Sometimes LEED certification is an uphill climb…in the dark. Like starting a recycling program from scratch, and in the first week, only one of fourteen tenants even used the blue bin at all. From the top of that hill, I can feel proud that with my help, one more building has the necessary infrastructure to divert waste from landfills. On the journey down that hill, I learn patience, because behavior change takes time.
On good days, LEED certification is coasting down the hill, hair blowing in the wind. Like when a property manager asks me to coach their vendors on how to better serve their LEED building. It is a perfect day in my world when vendors are concerned for the planet and people in addition to profit, AND they ask for my guidance to use the LEED best practices. As sun sets on these days, I smile knowing that some people really do ‘get it.’
In the monotony of the everyday, I put on my most comfortable boots and begin walking. Along the way, I meet people who need help starting that fire to ask for change; that’s where I really shine as a green advocate. If your goal as a tenant is to earn LEED CI Gold, then you need to let your landlord know that you need more efficient plumbing fixtures serving your suite. It is okay to ask for that-I encourage it! Get your neighboring tenant to request it too. Strength in numbers will lower your utility bills and show that you are paying attention.
The greatest joy from working in sustainability is that I never feel stuck. There is always an efficiency to master, a balance to correct, or a paradigm to shift. The power to transform is now, and everyone can participate. You are never too old to imagine 5 impossible things before breakfast.
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