Earth Week 2008: It's not just for tree huggers anymore.

Breaking News. I'm late to the party. The effort to recognize
'saving the planet'
began decades ago and even though I remember vividly planting a tree with my elementary school class on Earth Day, I've never fully embraced the concept. Not that I disagreed with it mind you, it's just that either I didn't have the time or was far too shallow and self centered to get it.

Well I've come around. No, I won't be making any appearances at TreeHuggers anonymous anytime soon (Hi I'm Greg and I'm a tree hugger) but suddenly having a conscience about the condition of the world we live in has become clear. It's not just any one thing that has changed my view, perhaps it was many. Perhaps it was my eight year old watching someone toss a bag of trash on the highway and ask me why they would. Perhaps it was the recognition of how magnificent a Bradford Pear looks on an Indiana Spring day. Perhaps I'm just getting older and am finally realizing what am amazing world we live in. Perhaps it was the simple understanding that my personal business can be done in a way that uses less of everything perishable than it did two years ago.

I'm not interested in simply putting people out of work to make certain a specific strain of weed has more of a natural environment to procreate in but I am interested in balance. Balance between doing one's job or living one's life and doing so in a way that doesn't trash the world around us. In other words a simple effort to exist without gobbling every usable resourse around us when it's not necessary to do so. For me, technology has actually furthered the Earth Day cause.

Technology has brought my real estate business to a point that we can almost go paperless if we make the effort. Frankly we should be going paperless because it's easier and it's better for the world we live in. We're at the point today where very little cannot be scanned and filed electronically. In fact we do that after every real estate closing we have. Our company sets up a web storage for every document that takes place during a transaction and maintains it for seven years after the closing. We should, as an industry be doing it for every aspect of a transaction from listing a property to the day it closes. Yard signs made from recycled paper, creating recycling stations at our offices, finding ways to cut office energy costs and yes, giving up the industry mandated Sedan DeVille in favor of a more fuel efficient way of getting around would all help. If the real estate business would take the lead and make an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, think about the results it would cause. We would instantly raise awareness of eco friendly policies simply through our marketing and frankly we would get a little love from a general public who often views us as one level above ambulance chasers in the business food chain.

So let's all make an effort. Not to throw out the baby with the bath water like many who are utterly hypocritical about green, but to just do what each of us honestly and reasonably can to 'do well by doing good.' In the meantime why don't we finish on a lighter note with a rant by my good friend Lewis Black on Earth Day 2007. He spares no one...which is why I've always liked Lewis.

Questions? Comments? Donations? Greg@GregCooper.com or 317.848.GREG (4734).