The Aflac Green Committee recognizes Brad Barnes, field force writer and editor, as one of Aflac’s Champions of the Planet. Brad has been with the company four years, commuting to work by scooter and by bicycle in good weather. His dedication to go the extra mile not only with his commute but also in restoring the historic residential architecture of Columbus has made him one of our champions.

Here are the five questions about sustainability we asked Brad. Watch our interview with Brad in the above video to find out more.

  1. What does it mean to you to be Green?

  2. How did you get interested in environmental sustainability?

  3. What do you do to be green at home?

  4. Do you do anything to be green at work?

  5. What are some easy things that you do that others could adopt?

Transcript

My name is Brad Barnes. I've been at Aflac for four years. I'm on the Green Committee here and my job is field communications and marketing. We devise and implement marketing and communication strategies for the Aflac sales force.

Being green to me is really, it's just a matter of simple choices. Where what you choose to do with the waste when you're done with it, is one big thing. You've this aluminum can and you're done with it, where do you throw it? Do you throw it in this bin or that bin? Why not put it in the bin that's going to extend the life of the product and take it out of the waste stream?

I remember people giving me grief about being the guy prodding them to throw their aluminum cans in the recycle bin and avoiding styrofoam, and that sort of thing. But I think it probably just started when the city I was living in, started a recycling program and we did it in our house.

My wife and I do just about everything we can. We recycle everything that we can curbside, the plastics and the aluminum cans and all that stuff. We also collect cardboard and batteries and electronic products, which aren't collected curbside. We recycle those through community drives.

But also, as we're renovating our house, we've made conscious green choices, permeable pavers for our driveway to prevent the water from running off into the river, and recycled glass tile on the walls in the bathroom that we've redone, and slate on the floor that was salvaged.

The green things I do around the office, I drink my coffee out of a mug, rather than use styrofoam and I recycle aluminum cans. Obviously, I encourage other people to do the same, but I'm not one of these guys with a sword and a shield, really forcing the issue. I hope just by my example, and them seeing me make the decisions, so they'll follow suit.

Recycling I call it the gateway drug to green living, to sustainable living. Literally, on my floor, the trashcan is five feet from the recycle bin. So it's really easy to throw the can in the recycle bin. If we can encourage people to do that or if people start making that choice, they'll realize how easy it is to live green.