As part of my Sustainable Speaking initiative, I research the venue where I’ll be speaking prior to the event. I track down what they are doing to reduce waste, limit carbon emissions, conserve water, that sort of thing. What I’m finding is that each place has a story, but those stories are often hidden.

Take, for example, the Radisson Blu in Bloomington, MN where I recently spoke. It took some digging, but eventually I learned about their CarbinX™ program—a machine they’ve installed adjacent to their hot water heaters. It captures the greenhouse gasses that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere. It converts those gasses into pearl ash, an ingredient in soaps and detergents. The carbon dioxide is never released, even when the soap is used. How cool is that?? Why is that not conveyed to all the guests? A happy thing—good for the environment, good for the burgeoning soap company ( ), and good for all of us, just knowing this is happening.

My next speaking engagement took me to the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho. It took calls to several different departments before I landed on the sustainability info that I sought (it was sales and marketing!). However, every person I spoke with along the way mentioned Charles. He has worked at the resort for over 20 years. His job? Sorting the trash and recycling, making sure that everything at the resort that can be recycled gets recycled. He comes from Tesh, a local non-profit that connects adults with disabilities to jobs that they enjoy. Again, a ‘win’ in every direction. And what a great story! And again, no one other than the employees even know about Charles and the great work he is doing.

It’s time to bring more hope into the world regarding environmental efforts. There is plenty of bad news out there, but there are also stories like these, everywhere, that just aren’t being told.

Sustainability drives much of what I do. It’s a passion, something I care deeply about. So I’ll keep seeking out the stories that ought to be told. I’ll keep learning, sharing, and applying what I learn, and I’ll keep working with event planners with my Sustainable Speaking program, helping to bring more eco-friendly practices to life at meetings and events.

So what’s yours? What are you passionate about? What just seems to come up, no matter the interaction? These things that we care deeply about come with challenges, to be sure, but also a desire to stick with it. Whatever it is that speaks to your Wild soul, I encourage you to find and share the stories. Hope is a powerful and much needed part of our world right now. And stories have a way of dissipating despair.