I am particpating!

I wanted to address the comment from Steve Cissel at my last post, "Got Plants?". Steve says, “it is really easy to sit back on the ranch and lob pessimism and one liners into the mix.” He continues, “ What our industry needs is creative thinkers (like you) to roll up your sleeves and participate.”

No one asked me to participate at the summit. There was a mention at Todays Garden Center web page May 20th. "National Green Industry Summit has been set for June 11-12 in St. Paul, Minn., with the goal of assembling a group of thought leaders to discuss a national promotional program for the green industry, similar to the dairy industry’s 'Got Milk' campaign.” I may have been sent an e-mail but I don't remember. Was I invited?

The people involved want to help the industry. Steve and the rest of the participants want to do something to help steer people towards gardening and the garden. The idea that you can replicate a campaign like “Got Milk” just doesn't resonate with me. It's like trying to hit a home run every time at bat. Better to just hit the ball and run towards first.

Steve says that they “need creative thinkers, like me to roll up my sleeves and participate.” My sleeves are rolled up, and I am participating the only way I can, through my blog. If the organization wants input from creative thinkers why not offer the meeting on live video feed. That way the small garden center owner who can't leave the nursery during the spring season can participate. Why is this thing scheduled for early June? I am not heading across the country this time of year. I choose to reduce my carbon footprint by not flying all the way to St. Paul.

I did find a web page, Project Green Industry which is written by Green Beam. I have added it to my blogroll. According to the web page, “Steve Cissel, CEO and founder of 10-20 Media, proposed building a national marketing campaign around the 'oxygen footprint', an antidote to the carbon footprint concept that every third-grader has become familiar with by now.” The article continues “Cissel is so gung-ho about the oxygen footprint idea that he already has purchased several Web domains: oxygenfootprint.com, oxygenfootprint.org, O2footprint.com. 'Every which way you can configure it, I have it,' he said.” It continues, “He envisions a well-funded promotional campaign that will result in everyone knowing the answer to 'What’s your oxygen footprint?' just like they know the answer to 'What’s your e-mail?'".

We need to focus at the local level. Instead of trying to hit that home run with a national "Got Milk" type campaign, we should be putting people in contact with local garden oriented business that care about what's going on in the community and are willing to talk about it. It's through this "small and local" thinking that people might gravitate towards gardens and gardening.

"Meet the local garden center or florist who makes a difference everyday in your community."

That's my idea.