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What Shade Are You?

I have to admit, when I first got involved with the whole “green” movement, I was a very pale shade of green. I had a recycling bin and I thought I did a pretty good job of putting garbage and recyclables in their appropriate places. Of course, I was hearing frequent news reports about global warming, off gassing, and other ecological issues which I felt were, at times, more politically than environmentally inspired. I guess I associated the green movement with radical tree huggers, who wore hemp pants and Birkenstocks, and pretty much protested for a living. As a business owner, I saw an opportunity with the green building movement. It had become a very strong sector in the industry. I decided to contact a local organization at the forefront of green building; Build It Green. They offered information and training on green building practices. I decided to go all out and registered for their Green Certification Program. The morning of the first day of class, I was really nervous. Kind of like when I have to order my wife a frappacino from the local barista. I did not know what to wear. My hair was processed and held with gels, which I am sure were toxic. My clothes were not made of hemp or burlap and my shoes were leather. Leather couldn’t be good. I knew I was going to stand out, and didn’t know what the other people were going to think of me. When I arrived at the training facility I felt a little more at ease. There were actually some full sized work trucks in the parking lot. People had cell phones and looked pretty “normal”. As I began talking with them, I realized that this was going to be okay. The people there were, like me, just looking to learn more about green building practices. And they weren’t deep, dark, “broccoli” green either! I learned a lot during the certification process and passed the exam with a very high score. I had long discussions with other business owners who felt as I did and who were keen to expand their business through more environmentally friendly processes. There were many shades of green amongst the people there, and each person was working towards the same goal of improving their businesses while helping to lessen the impact on our environment. I find that in many situations, if the motives are sincere, this can be a very positive thing! I guess the moral here is to not be intimidated by going “green,” it isn’t the daunting task that it might seem at first glance. You don’t have to change your entire lifestyle, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and you don’t need hemp pants. The changes you make can be as simple as buying a few grocery items each week in glass jars rather than in plastic tubs, keep reusable grocery bags in your car, or using your own recyclable container for your water and coffee. It is acknowledging the benefits to us and our world and trying to make good choices at home and at work. By no means am I a deep Kelly green but I think I’ve moved slowly but surely from a “celery” to more of a “sage” green!

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