Thursday, 23 Mar 2000

ATHENS, Ga.

The weather is beautiful again. I am torn between work and wanting to go see if the big water snake is still sunning itself in the same spot it has been three times in the past month beside the creek down near the river. I decide to save that walk for the weekend.

I spend most of the day in the office. I deal with fundraising matters. As chief cook and bottlewasher for GRRN, I am responsible for raising money as well as spending it. We have recently hired a fundraising consultant. That has taken a load off my mind, but means I actually spend more time on it.

Chris gets crafty.

Chris is working on getting graphics ready for the press events. The graphics are color blow-ups of graphs from the Wasting report. By printing from our color printer, then cutting and pasting, Chris has found a way to make them for a fraction of the price we originally thought we would have to pay.

At lunch, I call some parents in the community about child care next week when Fiona will be on spring break and I will be away. About four years ago, we heard of a group here in town trying to establish an intentional community. The concept was to have both individually owned lots as well as jointly owned commons. Like many folks, we were tired of traditional, faceless neighborhoods, and found the idea of a sort of extended family intriguing. We bought a lot and finished building our house this past fall. And it’s been great — we love the community.

Translating great ideas into reality is not easy. As the resident recycling expert, it didn’t take much persuasion to get me to design and set up a reuse/swap center in one of the old farm buildings. Dubbed the “Free Store”
by the kids, it was a series of shelves where folks were encouraged to trade still serviceable household items. As I sawed and nailed, I had wonderful visions of Kenney Ridge becoming a Zero Waste community. I stood back and surveyed my handiwork, confident that the sound economic theory underlying it, coupled with an unusually motivated group of residents, would result in a model recycling system. It’s a funny thing, theory versus reality — one year later even I had to admit that it was largely a bust.

Back in the office: We have lots of details still to tie up for the press events early next week. I exchange multiple calls, faxes, and emails throughout the day with Rick Best, our president in Sacramento, and Lance King, our media man in Washington, D.C., about the report release. In one phone message I learn that Mayor Willie Brown is confirmed for the San Francisco press event, in another that Rep. Sam Farr is confirmed for D.C. Things are hopping! I finalize lodging arrangements in L.A. and San Francisco for my three-day trip next week.

Chris shows me the animated logo he has been working on for a “Greenwashing Alert” we will post on our website, in response to a “consumer advisory” about our campaign that Coke posted on its website.

After dinner, I hang out with the family, watching part of a video, before we all turn in.