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14 May 2008

Beware of Stones – “Go Green-‘er’”

Posted by Kevin Doell

Last week I immersed myself in green by checking out an EcoBroker training event in Kingston, NY. The event lasted three days: one day on health issues, one day on energy conservation issues and a third on marketing. In all, it was a lot of ground to cover. During breaks I would take the temperatures of the attending brokers and agents who all seemed to be enjoying the course and getting something from it.

As expected, there were all types in the crowd with backgrounds that ran the eco-gamut – from “super die hard,” to “looking for a new angle,” to “professionally intrigued.” And though the famed Woodstock, N.Y. was just a stone’s throw away from our digs at the Quality Inn, not a Birkenstock was to be seen amidst the group. It seems that some of the old badges and trademark apparel of green has fallen by the wayside. There needn’t be a visual cue present for a green spirit to lie within.

The trainer was a gentleman named John Stovall. He had total command of his material and also maintained a fair amount of balance on the topic. He said something to the effect that “Every step is an improvement… and every step is welcome.”

I whole-heartedly agreed with him and echoed this sentiment in a response to Teresa Boardman’s column on Inman.com, Not buying into the ‘green’ movement.

In particular, I suggested that perhaps we should just call it the “Greener Movement”

With this slight adjustment to the label, we could all feel a little less pressure to be perfect. “Green” is one of those things that is so highly susceptible to criticism because of the ubiquitous nature of the issue.

What’s important is “progress” and if it takes a marketing buzzword to move the needle a bit and to raise our culture’s collective consciousness on this critical issue, then so be it.

What I would hate to see would be if cynicism over “green wash” gripped our society and suddenly snuffed out the seeds of awareness that all these billions of marketing dollars have sown.

Every step we take to be “greener” is an improvement, and every step should be welcome. My thanks go out to John and to all of those in the industry looking to raise awareness on this important topic.

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