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Rocky Mountain Flatbread plants the seeds

February 2, 2012

Rocky Mountain Flatbread  (RM) has made sustainability, environmental responsibility and community involvement its goals from the day it opened business in 2004.

In my previous RM post, I covered its green business initiatives. Today, I would like to highlight its school-based programs. Usually, 6-8 schools per year in the Vancouver area participate in one or more of the programs that RM operates through the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company Education Society.

In the two-month “Responsible Entrepreneur” program, volunteers assist students to create a business which makes a profit while being environmentally and socially responsible. In the past, students have operated small markets in the schools selling such items as their own garden products, eco-friendly crafts and green cleaning products. During the course of the program, students discover the practical uses of otherwise ‘arcane’ subjects such as math, art, geography, English and science. The profits raised are used in school gardens or donated to a charity chosen by the students. According to the RM website, over 50 student-based businesses have been started through this program.

This year’s Responsible Entrepreneur program will feature mason bees. Students will learn about the bees and their life cycle, including how the mason bees do not sting and their importance to pollination. Students will build bee houses and set them up in gardens. Honey produced by the bees will then be sold by the students in student markets.

In the “Earth Bites” program volunteers work with students to help them learn about nutrition and the importance of it to our bodies. They are shown how to make healthy snacks. They learn how the choices we make affect the environment and how they can make environmentally sound decisions to benefit their world. They then have the ultimate ‘hands-on’  experience when they plant and nurture their own small gardens.

The “Local Hero” program helps move focus away from the celebrity culture that is so prominent today by showing how local individuals make a difference. The local hero program usually chooses a particular area such as teaching, farming or the environment. Students meet people who have promoted social or environmental change locally and then are encouraged to locate other examples of local people who are making a positive difference. They learn the value of social responsibility and the power of an individual. RM reports that in the past seven years, “over 350 local heroes have been celebrated by students across Western Canada”.

Clearly, Rocky Mountain Flatbread brings innovation and clear purpose to both its business and the communities it serves. Not only do the people at RM make great pizza, they bring a strong social and environmental conscience to all they do.

Interested schools should contact RM if they are interested in participating in any of the programs.

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