The Academy Awards often idolize celebrities for their extraordinary contributions to the big screen. Well, today there’s a new movement that celebrates the Meryl Streeps of sustainability issues and we think it’s worthy of some buzz.
Sustainability awards don’t have all the razzle dazzle of the red carpet at the Oscars, but they’re quite prestigious nonetheless.
This honor brings folks into the spotlight who aren’t being chased down by the paparazzi, but perhaps they should be…
What Are Sustainability Awards?
There are numerous award organizations separated by region and category, but the idea is always the same: “…honor the people, nonprofits, institutions and businesses that make Maine a greener, healthier place for all living creatures who call it home.”
That’s how the Annual Source Maine Sustainability Awards at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester describes their purpose and we couldn't have said it better ourselves.
What Sustainability Issues Do Winners Solve?
To answer this question, let’s check in with our friends in New Gloucester who just held their 5th annual event. Here are some of the awards they gave out and the winners who were honored:
- The Pollinator: Jean English, editor of the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers quarterly
- The Counselor: Conservation Law Foundation’s Legal Food Hub, providing pro bono legal advice to farmers and food businesses
- The Cultivator: Resilience Hub, a non-profit dedicated to permaculture design
- The Toastmaster: Luke Truman, leader of Allagash Brewing Co.’s sustainability team
- The Reutilizer: Ruth Libby, executive director of Ruth’s Reusable Resources
- The Purifier: Brian Marcaurelle, program director of the Maine Island Trails Association
There's no doubt these winners and their stories are inspiring, but also take a look at these award categories. This wide variety proves that people from massively different industries can make a big impact around the same problem: sustainability issues.
It's pretty rad when one organization can acknowledge industries that would otherwise not cross paths, like a brewing company and a permaculture design hub. Have you heard this one?
What do you get when a Cultivator and a Purifier walk into the Toastmaster's bar? A better place to live.
How Can I Get Involved?
First off, you can support the winners! Look at what they have to offer and see where their product or service can fit into your family's lifestyle. Follow them on social media and be sure to like their pages and support the good work they're doing by spreading the word.
Next, get in the driver's seat and nominate your favorites. Sustainability companies go the extra mile to make sure our food and products are free of all the yucky stuff that are often cheaper and easier to use. So go the extra mile for them by nominating a company you believe in for a well-deserved sustainability award.
This prestige will not only send a big "thank you" to the company, it will also put them into the limelight so that others can find them, support them, and – most importantly – support our environment.
Who Will You Give the Celebrity Treatment?
While you might never get butterflies when you meet an organic farmer, these awards are a great start toward moving the needle in the direction of what's really important. So subscribe to the hype and find a way to celebrate those who are doing really good stuff in the world.
If you or someone you know is doing major good for the environment, consider nominating them for a sustainability award for the next round. Everyone deserves credit for good works done in the name of the planet.
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