Now, I’m going to warn you right now: I’m not going to sell you anything. I just have a lovely story that I think some of you out there will appreciate and I thought I’d share.
A couple of Fridays ago, I packed up for the night, wished the rest of the team a great weekend and headed for my car. It was beautiful out! I grew up in the deep South, so “beautiful” to me is usually nice and hot, but this afternoon we had received some much-needed rain in the form of some great thunderstorms. By the time I left, the storms had stopped and the temperature was just right. You could still smell the rain in the air, which happens to be one of my most favorite smells. So it’s Friday, it’s beautifully warm but not at all humid and it smells like rain—what a great way to start the weekend!
So I climbed into my little red Jetta, opened the sunroof and all my windows as I usually do, and I started out of the parking lot. Just as I turned out of the lot and onto Bridge Lane right there in front of me was a huge rainbow! You know the ones where you can actually pick out every single color because it’s so bright? Yeah, it was one of those.
Now I have to say that Bridge Lane on an average day is a beautiful view. As you ease up the road heading towards Harding Lane on your left is another company and on your right is a not, yet purchased or developed lot with a sign (which makes me giggle whenever I notice it) that says how many acres and that the oak trees are free. That’s very nice of them to not charge extra, as they line the back of the property, all tall and regal as only an oak tree can be.
As you go a little further on either side you’ll see some nice-sized natural ponds that are always teeming with wildlife! We have turtles of every kind, white herons, red-winged blackbirds, ducks, field mice, moles, frogs, toads, fish, bees, moths, grasshoppers and I’m sure many other species I just haven’t managed to catch a glimpse of yet. Now when I said to go slowly up the road, I surely meant it—not only because all of these critters like to go back and forth across the road but also because just around the corner and up the road where Harding Lane and Lake Shore Drive meet is Woodstock’s favorite no-kill animal shelter, Helping Paws. A couple of times a day, volunteers from all over Woodstock and the surrounding towns pitch in to help make sure all the dogs staying there get some love and exercise, so we have to be careful to watch out and do our part to make sure they have a nice and safe walk.
Any other day I would’ve waved to the dog walkers and went about my merry way but today I had a surprise as I turned onto Harding Lane. Right there, crossing the road in front of me, was a crane! I’ve asked around and we’re pretty sure it was a wood crane just moseying on across the road. It suddenly hit me what the ladies in accounting had meant when they mentioned seeing that “big bird” back again this year. LOL! He was certainly something to see though—as tall as my car and no more worried about me than he was the dogs being walked around him!
I don’t know if it was the weather, the rainbow, the crane or a combination of all of it but there was just something about that day that got me thinking.
We work really hard to be a green company, and not in the “purchasing carbon offsets” kind of way (although I do still respect anyone who’s at least trying!). I mean that we actually work really, really hard! It’s 100% a team effort and the entire company is involved. There have been blogs before that list the things we recycle and, believe me, it sounds great but there’s also a lot of effort to recycling practically everything you touch throughout the day. We also have to keep our cars in top shape with no leaks to help protect those waterways (our parking lot is permeable) which is sometimes not much fun or cheap.
On top of all that, on any given day, I will get a report or two from my team that they helped a frog or a turtle to cross the road on their way in. What always makes me proud is that they’re never annoyed that the turtle almost made them late for work, but always so excited that they got to help and I get a full description of what kind of reptile or amphibian they helped. Apparently, we have some beautiful painted turtles, some snapping turtles and more frogs than even I could name!
The way I see it, the recycling and making sure we’re following all the company rules put in place to make our footprint as small and light as possible are absolutely fantastic and worth all the effort. We all agree on this. But it’s the little things, like helping a turtle across the street that makes our day because after all the work we put in day after day something small like that is not only instant gratification but it reinforces why we’re doing everything we’re doing.
That day, I snapped a couple pictures of the crane for my mom, the rainbow for myself and I just smiled because I know that while it’s not always easy being green, it’s always worth the effort! Better yet, I know that I don’t have to do it alone, I’ve got an entire company behind me that believes exactly the same thing.