Donald Simon, president of Build It Green, gave the keynote address at the 10th annual Green Business awards. Can I admit that I'm jealous of the guy? He's done about a half-dozen really great things in his life already. 10 years younger than me and a national leader in the sustainability movement. He said: "It's time to wear our environmental values on our sleeve. We have to send a message to the naysayers that we're doing business and we're saving the environment."
Well, alright Donald, I'll get the paperwork going to become certified.
The green business movement is certainly picking up speed. Within the next couple of months, the 1000 business will be certified in our area. Counties all over are copying the organizational structure here. Donald and others like him have created an atmosphere in which business makes money being green. And that makes saving the environment truly sustainable.
He laid out one thing that is pretty important: When the Federal government looks to implement the next round of strong environmental legislation (after the current administration is out), they'll be looking at how California, as the 6th largest economy in the world, is creating incentives for sustainability.
Our state legislators have already passed the laws; it's now in the hands of the regulators who are coming up with the specific guidlelines. Donald explained these state employees are under tremendous pressure from the entrenched business interests to take the teeth out of the legislation.
We can't let them do that. We have to keep writing to our state representatives and encouraging the regulators to keep the laws strong. If the do, new business opportunities will open up, the economy will grow, and in 5 years' time when the Federal regulators are wondering what to do, we'll have set a powerful example for them.
In 5 years, in 2012, it is critical that our Federal guidelines for restoring the environment be as strong as possible. So it's important to take action here, in our state, right now. If global warming matters to you, if you want to create jobs in the green-collar sector, then write to your representative. Or maybe the Air Resources Board. Hmmm... let me get some info for you on that.
I received a pleasant surprise when I saw that Donna Layburn and Randy Owczarzak of the Alameda Natural Grocery were there to get their certificate. Time to reprint all the marketing materials, Randy!