Is It Really Good to be Green?

Charlotte Ashlock Posted by Charlotte Ashlock, Executive Editor, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Charlotte Ashlock is a crazy idealist trying to make the world a better place! 


Is It Really Good to be Green?

Or are we really just being green to be good?

Earth Day Blog by Katie Sheehan

I know for a fact that here at Berrett-Koehler there is a huge desire on the part of the staff to be “green.” We all spend an inordinate amount of time standing around staring at the three recycling bins in the kitchen and trying to match our icky garbage with the pictures posted above each bin. If the yogurt container goes in the blue bin then where does the metal top go with the yogurt still stuck to it, unless of course we licked it off, then it’s a moot point, we think.

I know that BK employees head up recycling/art organizations, participate in clean up days, and planting days. They recycle, reuse, and repurpose. Some have compost piles, chickens, live on urban farmsteads and have solar panels. Many of us shop local, go to the Goodwill, and have vegetable boxes from local farms delivered to our houses, but does that really help our company to be “green?” Does a “green” company really have to have a “green” staff?

I know for a fact that the city of San Francisco forces Berrett-Koehler to be “green” by outlawing non-compostable take out containers and plastic bags.

I know that Berrett-Koehler recently became a B Corporation and that helps us begin to understand what it means to be “green” as a company. We had to fill out a huge questionnaire. That must mean something. We use recycled paper for our books.

What I don’t know is if we are truly sustainable, since we continue to ship books all over the country and the world by using fossil fuel? So what’s it going to take for companies to be truly sustainable and green? What do you think? Share your thoughts with us here. What do your company and your staff do to be “green?” Is your company sustainable?

We have a few books that might be able to help with help with that!