Eco MV asked to turn blue into green for DNC
Eco MV, a retail business that supplies environmentally sound products to Islanders, has been selected to help facilitate the greening of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which begins August 25 in Denver. Eco MV was one of a handful of retailers selected, because it has become a model for how to successfully assimilate green products into a mainstream consumer market. Eco MV will act as both an adviser and supplier for the political event.
In an effort to highlight its commitment to a developing national concern about the state of the environment, the DNC has set out to produce the most environmentally conscientious political convention in history.
According to the convention website, choosing sustainable materials is at the heart of the DNC's greening plan, and all contractors and subcontractors are chosen in part because of their demonstrated commitment to sustainable planning principles,
The DNC will also sponsor a summit on green technologies and jobs, to get national leaders, businesses owners, scientists and 25,000 graduate students from around the country on the same page concerning sustainable technologies and products. Eco MV owner Mark Martin will be a speaker at the event.
Included will be a trade show centered on sustainable products and practices. Eco MV will be given a large show space at the event. Mr. Martin said this week he hopes to present Martha's Vineyard at this national venue, as a model environmental community.
"We would like to present the Island as an example of what a community can do if they take a personal interest and work together to help the environment," said Mr. Martin in an interview last week at Eco MV's retail outlet, Bio Store, located on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. "We will be approaching other local groups and businesses to be part of our involvement with the DNC. We want this to become a collaborative event, because it has the potential to make the Island a benchmark for other communities and bring people to the Island, because they know we are an eco-conscientious community."
Photo by Alex Bell
Still in its first year of operation, Eco MV was invited to the high-profile event because it has forged a successful, for-profit business centered around ethically and environmentally sound principles, according to Bio Store manager Eliza Wilson.
"We really got invited because of our concept and our idea being interesting to the people who are running this huge event," said Mrs. Wilson, in an interview with The Times last week. "Be it the DNC or the Denver sanitation people, they are really coming to us for information and not just to purchase items. It's very flattering."
The concept of having a for-profit business that is completely committed to the environment is unique to the American market, explained Mr. Martin. "We try to give people the complete picture," he said. "The whole basis behind the store is that we have done that research, but our customers don't have to take our word for it, because we will give them all the information. That allows them to make the decisions. And that is the only way people in a open market system will change their consumer habits."
Several Island institutions and businesses have already forged relationships with Eco MV, including Cronig's Market, the Chilmark Store, and the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School, which will be switching its whole cafeteria to sustainable products next year. Island Affordable Housing has also entered into a partnership with Eco MV, to provide products for its new environmentally friendly housing project in Edgartown, and IAF will join EcoMV at the Democratic National Convention.
Mr. Martin said he hopes other Island groups will join also. "We are here because the community allows this store to exist," he said. "The Island was already environmentally conscientious and embracing the idea. Martha's Vineyard should be a profile of sustainability. We want to show people from all over the nation that, but we are going to need help, lots of help."