Monday, December 15, 2008

Peace On Earth, Green Will Towards Men

It’s hard to believe we’re in the holiday season again. A time of traditions. Ice skating in Rockefeller Center, the windows in Macy’s, buying a Christmas tree off the sidewalk in front of Duane Reade, and my company’s holiday door decorating contest.

Last year was my first time spearheading my office’s effort to create the prize-winning door. We had never entered before and I wasn’t sure if we were all going to come together on this. The idea had to be more than the “stockings hanging on the fireplace” theme which so many had done before us. But the idea came to me like bees to honey.

“We’re Dreaming of a Green Christmas.”

I was thrilled when we got the whole office to participate. We made a cut-out Christmas tree from old annual reports that were ready for the trash.  Each of my office mates had to make an ornament which incorporated an eco tip they received from me.

Everyone’s creativity was flowing. Our tips were a success! Who wouldn’t want to know that all of that wrapping paper they would tear open on Christmas morning would kill so many trees? Or that if they drank locally made egg nog, they would keep the weight of 237 dairy cows in CO2 out of the air? What about giving “experience gifts” like a massage or a concert ticket that your recipient will remember fondly? And don’t forget to use LED lights on your tree!

The other doors were green with envy! Random people would stand in front of our door reading our tips. We were proud of what we had accomplished and it had gone beyond any of our imaginations. We had come together to spread our green message and holiday cheer.

As we approached judgment day, we were on pins and needles. All of our hard work paid off and we won the coveted pizza party! (Unfortunately the pizza wasn’t organic and, of course, came in cardboard boxes…but that’s another story.)

But something magical happened after our win.

The office began recycling. My co-workers gave coffee mugs as gifts so that we’d stop using paper cups. We started using recycled copy paper. Our weekly delivery of water bottles was stopped and we relied solely on our water cooler.

Our little giving tree spoke loudly.

This week, we have begun the preparations for this year’s contest. Our theme is Peace on Earth, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the peace sign. If we’re half as successful spreading peace as we were promoting our green message, then we can definitely inspire a lot of goodwill toward men (and women)… maybe even 237 dairy cows’ worth.

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