am most impressed with Hannaford’s ability to trace its seafood in all departments back to the source, in order to document that all seafood sold in their stores is harvested in a sustainable manner. This grocery chain is the model that others are looking to follow. Learn more about their sustainability practices here.
· And last, but certainly not least, my neighbors where I live: Joe, Ben & Penney who own The Farm Stand, an organic market with all items coming from their farm in Cape Elizabeth. I have been a patron of theirs for months! What I love is that they are not active because it is trendy- they truly care about Maine and its people.
This event touched me deeply. It gave me a renewed sense of pride knowing that the people and businesses of Maine are definitely leaders – who care about its land, its families, and its legacy. The event also aligns with our core values as a company. When you think about it – air, water, food and sleep are essential to life itself.
In the words of Russell Libby, a catalyst in the renewed agricultural movement in Maine who passed away in 2012:
“Mostly I think about how important it is to hold and care what is still here. Two hundred years ago it was easy to plant and feel a sense of abundance replacing giant pines and maple with annual grains and hay crops. But that fertility was used hard, and not replaced and that means the job for me, for you, for those to follow- to capture as much as we are able. To cycle the leaves into soil, info food, to hold onto what lies beneath us.”
I was proud to be a sponsor of such a fantastic event and spread the word about The Clean Bedroom and our mission to help others sleep healthy!