Meet Umesh

Written by Vera Struck

Walking into Zumi’s is like entering a contemporary version of an old style general store; brings back fond memories of my childhood obsession with TV Western’s. There is a warm and vibrant “buzz” of activity. Diverse local residents pleasantly populate Zumi’s as they get their cup of morning organic Fair Trade coffee or Divine chocolate or the local ice cream and muffin. You feel the warmth and positive energy vibrate through the establishment. Patrons engage in lively discussions about local politics, family accomplishments, the latest news and, of course, the weather (especially today’s impending October snow storm!) Its unassuming owner attends to your needs and perhaps today, introduces you to your next employer, client, the carpenter you need or a new neighbor.

It’s charismatic, compassionate, approachable owner, Umesh Bhuju, is the embodiment of Terrablu’s sustainable best practices. I could talk about how deep a social commitment he has within our community to our Ipswich watershed, our county greenbelt, our wildlife or our natural open spaces. Or I could discuss his certified green, organic and FairTrade sustainable products, his coffee ground recycling, or his philanthrophic partnering to share his profits with non-profit organizations. Or I could even go on about Umesh consistently sponsoring educational presentations to inspire sustainable development.  Google to your heart’s content. Better authors than I have penned news articles about Zumi’s, its awards, accomplishments and certifications.

Instead, I prefer to bring attention to the extraordinary global sustainer that Umesh, the human, our own local businessman, represents. In his own words, “I live daily in the awareness of our responsibility as global citizens to care for our community and environment. I aim to improve the lives of people I interact with directly each day as well as those we interact with indirectly through our business, which includes taking care of the ecosystems we all share.”

Sustainability is not just about energy efficiency, energy optimization, your water or carbon footprint, the life-cycle analysis of your product or service. It is also about internal and external human capital engagement. How you engage with your employees, your customers, your management, your family, your community, your suppliers, your investors, your regulators and your natural environment impacts the world. Sustainability is an imperative for all of “us”.

I see Umesh and others like him as the answer to what ails our globe. He has sustainability embedded in his DNA. He is a connector, a systems thinker and implementer. He gets it. And he’s good at it.

And Terrabluteams is all about that.

His name is even a clue. The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of engagement is the one I grew up with (the promise that came before marriage or the theatrical battle between armed forces). Further research brings us to the French 17th century origin, engager, “to pledge”. After all, that’s what human engagement is at its best, positive attraction, employment, to give and take, to enter into mutual obligation, reciprocal caring, to interlock, to mesh.


Find your local sustainer and tell me all about them here in the comments.

This is the first of several entries in which our Terra Blu Team Members will “engage” our local community residents, business owners and municipalities on our search to discover and measure where we are as global sustainers of our precious home, Planet Earth and all of its inhabitants.

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