Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

The work ahead

Sandra and I were so honored to win the Advocate of the Year award, but as all the thrill seeps in and congratulations abound, it leads me to think "Okay so how do we get more people plugged in?"

How do we get more positive decisions made by leaders whether political or business? How do we get mothers, fathers and children to make more changes?  How we effect change on a myriad issues from energy efficiency to better recycling efforts to water conservation to better local foods to cleaner air...pant, pant, pant?

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Excuse me while I rant!

I went to dinner recently with my Aunt in Florida and got completely flummoxed. We had gone to a Mexican restaurant for a Margarita, the inevitable endless basket of chips, and seafood meal and it was there with the chips and our little individual salsa bowls that it dawned on me that here was the solution to yet another plastic problem.

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Alabama, Plastic Bags, Wal-Mart...star crossed lovers!

Okay, so this is a boast of a sorts or maybe it is just an opportunity to brag about my home girls in Alabama. I was home during the summer and I was sitting on a dock over Weeks Bay, drinking beer with a bunch of girls from high school. One thing led to another and we got to talking about politics and green things. I am such an oddity in my political and green views for my friends that they can't help their curiousity. I am like a strange creature in the zoo. Questions always get asked about my opinion on something, and  let me tell you if you ask my opinion you'll get it. I'll probably tell you even if you don't ask...

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Defining Greenwashing

I was at Six Flags the other day with my friend Tyrekus. I have known him since he was three and his anxious 10 year old body was ready for the big trip.

As we were standing in yet another crowded hot line, a tribute to Michael Jackson came up on the TV screen. They were showing one of his last images on the screen where arguably if you didn't know who Michael Jackson was it might be confusing. A four year old behind me shouted "That's a girl!" When I turned to explain it wasn't, I was met with "Well that's a girl!"

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An Open Wound

This is what the whole hill looked like before the development began.

We have a tragedy happening in my neighborhood. I live in a neighborhood just south of Decatur. In fact part of our main road through the neighborhood is in the City of Decatur. Our neighborhood and Winnona Park have worked for over ten years to get the best development possible on the last large track of land in Decatur. Nine acres with one and half of those acres in the flood plain have been slated for development.

The neighbors have gone through three developers trying to get the best development possible. The plan that finally got approved by the City of Decatur included a 30% conservation easement with a fifteen foot buffer to the road with existing trees.

Unfortunately, something happened along the way.

About a week ago they started clear cutting the land for timber. As logging trucks rolled in and took out a ninety year old forest (It was not native forest.) I had my first ever visceral reaction to losing a piece of nature. I know it's ironic that I bemoan nature in what is essentially downtown Atlanta. But it's the irony that makes it so painful.

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Just say no to...straws

A while back, I got an e-mail saying that if people stopped taking bank receipts from ATM machines that we could wrap the world several times over the long tape of paper we would save.

So my question is how many times could we wrap the world if people stopped using straws? I really don't have a problem with straws. They allow me to consume my favorite beverages faster…except beer of course. It gives me something to play with when you get that old fashioned ice that's in pellets. You know you crunch it up in the straw to create little ice pillars and then see how long you can make the pillar? Ah, the joy of inane things!

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