You are probably familiar with A Christmas Carol, the classic holiday tale of Ebenezer Scrooge who hates all things happy and then reforms with the help of three ghosts. Scrooge is most known for his attitude in the beginning of the story: cold, greedy and mean. The extent of Scrooge’s social network was one family member and one deceased friend — how empty his Facebook page would have been! After reading an article in Wired magazine that explained how loneliness can be contagious, I started to wonder if maybe Scrooge isn’t entirely to blame. After all, Scrooge had a very “scroogey” friend, Jacob Marley. Maybe Jacob is somewhat responsible for Scrooge’s bad behavior. Jacob was probably just infecting Scrooge with his unhappiness as if it were the common cold. continue
Recently, at a holiday get together with some friends, we started to talk about the necessities of the season, Christmas trees, decorations, presents and Christmas cards. We were all pretty much in agreement that getting a handwritten Christmas card is much more personable than sending, say, an e-card. However, someone mentioned they had decided not to do cards this year. They were busy and they saw it as a way to save paper and be a little greener this holiday. As I was writing my Christmas cards out that night and thinking that I had not done anything to “green up” my holiday, I saw it, PCW (Post Consumer Waste) paper written on the back of my cards in big black letters. continue
A recent conversation with a client regarding their corporate sustainability strategy brought to mind one of the smartest people I have ever met. He was generations ahead of his time. His daily life was a practice of sustainability and energy management before those words would even become relevant. He had no more than a sixth grade formal education, but my Grandfather Jim, or “Red” as everyone knew him, learned his trade through apprenticeships, on the job experience and observation. He ended up becoming a valued electrician and member of the AFL – CIO, but more important was the value he gave to his 30 plus grandchildren.
As many summers as we could, my family would make the long trek from Roswell, Georgia to Sea Isle City, New Jersey. Sea Isle was home to Pop Pop’s “Beach House”, as we Southerner’s call it, or “Shore House” as my northern relatives would refer to it. It was a duplex with a ringer washing machine, one shower and a screen door that had a distinctive latching sound that would rat you out at night if you dared to come home late. continue