ABOUT

the big picture

guide to the good is a start-up social enterprise that makes it easy and practical for people to choose local, social and green for their purchasing and lifestyle choices.  we built it because local, social and green bring economic, environmental, ethical, and social benefits to our lives, our communities and our planet.  we’re piloting at home, in the Northeast Avalon.

the Guide to the Good is a project of thegreenrock.ca ~ Live Sustainably NL. thegreenrock.ca was incorporated in 2014 as a non-profit in Newfoundland and Labrador, and in 2018 received status from TechSoup Canada (Centre for Social Innovation). thegreenrock.ca is governed by a Board of Directors who are Bobby Bessey (Chair), Jeff Tulk, Emad Rizkalla, Kelly Bavis (Secretary), Meghan Keating, Gail Ryan (Treasurer) and Kim Todd (ex-officio).

thegreenrock.ca Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from various sectors, and takes a special focus on integrating Guide to the Good into the community. Advisory Committee members include:
Beverly Barbour, Carole Therrien, Carolyn Wakeham, Sheilagh O’Leary (Deputy Mayor, City of St. John’s), David Haire, Denise Cornick, Josh Smee, Kieran Hanley, Federation of Agriculture, Susan Day, Viviana Rameriz, Tim Reynolds, Nicole Helwig, Chelsey MacNeil, and Megan Stuckless

 

and the backstory

thegreenrock.ca ~ habits for your habitat launched in 2008.    With the tagline ‘think planet.  live local’ thegreenrock.ca talked about ‘habits for your habitat’ – things we can all do to live more sustainably where we live.

Since then thegreenrock.ca has shared hundreds of stories of great, green local innovations, action and hope through text, video, and images on thegreenrock.ca website and on facebook with support from the Conservation Corp NL, Memorial University, the City of St. John’s, and Wellness Coalition Avalon East.

thegreenrock.ca was on point with its mission and its method as localism and sustainability increasingly came to the fore.   When it incorporated as a not-for-profit company in 2014, thegreenrock.ca focus was on developing a revenue stream to become sustainable, and realize its long-term vision.

Personal investment and months of research and study led to a social enterprise model around the theme of ‘local’, because local builds community, builds connections, improves health and well-being, strengthens the economy, strengthens community resilience, and tends to leave a smaller environmental footprint.  Living local is one of the best things we can do for the environment.

We learned:

  • conscious consumers want to and would choose local more often if they knew what was available and how to access it.
  • a growing community of creative, smart local businesses with very limited budgets are interested in an affordable venue to promote their offerings, and let their ‘localness’ be an inherent advantage.
  • local businesses like to build relationships with their customers, and people like to build relationships with the people who make and grow things they choose.

Along the way, we caught the attention of the St. John’s Board of Trade, the Y Enterprise Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Network, Memorial University’s Harris Centre, EXTRAordinary Women, the Genesis Centre, Memorial’s Centre for Social Enterprise, For A New Earth and other entities.

The efforts culminated in the Guide to the Good – a social enterprise that will bring local back to the community, and the community back to local while bringing with it economic, environmental, ethical, social and community benefits.

In February of 2016, thegreenrock.ca contracted a web design company to build the prototype Guide to the Good website.   In October of 2016 we began the Genesis Evolution program.

In November of 2016, the Guide to the Good proof of concept website went live with profiles of a complement of local businesses and community organizations, a growing bank of bloggers, and interest from the community. 

This pre-pilot phase included study in Environmental Ethics, coding, finance and governance as it nurtured a vision for a comprehensive marketing campaign, an updated site with hubs, an app or two, symbiosis with the internet search and a growing community. We learned about social enterprise from academics and the community. We lookedfor what the community was looking for – live streaming, good stories, practical tools and tips. We brought together people from the community, we celebrated successes and we made friends.

In October of 2018 we are ready to put the ‘enterprise’ in the social enterprise, promote the Guide to the Good and all who are on it to the broader marketplace, and generate revenue in the last quarter of 2018 to build a stronger community here in the Northeast Avalon, and all over.