Inspiration is the new black

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Maggie Reed
Gilbane Building Company

As being green becomes more and more “in”, the desire to be a part of the solution (even if the problem isn’t known) becomes an intoxicating draw. A prior attendee of Greenbuild, I came into the conference with the goal of being a sponge and taking away as much as possible. Sure, I can use a metal water bottle, compost at home, convince every coworker that bottles belong in the bottle bin, and build green every day. But my desire was to find out what’s beyond the ordinary and how to stretch both myself, my region and my company into become sustainable, not just green.

In the course of sponging up information, I’ve heard about lettuce as an envelope solution, of concrete that acts as its own waterproofing, of green supply chain founders, of students who want to practice what they’ve learned to help other non-profits… the list could go on and sounds completely disconnected. But the odd thing is that prior to coming to the conference, I’ve had a conversation, or read an article, or had a conflict that dealt with nearly everything I have come across here at Greenbuild. I find myself relating back EXACTLY why this item is super-relevant to my work or personal life. So while I may not be most efficiently finding “the next big thing” to lead us to our sustainable practices, the osmosis effect of every conversation is solving the things I didn’t even know needed solving and leading my thinking in a whole new direction. And I think that as we walk away from this Greenbuild and go back to our daily grinds of becoming paperless or training the next group to think green and build green, the inspiration from the variety of experiences we have collectively had will spur own our collective commitment to making our fields as sustainable as possible. Perhaps the “in” thing right now isn’t being green… In fact, I think inspiration is the new black.

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