Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Snowball Effect

I’ve always been an avid recycler, but three years ago my boss recommended that I take the USGBC's LEED exam. Studying for the test took some time, but I learned some great things that I’ve been able to apply in my daily life in addition to what’s required to commission HVAC systems.

The one thing that stood out to me was how much my newfound knowledge has “snowballed”:

  • Writing articles for my Homeowners Association Newsletter – sharing simple ideas in a large forum can make a big difference – I’ve seen lots of small measures taken in the community, and some large ones too.
  • Joining the community Architectural Control Committee – and making recommendations as to how to make the community’s guidelines more environmentally-friendly. I’m now receiving calls about composting, solar panels, energy efficient window replacements and more.
  • Turning my husband into a recycling, reuse, and conservation Nazi – sometimes a little bit more than I can handle, but it’s all for the cause, right?
  • Thanks to his newfound environmentalism, my husband has been making major steps with his company, including starting a recycling program and harassing the boss for transit incentives (see my post on Greenwashing Hits Home for more info). His latest endeavor is a Six Sigma project – green initiatives, starting just with his project, but hopefully spreading company-wide. Quick update on the transit: still hasn't talked the boss into paying for transit instead of (or even in addition to) parking - maybe the Six Sigma will help.

It’s amazing how just a little bit of sharing and education can make a big difference. I encourage everyone to share the small ideas (the big ones too) and let us know your success stories!

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