Turning 26 and the Need for a Refreshed Green Vibe
My 26th year on the planet Earth is coming and going as we rotate the sun one more time. This will be my 8th year at the helm of LeadingGreen and the 4th year since graduation. In my life change comes in fours, nearly every 4 years of my existence I have experience drastic change, whether that be from middle school to high school, high school to University, University to the so-called “real-world” and now we’re here. At the end of this four year term I find myself at the crux of what I feel should be an important step or accomplishment in my life. I feel waiting for an epiphany moment of realization to arrive on my face like a cool ocean breeze of satisfaction and recharge to take on the next four year term.
Alas, this is not how life works. No longer are there any societal expectations that I need to conform to, no goals I have deadlines to meet, only that of my own. As I travel around as a wandering instructor and try to spread the purely logical word of sustainability to the 10000th student of mine, I don’t feel as fulfilled as I should. For 8 years I have tried and exceeded my attempt to make sustainability education accessible and available for all those regardless of background and monetary situation, I have begun developing student housing in markets in need of revitalization and assisted students and professionals in finding suitable placements through greenrecruiting.com. So what next? What now forlorn for Lorne in the next 4 year chapter of trying to make a difference?
I was under the impression that public policy was the logical end goal to change through grassroots initiative with the hope of holding a position in governance. But, I as many of you have seen that in our communities public works is the slowest answer to change and must be market driven and beneficial to the public, private, economic and environmental sectors. We will see that exiting COP21 will not have the dire effects on American emissions as the market demands environmentally conscience, design, construction and operations. Thankfully, my passion for buildings falls in the easiest way to reduce our emissions as it is 100 times less expensive to reduce our consumption of 1 kWh than it is to produce 1 kWh whether it be through Nuclear, Coal or Renewables. Buildings still being the largest consumer and our urban centers taking more and more of the population burden, there is only more demand in this sector for reducing our consumption and that is what I will continue to do.
At 26, at the self-imposed pivotal end to another 4 year chapter I realize it is not that at all. It is not a time in need of drastic directional change, it is a time to slow down and reflect when I need to, speed up and take on more than I can juggle when those challenges arise and a time to stop looking at like set, divided timeline of finish lines. This is my 26th year rotating around the sun, but you can be sure the humans will continue to follow that elliptical path long after I am gone and Earth long after humans have run our course. So, in the next 4 years, I will continue to do what makes me happy on a daily, monthly and annual basis; make sure the Earth is better off when I leave it than when I was born onto it by meeting and teaching/learning from thousands and thousands more people across the globe. I will ignore the noise of those trying to capitalize on the buzzword of our generation for purely monetary gain but rather embrace them and Shepherd them into doing the right thing even if for the wrong reason, because it is the easier for them to do. Breathe easy as our time is short but impact can be great whether silent or loud.