Being “green” isn’t what it used to be. I remember back in the day when it was only the crunchy hippies that cared enough about the environment to actually do anything about it. Then there were a few select pockets of people here and there that did their part to reduce waste and try to live a greener lifestyle. I’ve noticed over the past few years though that “green” is showing up in more and more places. No longer is it reserved for those “crazy tree-hugging hippies” but is now seen as the trendy thing to do. You see more products being touted as “good for the environment” and large corporations boasting about their green initiatives. Despite the “trendy” moniker (which usually denotes a passing fad) I believe this movement will continue to gain traction as it moves not only into our personal lives but also into business and technology plays around the world.
Last night really opened my eyes to just how trendy this is becoming. I was invited to “an event” with a friend. We had few details as to what the event was…we only knew we were to meet a few technology players in town and that’s about it. We dressed accordingly (to what we thought we were going to…the trendy looking jeans, nice shirt, nice shoes…typical for a designer and tech guy) and headed out. We showed up to find ourselves greeted at the velvet rope by a doorman who asked who we were with. We told him and were allowed inside, had our pictures taken in front of a backdrop by some photographer, and entered. The DJ was spinning some music and we looked around finding nobody else in wearing jeans. Cocktail dresses for the women and sportcoats over shirts (unbuttoned of course…think uber-trendy here) abound. We met with our group, were introduced to more people and did our mingling.
Soon the speakers came on…I honestly don’t remember what the first guy talked about, the 2nd was a woman from GA Power who pretty much had the message that we should buy power (duh…not like we really have a choice) but the third was a lady from Smart Car. This is the one that caught my attention because I remembered hearing about the Smart Car way back in ‘99 and wondered why we didn’t have that car here in the States. Oh yeah…because it’s trendy to drive your Hummer around or your Ticonderoga Class SUV from hell. But now the pendulum is swinging the other way. The Smart dealership is in the rich, trendy part of town and I’ve actually seen a number of them driving around. The lady was talking about things that I forgot about but was very glad she brought them up again to educate the masses. It’s not just a car that has great fuel efficiency but it’s also build from mostly recycled materials, the paint job is from a powder coating process that also reclaims 98% of the paint…good stuff.
After that is was more mingling, more introductions to CEOs, financers, and other business people. I met with the owner of one finance group and spoke with him for a bit, then moved on to talk to one of the guys that started this event. He was telling me how the first event they hosted they had to offer free drinks just to get people out there but the last event (coinciding with Earth Day events) had politicians and other prominent business people there. Everyone wants to be known as green.
As I met people I thought of all the opportunities. Financers want to put their money into something green. Sure, it could be pure greed, but who cares. If the end result is a cleaner planet, let’s do it. Businesses want a piece of the action and want to find their own niche. Again, I’m not so concerned with the fact their main goal may be for profit but if we can get more products and services out there that are good for the environment, fire up that company and let’s go!
It was certainly one of the trendiest events I’ve been to in a long time. It was a weird juxtaposition of what was once traditionally sandal-wearing people mixing with the hip crowd. I saw a lot of money in that event though. Money just waiting to be spent. The time is now…no matter if you are driven by profits or driven by your desire to make a better world…to find your green niche. Do the trendy thing and save the planet.