Last night was the gala dinner for the New York chapter of the US Green Building Council gala dinner. Held at the Natural History Museum (dinosaur shadows!), the swanky black tie sit-down do was honoring Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for the PlaNYC program of sustainable planning. Up for the “Development Award” was Related Companies, for its adoption of $21 billion in LEED development while NBC Universal picked up the “Tenant Award.”
NBC’s green correspondent Liz Thompson accepted that last award in place of Jeff Zucker, and we chatted briefly before she went onstage. She waxed lyrically about NBC’s green initiatives even as she confessed that her own carbon footprint, garnered in the name of traveling the world to cover green issues, is “enormous.” She also bemoaned the west’s seemingly ingrained culture of waste and pointed out that “green” needs to happen on multiple levels and “green thinking” need to become every person’s default setting. She’s quite right. Corporations must immediately implement simple but impactful strategies to reduce their harmful mark on the world (recycle paper as a matter of course, reduce the use of Styrofoam cups, etc); individuals should do the same at home and in the office. “Why take five napkins when you can take two?” Thompson asked. Or, you know, one. Now, seems to me, is not the time for baby steps. Those of us who need to relearn how to think and act in a sustainable manner really need to go all out. Then those who come after us will accept that status quo without question.
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