The cover of Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution by Auden Schendler got me with its work glove and tag line. You can’t imagine my amazement when I opened it and learned the author was from the Aspen Skiing Company. I thought, “you’ve got to be kidding me — a skiing company — what could possibly be green about a skiing company?” I decided to read it anyway.
The book shares actual stories about green projects at Aspen Skiing Company. Some worked and some didn’t. Key points include:
- Climate change is happening. As the author says,”Business is both the cause and victim of environmental decline.” We need to change now.
- It’s smart to engage the people in the trenches who are experts at what they do, like Snowcat mechanics and resort managers.
- Essential to accomplishing green projects is understanding business owners have a business to run and must meet customer needs and make a profit.
- Energy efficiency and green building techniques have major environmental benefits and save / make money.
- Green projects require creativity, commitment, flexibility.
- Use whatever you can to promote your message and organization.
Aspen is known around the world. This is good for the sustainability movement. The author and others have access to media and influential people that most small towns would never have. This enables them to promote sustainability and green projects on a world-wide basis. Aha…now the Aspen Skiing Company connection makes sense.
The Bottom Line
It was refreshing to read actual stories from the trenches and about what worked and didn’t work. Getting Green Done is a well balanced book about an extremely complex and often emotional issue. The writing style was easy to read and sometimes had me laughing out loud — this is the first time I’ve ever laughed while reading a book on sustainability. I disagree with the author’s view that individual actions don’t make an impact and what we really need are businesses and governments to step to the plate. I believe we need everyone to take action. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in sustainability and the “real world”.
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