THINGS GOTTA CHANGE—old-hat rhetoric? lachrymose echolalia? dyspeptic parroting of unfulfilled election promises? Well, taking an even cursory glance at just about everything driving the news these days, I’d like to reverse polarity and add a positive movement to this rather gruesome mix of new-decade decline-and-fall downerisms ad infinitum.

And I’m going to take Cleveland, and the “Cleveland Model,” as a new and enlightening nexus point, that is, its cooperative spirit, literal co-ops and bright green focus—and, hoop fans, I’m not talking LeBron James, Shaq, turn$tile revenues (green of another sort) and the concomitant full-glaze opiate common of professional sports. This is—drum roll, please—CHANGE TO BELIEVE IN! And I think we’re all ready for a true (a posse ad esseannus mirabillis. Read More »

GerdingDOING THE RIGHT THING IS THE SMART THING. I think this was the number-one high-level takeaway from the GoGreen09 “Cultivating Sustainable Business” conference, which took place at the LEED-Platinum-certified Gerding Theater in Portland on Wednesday. To many this may appear a no-brainer: of course, like the good ol’ golden rule, good actions (not just intentions) should produce positive results (in some capacity), which is both right and smart. But in today’s climate of rampant fear-mongering and economic turmoil-cum-uncertainty, what once appeared obvious may, more often than not, no longer be the case. Going green is going to cost me more money—I can’t do that right now and adequately feed my family, take that well-earned vacation, purchase those new ski boots, etc.; or in the case of business … purchase that new employee health plan I’ve promised my peeps all year as we’ve collectively weathered the storm, solarize that roof, add a fleet of hybrids, etc. Ouch!

Panelist after panelist at sold-out* GoGreen09 shared success story after success story of how going green or carrying out a sustainability best practice or innovation was not only the right and necessary thing to do but the smart thing to do, resulting in some kind of bottom-line victory, in many cases of the preferred triple-bottom-line variety, where people, planet and profit all high five as victors. Were we hit over the head with the folly of fossil fuels and the continuing Cassandra complex of carbon-emissions levels? Fortunately, not so much. After all, we were attendees at a green event and should get that part at least. Read on for more impressions from the day. GoGreen09, indeed! Read More »

TPdropWATCHING THE COLBERT REPORT WEDNESDAY EVENING, I got a chuckle—like a maddening ride-it-out charley horse (it hurts-it’s funny-it hurts-it’s funny)—witnessing Stephen Colbert’s “ThreatDown” faux putdown of environmentalists “attacking” manufacturers of triple-ply and extra-soft toilet tissue. It was both ludicrous and enlightening, with both Greenpeace and Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Bathroom Tissue (see image to left) on the receiving end of Colbert’s mock ire (Richard Dawkins, promoting his new book The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, was the evening’s guest, so you can imagine how he fared!).

Okay, I thought, here’s wiseacre Colbert poking fun at the banality of eco-friendly TP, which is at one end of the eco scale, let’s call it “eco geek,” where people are making informed everyday (small) decisions and changes that don’t hog the look how green I am! spotlight; actually you wouldn’t even be aware these decisions and changes were being made unless perusing their shopping lists or standing behind them in the checkout line. What an antipodal contrast to the more A-list-marketed world of next-gen hybrids, platinum LEED certification and designer bamboo blouses—what I’d like to call “eco chic,” definitely the other end of the eco scale. Both good for the world? Yes. Both needing a mainstream beyond-the-converted push? Again, yes, but with the often below-the-radar eco-geek products and services much more so. Read More »