I was going to call this blog post “Status Update” because there’s been so much going on lately. Instead, I decided to call it “Success Update” because everything I have to report is upbeat (for a change!)
Here are the highlights:
The Hutan Project is my passion right now. I’m learning how to talk to people about it in a way that opens them up and gets them excited about the possibilities for making a difference in their own lives. Last week, for example, I met with a client to resolve a billing issue. There happened to be a computer with a large screen in the conference room, so at an opportune moment, I grabbed the keyboard and put the Hutan Project website on the screen. Well, guess what? The Executive Director and two staffers ended up sitting there with me until 7:30PM! It wasn’t all about saving the rain forest. It was also about what philanthropy meant to them, and about the causes they cared about.
As we talk about the Hutan Project, people become alive to the possibilities for supporting causes in their workplaces. At this non-profit, for example, they decided to allow donations through payroll deductions. At another organization, Exemplar Law Partners, they have agreed to contribute 20% of fees to the Hutan Project for any client referred by Tech Networks. Talk about synergy!
We are going to be giving our clients a green makeover! That’s right! No more computers losing sleep at night. They need to get their beauty rest by entering sleep mode at night. We’re going to command them to go to sleep. And if they don’t obey, our automated services manager is going to beat them into submission!
Also, I have been invited to serve on the advisory board of the Green IT Consortium. This is a great group of folks on Linked-In dedicated to sharing information on lowering IT energy use.
It’s not just the Indonesian rain forest I’m worried about. Ground-level ozone is killing our street trees here in Boston. Have you noticed? Those trees with no leaves on the top, or with large branches completely devoid of leaves are not going to make it. Street trees are in big trouble even if the Asian Long-Horned beetle that has caused such tree devastation in Worcester does not make it to Boston.
I am doing something about it. Every morning, when I go jogging along the ocean to Castle Island, I find people in their cars idling their motors. I jog up to them and politely ask them to shut off their engines. At first, it was hard. But with the right kind of smile on my face, I’m getting huge results. I tell them about the Massachusetts 5-minute idling law, which prohibits unnecessary engine idling. Ground-level ozone is so dangerous to human health as well as to to vegetation, that New York City is considering a 1 minute idling law while the Sierra Club advises to avoid idling your car for 10 seconds!
After I ask people to shut off their motors, about 50% of them actually do it. I figure that these people are less likely to idle their motor next time. Who knows? I might be saving more trees by politely asking motorists to turn off their engines than I am by bicycling to work!