Earth Day has always reminded me of New Years because each marks a passage of time and both generously provide us with a fresh start and clean slate. The resolutions abound as we commit to shedding old bad habits and develop a long list of good, positive actions we plan to initiate or do even better in the year ahead.
As someone who has broken more than his share of New Years’ resolutions, I can tell you my failures have never been due to a lack of good intentions, but rather the tremendous amount of work and in some cases, sacrifice most meaningful resolutions require. I have discovered the tough way, New Years Eve is all about intentions but New Years Day is about follow through.
The importance of Green Influencers
Since the last Earth Day I have been fortunate to meet a number of people involved in sustainability, in one way or another. They range from scientists working on the next breakthrough in renewable fuels to people who earn a living by sorting through the waste of others in an effort to save and reuse our precious resources.
I have also come to realize that some people are hands on; “doers” and others are blessed in a far different but equally important way in that they are drivers or influencers of the green movement. People who, through their work and effort, have the opportunity and responsibility to impact many more lives than those they may personally touch on a face to face basis. One of the potentially most influential people I have met this last year is Graciela Tiscareno- Sato, the author of a soon to be published book titled Latinnovating: Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them.
Difference Makers in Sustainability
Grace’s book is probably the first of its type to recognize the importance of Latino’s in the green movement both as willing participants but also as leaders and innovators. Certainly any large urban area demographics study or population projection will quickly confirm why Latino “buy in” to sustainability is so important. However, Grace profiles ten Latino owned companies and organizations that are leaders in their respective fields and are creating jobs at a time when we most need them.
In the interest of full disclosure I must gratefully acknowledge that one chapter of this book is focused on our company and the work we do, but others include:
- Rosamaria Caballero-Stafford, cofounder of Green Irene in NYC, NY
- Robert Zardenata, Executive Director of La Causa in East LA, CA
- Sandra Artalejo, designer and owner of Sola Studios in Dallas, TX
- Luis Rojas, president and founder of Evergreen Energy Solutions
- Carmen Rad, President and co-founder – CR&A Custom Printing in LA, CA
Many Hands Make Light Work
Grace’s book proudly embraces our heritage and our past but more importantly looks into the future, focusing on the role all of our children must play in the necessary worldwide environmental solution.
I have gotten to know Grace over the course of the last year and I deeply respect her commitment to the green cause as she tirelessly races around the country, meeting and promoting her labor of love. The positive impact she potentially has goes far beyond Latinos, business, or even Latinos in business, because it reminds us that we all have something to contribute and how we have an obligation to do so.
It is great reading for Earth Day but especially for the day after when many of us have a difficult time resisting the inclination to revert back to old habits. Regardless of what our purpose is within the green community, we can all use some inspiration and examples of people for who sustainability is not a one day, yearly event.
Dennis Salazar is the president of Salazar Packaging, Inc., a certified MBE (Minority Business Enterprise) company specializing in packaging products, equipment and solutions. With over thirty years in the packaging industry, he is known for his tongue in cheek sense of humor as well as his sustainable packaging passion and expertise.
To contact Dennis, please visit his web site: www.salazarpackaging.com
Also be sure to check out his blog Inside Sustainable Packaging