My friend Nika invited people to show up to the Sustainable Business Alliance monthly luncheon. I said yes, arranged my schedule, charted the miles (18! Will the Sparrow make it? No suspense for you: yes, with Amp-hours to spare!), and had lunch with the lieutenants and sergeants of the green movement.
Me? I'm infantry, at best. There are no generals, since it's a distributed structure. ANYWAY...
I met Katy Hollbacher from Build It Green, the folks who create the marvelous Green Home Tour (and who might be interested in having small seminars in my demonstration space! Yay!).
I met Jenny Shore who is very excited about solving housing affordability issues, with some of the new mortgage products that are about to become available. She was was not surprised at all by my equity partner scheme to get into this house. In fact, she's thinking thoughts along the same lines I am, regarding helping people who are part of the fabric of a community (and with household income below a region's median income) to move into home ownership. There's a thing called a fractional TIC which many of us will become familiar with in the near future. We discussed creating the mortgage package that creates affordability and then staging a house party to help get the word out about it. That would be SO COOL. I'd better contact the good people over at SOL.
I also got to meet Gil Friend, who of course has been thinking and writing about sustainability since before it was hip. He's just back from a conference, and clearly had stuff to get to. So did I, and therefore we didn't chat much.
I've been working on this demonstration project since... oh, 2002? 2001? For most of that time, it's felt unattainable. "Sustainability" was barely part of the lexicon, and unless you wanted to buy a bamboo or cork floor, or convert a bus and live in the woods, there weren't many options for exploring how to build ecotopia.
Then, as Truitt got hold of green building, it suddenly felt like everyone knew about building sustainable urban environments. I don't live in one, I don't see my neighbors making choices that honor the earth's carrying capacity, but it felt like I'd missed the boat.
Finally, today, being in a room full of people who are bringing green awareness (it's about transparency of process and building each other up, looking for the win-win-win) to mortgage lending, real estate, legal services, as well as architecture, smart urban revitalization and even schools, I felt for the first time that my timing is perfect.