Dear Up a Creek Without a Booth,

Lets define “sustainable,” just for shits and giggles.



1. Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

2. Able to be upheld or defended.

It is not without a hint of coincidence that we will be exploring not only environmental sustainability, but also sustainability in business and income.

I have to admit that I don’t know much about The Sustainable Living Association, and I am not much of an environmentalist besides recycling, but I did explore their website. I wanted to gather more information before I answered your question. For readers who are curious, here is a little insight to the Association and part of their mission statement directly from their website:

“The Sustainable Living Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to applying vision and expertise toward a sustainable future for all. We are a solution-driven organization with the distinguishing quality to move people toward powerful and profound choices in an effort to stave off complacency about issues affecting our world.”

I understand that sustainable living is essential to the future for our planet, but isn’t it also important to sustain a steady income in this time of job uncertainty?

Frustration is the theme here, because both parties are suffering a loss from the devastation of the flood.

I work for a non profit myself, and I can see both sides of the story. But I also think that The Sustainable Living Association has made a BIG mistake in not communicating with the small businesses supporting their cause. There is no excuse for poor communication in ANY relationship, be it romantic, friendship or business related.

Now for my thought process: 

Good Idea! Sustainable living in every sense of the phrase.

Bad Idea. Taking away from sustainable living for the sake of sustainable living.

Good Idea! Non-profits taking donations as a source of income.

Bad Idea. Non-profits taking a source of income disguised as a donation.

Good Idea! Small businesses and non-profits working together so both can profit.

Bad Idea. Non-profits taking small business profit for their own… profit.

The feeling I get from the Sustainable Living Association website is that they are in a panic. This is not an excuse.

Here is what protects them: an Act of God clause.

“An event that directly and exclusively results from the occurrence of natural causes that could not have been prevented by the exercise of foresight or caution; an inevitable accident.”

Courts have recognized various events as acts of God—tornadoes, earthquakes, death, extraordinarily high tides, violent winds, and floods. Many insurance policies for property damage exclude from their protection damage caused by acts of God.  (

It still doesn’t make it right that they did not communicate with you, as a small business who will be the most affected by this unfortunate situation. They should have come up with a way for you to still get the result you wanted from being at the fair and marketing your business. Compromise is the key word here; although, no one is ever happy in a compromise.

I don’t want to make any assumptions (to assume is to make an ass out of “u” and me), but I believe that they are so concerned with all donations going to flood relief causes that they are going to hold on to that money for dear life.


That said, I don’t believe that we, as a community, should forget the little guys and the non-profits that are here to stay. I DO believe we should all work together to help each other, be it flood relief, supporting small business, or supporting non profits.

So, what do we do? What do you do?

Step 1. Keep up lines of communication with them. Let them know your situation and try to come to a reasonable conclusion. Think of some ideas that are middle of the road and maybe they will meet you halfway. Maybe.

Step 2. Repeat step one. There is something to be said for persistence.

Here is what is going to hurt the Sustainable Living Association in the end: word of mouth. If they have treated your small business so poorly, and continue to treat you poorly, then I suggest you spread the word. Small businesses need to protect themselves too and they should be aware of the situation at hand. This will result in other small businesses pulling away from supporting this particular non-profit. This is just the way it is. If you go to a restaurant and the service is poor or the quality of food is poor, then you are most likely never to return; and you will tell your friends. Maybe you’ll even write a review on Yelp. Same with any business; beauty, auto, retail…  They should at least honor your business in some way, shape, or form, and champion you in the way they want to be championed. Golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated. You need to sustain your life too. There is too much loss from the devastation of the flood for anyone to have selfish intent in this time of need. I do hope compromise can be reached in the form of some “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” action.


She Says: Couldn’t We All Just Get Along? — No Comments

    Leave a Reply