Looking ahead with hope and confidence.
Posted by LUCINDA CRABTREE
Today marks the completion of one year since the start of our carbon-free blog. As I reported earlier, we reached our goal of making the business carbon free, we lowered the carbon profile of the building, and our employees have continued to impress me with their commitment to the environment and their creativity in adopting more sustainable lives.
I said all along that a primary reason for creating the blog was to share the going-carbon-free process with others. Prior to the blog, I can't tell you how many individuals and business owners had told me that, yes, they too wanted to go carbon free but had no idea how to get there. So, not knowing how it would end, we set out to chronicle our journey and share the short cuts and point out the dead ends.
I was convinced that any progress along the path to carbon free would have serious financial advantages. In particular, what’s not to like about cutting your energy bill? But what I couldn’t see a year ago was the severity and pervasiveness of the economic downturn. The silver lining, of course, has been that as we all looked to economize, the means to do so (by adopting more sustainable practices) lay right before us. And with green energy production and overall energy reduction clear goals of the stimulus package, all forces seemed to converge for good.
But I have to wonder what will happen when we start to come out of the difficult times. Will large cars and large homes make a comeback? Will the urgency to develop alternative energy sources fade away? Our counter-cyclical behavior regarding gas prices and miles traveled certainly doesn’t bode well. But I’ve also heard some suggest that if the downturn lasts for several more months, we could become a generation irreversibly marked both by frugality and a commitment to sustainability, much like the Depression era generation valued thrift and self-reliance. Changes in outlook such as these would be a welcomed outcome and could end up having a profound effect on our whole society going forward.
You see, I am an optimist. I believe that while reducing our carbon footprint, preserving our environment, and living sustainably may literally be necessities, they will also lead us to live lives that are better, safer, and more profitable — in every sense of those terms.
Tomorrow we begin our 26th year and I can't wait to see what it brings!