Thursday, November 4, 2010

TEEX Director Gary Sera Discusses Green Rural Economic Development

The more things change ... the more they stay the same. Those of you who were around in the late 1970's may remember the oil embargo and the line of cars waiting to fill up their tanks at the local gas station. At the time, I happened to be working my way through college in one of those gas stations. As gas became more and more expensive, people starting looking at smaller, more fuel efficient cars. Energy conservation became a big deal as home owners started insulating their homes, sealing their windows and adjusting their thermostats. Then a funny thing happened. Oil prices dropped, and then the only people who were still looking at energy efficiency were those “weirdos” who had nothing better to do.

Some years later the Valdez oil spill occurred, and guess what? We all became environmentally conscious again, going through another cycle of energy conservation and recycling. Can you see the pattern? Over the years, we have been trained to associate “green” behavior with negative events: oil embargoes, wars, oil spills, global warming, etc, etc, etc.

I think we have learned our lesson. Now is our chance to be proactive about Green energy and development. I am very excited to present our Growing Green Communities Initiative. This is about the positives associated with behaving in an environmentally friendly manner. It is about businesses being more successful and more profitable. It is about people being healthier. It is about leaving our future generations the resources they need to be healthy and happy. Through a series of conferences and workshops, people from throughout the country will be sharing ideas and best practices about how we can all benefit from thinking and behaving Green. We will learn that it is good business to be Green. We will learn that going Green is not complicated; it is simple. Plus, we will find out that it is interesting. And, dare I say it, fun.
As we travel throughout the state (our first conference is in Odessa, Texas, on Dec. 1-2), we’ll be keeping you updated on the latest ideas, techniques, and information that will help your business, your community, and your bottom line.

To stay tuned to our Growing Green Initiative, visit any of these sites, where we are updating information daily:

Growing Green Communities Website

Growing Green Communities on Facebook

Growing Green Communities on Twitter

Growing Green Communities Blog

I look forward to seeing you in Odessa!

Gary Sera is director of the Texas Engineering Extension Service and invites your comments.

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