As a member of Co-Op America's Green Business Network, I actively participate in online forums and email threads. This network has proven to be far superior in terms of support, business interchange, information exchange, and even leads, to any chamber of commerce or other trade group we joined in the past. (Sorry, not knocking chambers or trade groups, it's just that none we have attempted to participate in had an interest in green business practices or products/services. Eventually we stopped renewing those memberships because we get more out of the aforementioned CABN.) Recently there has been much discussion within our network about the chain email circulating which compares George W. Bush's "eco-ranch" in Crawford to Al Gore's home in Tennessee. (Check with snopes.com to read the full message.) Apparently all the information contained in the 'assessment' is correct, but incomplete, i.e. Bush 'heats' his home with geothermal power but there is no mention of how he powers or cools it. My problem with this email is that without complete information the arguement is misleading. Furthermore, the great green debate has now been elevated above political discourse: protecting the planet is no longer about liberals vs. conservatives, Democrats vs. Republicans. The state of our planet pertains to all of us inhabiting it, period.
The great thing about CABN, I have discovered, is that its members are traveling this green path at various paces and distances. Some have been earth-conscious since the 60s, some just became enlightened recently. Like yesterday. LOL. Seriously, each has some area of expertise but also has a broad understanding of environmental issues facing our planet. It's a remarkable group of motivated, intelligent, mutually supportive business people who understand planet-friendly values can also be profitable and stimulating to our economy.
Our discussion has been lively about Bush vs. Gore, and many of the posts fill in the gap-riddled arguement or direct readers to research-based information. (I love their perpetual interest in education, by the way.) However, I decided to pull three posts that addressed the green issue without political boundaries or ideologies; these people focus more on the collectiveness of being green, rather than the individuals who promote it. All three, in my opinion, illustrate the current state of greenness in an eloquently philosophical way (but not preachy.)
Hope you enjoy reading their comments as much I have. And if you would like to join Co-Op America, as an individual or business member, please visit their website: www.coopamerica.org. You will receive the Green Pages, an invaluable guide to green products and services...and the membership is growing...