Who’s the greenest of them all?

Trick question—it’s me! Well, I’m the Greene-est, I guess.

But I’ve had the pleasure of making acquaintance with some other super-green folks lately: Eric Duchon and Akanksha Sharma, two of too-many-to-count members of the Urban Green Council, the New York chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

A building in NYC’s meatpacking district, ripe for an environmental retrofit! (courtesy Professor Bop, Flickr)

I started writing for Urban Green this past June and have been having a particularly good time with the member-profiling assignments.

Why? Because Urban Green members say the greenest, most interesting things!

“I’m always bumping into people on the street—not because I’m looking at my phone, but because I’m looking at buildings. ‘Are they doing a window replacement up there?’ I think to myself. Or, ‘Why are there so many halogen MR16s in this restaurant? Don’t they know there are incentives for LED bulbs that could save them so much energy?’ ”


“Initially, sustainability is not the smoothest path in terms of career stability! It’s not like other career paths that go by the book. But there is a lot of room to innovate, and it’s engaging and rewarding because you have to drive yourself. You have to constantly recalibrate your approach so you’re attuned to what’s out there now.”

If I weren’t already happy with my job as a writer—and if I believed I had even a whit of the ingenuity, agility, and skill required—I’d consider endeavoring to join Eric and Akanksha’s esteemed ranks as city- and world-bettering Sustainability People.

As it is, I’ll just enjoy writing about them.

And the cube goes to…

Last week, I had the super-pleasure of attending the Urban Green Council‘s fourth annual EBie Awards (pronounced EE-bee!). These “Oscars of Existing Buildings” recognize improved environmental performance: measures that reduce energy consumption, efficiently use storm water runoff, improve indoor environmental quality to promote better human health, etc.

Please proceed to GOOD TIMES

I was there as a guest of the terrific designer (and my good friend) Claire Hansen and her equally inimitable husband Russell Unger, executive director of Urban Green, so the conversation over dinner was guaranteed to be good. But, to my delight, the merriment didn’t stop there.

The evening combined all the great things about classic awards shows—Broadway numbers, presenters ribbing presenters, and an open bar—with not-so-common actual importance: these people were being celebrated for saving millions of kilowatts of electricity, saving even more millions of gallons of water, and educating building owners, tenants, and visitors about their life-saving best practices. I’ll raise a Super Sap cube to that!

I covered the EBies for Urban Green’s blog, and I’m happy to report their communications crew was just as nice and fun to work with as I’d imagined. They organize and host great events all the time; I hope to hang out at and write about many more of them!