Bloom Tea (organic, locally sourced tea company)- junior student business
The campus of Terra Linda High School (San Rafael, CA) was buzzing with excitement on the evening of April 25. Students, families, and friends flocked to the student commons, where the Marin School of Environmental Leadership (MarinSEL) was hosting its annual Green Business Leader’s event. The event is an opportunity for MarinSEL students from the junior class to showcase their sustainability-focused businesses to the local community. This year, student products ranged from eco-friendly surf wax, to tea with biodegradable bags and recyclable packaging, to tote bags composed of repurposed clothing. The display of sustainable enterprises left family, friends, and fellow students in awe.
Each business at the event blossomed from the MarinSEL business course assignment: students identified an environmental issue they felt passionate about and then considered how a good or service could improve this issue. The juniors' enterprise ideas spanned a wide spectrum, with a focus on creating something minimal-waste, reusable (or reused already), biodegradable, or otherwise eco-friendly.
Throughout the semester, students worked tirelessly to bring their business ideas to life. One featured business, GOAT Totes, originated as a piece of paper folded to resemble a tote bag, decorated with colored pencil doodles. Months later, the GOAT Totes team found themselves running one of the most profitable businesses in the class.
GOAT Totes (repurposed clothing bags) - junior student business
While the Green Business Leaders event provided an opportunity for juniors to showcase their businesses, it was also a chance for the MarinSEL freshman to present their LEAD projects. Over the semester, the freshman LEAD teams worked with partner organizations to develop educational campaigns on their specific topic of environmental sustainability, or lack thereof, in the local community. During the event, “Our LEAD transportation group had a great opportunity to interact with the community and inform them about public transportation,” said Josie, a MarinSEL freshman. “It was fun engaging the public on the advantages of public transit and why it should be used more frequently.”
In the student commons, freshmen LEAD booths featured activities to engage and educate friends and family. “We held a [transit pass] raffle that anyone could enter,” Josie recounted. “Meanwhile, we successfully educated fellow students and adults and spread awareness about public transportation in Marin.”
Transportation Group - freshmen LEAD project
Whether a junior businesses or freshmen LEAD project, every presentation at the Green Business Leaders event was student-run and widely supported. Incoming freshman families supported junior businesses, while parents of students in various grades enjoyed the freshman activities and visited the auction booth, run by seniors and parent volunteers. The overwhelming sense of community and collaboration poured out of the event and into the quad, where everyone enjoyed empanadas and their new sustainable purchases.
You can explore and shop the amazing products MarinSEL's student-run businesses are offering, available here.
The SEI Team
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