Introducing The Nanaimo Green Group

I’ve recently started a group of eco oriented business in my area that will be working together for the benefit of everyone. I decided that it’s time for me to announce it here. The following is a relatively brief description of what the group is and how it came about. If you have any interest in the group, you can contact me from my website by clicking on my name.

Ryan Coffey

A few months back I was talking to someone I know who is a fairly big player in the world of ecological reform.  I mentioned to him that I was involved with the “one percent for the planet” organization where businesses give 1% of their revenues to environmental charities. I wanted his advice because the time was coming for me to choose from my menu of charities to decide which ones were going to get the money. (There are quite a few.) As he’s more tuned into this world than I am, I asked him if he had any advice as to how be able to figure out which charities are more effective and honest than others.

His answer surprised me. He suggested that I start my own charity because it’s too hard to know for sure what a charity gets up to without being inside of it. So, I had the following thought process:

I was already doing my best to be as green of a Realtor as I reasonably could. I drive myself and my clients around in a hybrid vehicle, I donate 1% of my revenues to environmental causes, I try to use both sides of my paper, and  I occasionally highlight green home technologies on my real estate blog in hopes they will catch on. But apparently, I could be doing a lot more.

I believe there is a big shift going on in the world these days. Public concern for living in ways that are ecologically and socially responsible are no longer ‘just for hippies’ but becoming more and more mainstream and respected. The momentum is still growing but we still have such a long way to go if we want to ensure the survival of the human race let alone all the other species we share this planet with. Unfortunately, most businesses that are out there are still operating in their old fashioned manner with only token changes (like having a recycling bin). To boot, there is an awful lot of greenwashing going on and the voices that speak for truly green principles are getting lost in all the chaotic chatter of misunderstanding, assumption and plain old misinformation.

I knew I wasn’t the only businessperson trying to push the eco envelope in an honest fashion, so I decided to try to connect with others on the same path in hopes of:

a) Using our combined knowledge and influence to protect the environment.

b) Creating a business networking group (some thing like a BNI) where we can refer each other business/customers and promote our individual businesses and use ideas from each other to do our businesses better.

This way, what’s good for our businesses, is good for the environment and what good we do for the environment, is good for our businesses. There are no losers in this formula.

The result is what is so far being called “The Nanaimo Green Group”. A coalition of green oriented businesses that will meet once a month for about 90 minutes to network and make plans to further spread the green word. Our next meeting is scheduled to be in the boardroom of my office on Thursday April 9th from 5:30 to 7. So far, it costs nothing but 90 minutes of time to be part of this. The requirement is that attendees be a business owner of a business that is devoted to doing their business in a manner that is ‘ahead of the curve’ in terms of matters ecological.

The dozen or so businesses that are currently members are quite a collection of brilliant minds coming from a variety of backgrounds. I’m actually quite proud of this group so far, especially since we’ve only just started. The first project we are working on is getting funding to build a net zero home which will be a showhome for green technologies and products. That is, the home itself will be built using the latest (and sometimes oldest) green technologies and be filled with green versions of products that would normally fill a home.

Ryan Coffey

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