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Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution

Book Description

“Going green is easy and profitable.” That’s the common refrain from sustainability gurus. In reality, though, many green-leaning businesses, families, and governments are fiddling with the small stuff while the planet burns. Why? Because implementing sustainability is brutally difficult.

If we’re going to cut CO2 emissions 80 percent by midcentury, it will take more than a recycling program and some hemp shopping bags. We’ll only solve our problems if we’re realistic about the challenge of climate change. In this witty book, a sustainable business foot soldier with over a decade’s worth of experience illuminates the path.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. ONE - Trench Warfare, Not Surgery
    1. The Climate Crisis Is Happening—It’s Here
    2. Business: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
    3. Donnie’s Parts Washer
    4. On-the-Ground Realities
    5. There’s No Success Like Failure
    6. Aspen Skiing Company’s Vision
    7. Green Is Tough, Even for the Motivated
    8. Hitting the “Reset” Button on Society
    9. More Grunts, Fewer Visionaries
  4. TWO - Climate Change and the Fierce Urgency of Now
    1. The Scale of the Climate Crisis
    2. Cheney Was Right
    3. SUVs Are Not the Devil
    4. An Enlightenment-Scale Opportunity
    5. Solving Climate Change Is Like Fighting Ali (in His Prime)
    6. What Matters Most
  5. THREE - Sustainability, Fork-Split
    1. From Think Tank to Parking Garage
    2. Scrapping the Easy Bake Oven
    3. Demonstrating Energy Savings: John Norton and the Bicycle-Powered Lights
    4. Making Things Happen Sometimes Hurts
    5. Cascading Benefits of Green
  6. FOUR - Aspen: A Canary in the Coal Mine and a Shining City on a Hill
    1. A World’s Fair in Progress
    2. Aspen as Metaphor
    3. Butcher the Energy Hog
    4. We Are All Hypocrites Now
  7. FIVE - Finding Your Biggest Lever
    1. Think Like Wal-Mart. Not Ford
    2. Aspen Skiing Company’s Lever
    3. Leveraging Government
    4. The Technology Trap
    5. Force the Leaders to Lead
    6. The Issue with Tissue
    7. Businesses Can Incentivize Each Other to Go Green
  8. SIX - Sustainable Sustainability: Creating Lasting Change
    1. Set the Hook with a Sexy Project
    2. Making the Pitch for Green Business Practices
    3. The Case for Sustainable Business
    4. Preempting the 1970s Hangover
    5. Ethics Have to Play a Role
    6. When the Sales Pitch Fails
    7. The Ripple Effect
    8. You’ve Got to Be Tough
    9. Befriending the Grunts . . . with a Melon Launcher
    10. Making Sustainable Business Practices Durable
    11. Priming the Pump for Efficiency
  9. SEVEN - Green Energy: The Key to Solving Climate Change (and Sometimes a Scam)
    1. Energy Efficiency: The Promise and the Challenge
    2. Policy Leadership Is Key
    3. David and Goliath: Clean New Power vs. Dirty Old Power
    4. Greening Power Supply Is Sexy to Business
    5. What Is Green Power?
    6. Are RECs Worthless?
    7. Good vs. Bad RECs
    8. What Good Energy Policy Looks Like
    9. Concrete and Steel Solutions
  10. EIGHT - Green Buildings: Simple, Elegant, and Crucial
    1. Why Is Green Building So Hard?
    2. Time Is Running Out
    3. The USGBC and LEED
    4. LEED: A Tool and an Obstacle
    5. The Few and the Proud
    6. Energy Is All
    7. It’s a Test. Not a Guide
    8. Scrapping Biomimicry for Simplicity
    9. Forgive Me. Father. I Don’t Have the Money
    10. Net-Zero-Energy Monster Homes?
    11. A Silver Lining?
    12. Adam Palmer: Another View from the Trenches
    13. Retrofitting Your Grandmother’s House
    14. Resistance to Change Is Endemic
    15. Looking for a Few Good Men and Women
    16. A Path Forward
    17. Make Love—Heat the House
    18. A Redneck Ten Commandments
    19. A Coda on Green Building
  11. NINE - Shameless Self-Promotion and Why It Matters
    1. Greenwashing Is Good for the Environment ( . . . If You Get Caught)
    2. Your Motivation for Going Green Is Irrelevant . . . as Long as You’re Doing It
    3. Do Customers Care?
    4. Sustainability Reports: Fluff or Fact?
  13. NOTES
  16. Acknowledgements
  17. INDEX
  18. Copyright Page