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SG-W:/ Shopping for the Earth


Would you donate $100 every year to help fight the sprawl that is
overrunning our community if this didn't actually cost you a penny?

This is not a wild fantasy.  It's a fund raising program organized by the
Sierra Club - Huron Valley Group.

Here's how it works.  The Huron Valley Group buys certificates from 3
local grocery stores (Kroger, Meijer, and the Ann Arbor People's Food
Co-op) at a 5% discount.  Then we sell the certificates to people who are
concerned about our local environment.  The certificates are as good as
cash at the check-out register.

The 5% discount amount is our "profit". We use 100% of these funds on
local conservation efforts - our number one priority is fighting sprawl.  
This certificate program produced the money for a major contribution to
the victorious Parkland Acquisition Proposal ballot campaign that will
generate between $12 million and $15 million to buy open space so it can
become parkland, not more development.

Can a grassroots fundraising project like this really make a difference?  
Well, my family uses at least $60 of grocery certificates each week. This
amounts to about $3000 per year, which means that we generate $150 to
protect nature every year at absolutely no cost to us.  If 70 families did
this, we'd generate $10,000 every year to protect nature.  By way of
comparison, this is more than it cost to run the Parkland ballot campaign.  
Imagine the amazing things we could do around here with this kind of
steady funding source!

We've been running the certificate program - we cleverly call it "Shopping
for the Earth" - for a few years. Right now about 20 people are regular
participants.  We think it's simple and works great. It's time now to try
to boost our ranks so that we can provide meaningful financial support for
the continuing campaign to bring sane land-use to our area, before it's
too late. If you might be interested in joining us, you will find further
information and an order form below.

Doug Cowherd
Chair, Sierra Club - Huron Valley Group


"Shopping for the Earth" Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What can I buy with these certificates?  Which stores accept them?  Do 
they ever expire?
A:  You can use certificates to buy any item (except lottery tickets or
money orders) in the Ann Arbor People's Food Co-op (PFC) store, any Kroger
store (plus a dozen affiliated chains like Sav-Mor), or any Meijer store
or gas station. Kroger and PFC certificates never expire, Meijer
certificates expire December 31st the year after HVG buys them.

Q:  Can I turn in certificates for their face value in cash?
A:  No, certificates cannot be redeemed at the stores for cash.  The 
stores aren't dumb - you've got to buy something for them to fork over
the 5% to the Sierra Club. But it doesn't have to be for the exact amount
of the certificate, as below.

Q:  Will the store give me change in cash if I use a certificate?
A:  Kroger will give you change in cash, regardless of the amount.  Meijer 
and PFC will give you change in cash (if under $5) or a mix of cash and new 
certificates (if over $5).  Issuing new certificates will slow down your 
check out and may require you to stop at the customer service desk.

Q:  Do you have to be a Sierra Club member to buy or use the certificates?
A:  Are you kidding?  Money is money.  If you buy groceries, you can
contribute to protecting nature regardless of your affiliations.  Really.
Even if you watch professional wrestling on TV. Certificates make fine
gifts for environmentally-conscious friends too.

Q:  Do members of the Ann Arbor People's Food Co-op still gain their Co-op 
membership benefit if they buy goods with a certificate?
A:  They sure do.

Q:  Can stores replace certificates if they are lost, stolen, or defaced?
A:  Sorry, neither the stores nor HVG can replace certificates after you
purchase them.  But last I heard this was true for dollar bills too.  I
carry my certificates in my wallet right alongside the currency.

Q:  Is this as easy as it sounds?
A:  You mail us a check and 5% of the money goes to preserve nature.  We
mail you the certificates and you spend them.  Then you send us another
check to get some more. Everything is done conveniently by mail, whenever
you choose.  It's not rocket science, but it may save a lot of land around
here from going under asphalt.  The world is run by the few people who act
on their beliefs, not just talk about them.  Why not "gamble" $100 on an
initial certificate order and see what you think?

Q:  Alright, alright.  How do I get started?
A:  To purchase certificates by mail, print the coupon below and send it
in. Feel free to forward this message to friends who might be interested.
If you've got questions about the program, please call Alan Richardson at
(734) 332-0207.


"Shopping for the Earth" Certificate Order Form

Please fill in the table below to indicate how many certificates of each 
face value you want for each store.  Indicate the total value of your order 
here $ ______ ($500 maximum per order) and enclose your payment by check 
only, made payable to "Huron Valley Group - Sierra Club."

			Certificate Face Value:
Store			$5 	$10	$20	$50

Kroger			N.A.
Meijer			N.A.
People's Food Co-op				N.A.

Your Name:	_________________________________	Mail to:
Your Address:	_________________________________	Alan Richardson
		_________________________________	2330 Adare Road
Your Phone:	_________________________________ 	Ann Arbor MI  48104


If you have a minute, could you help us learn how we could improve our
Shopping For The Earth program by answering a few questions?

1. Would you use certificates for the following stores if we had them?

	Busch's		_____ yes	_____ no
	Farmer Jack	_____ yes	_____ no
	Whole Foods	_____ yes	_____ no

2. How could we improve the certificate program?

3. How well does this email explain the certificate program (check one)?

	great	 	_____
	good		_____
	okay		_____
	bad		_____
	lousy		_____

4. What issues should we deal with that we missed in this message?

Thanks for your advice. Please send your answers back as a "reply" to this


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