Spending Some Green, Making Some Green, and Keeping Mother Earth Green . . .

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Realty Services

Seems I have been green longer than I care to admit.  Ever since I was a kid, like 40, there I said it, years ago.  My mom is from Germany and they have always recycled and reused as part of their culture for years before we showed up. 

We never wasted anything, brown grocery bags, they were our trash bag, when they changed to the plastic kind, ditto. If we ever got food in those plastic containers, we reused them to save leftovers.  We always found at least a second use for everything.  Thanks Mom, who knew you were so cool??

We had those grocery bags that you took to the grocery store way back when.  However, when I went to the grocery store we would never use them back then, they weren't so cool.  None of my friends did it , you know what I am talking about.  Now it is the THE thing.

Fast forward to today, I am the recycle police in my office.  Actually, I am pretty obnoxious about it and making sure others follow the green rules as well.  Living in Montgomery County Maryland, it is pretty easy to recycle.  They provide residents with recycle bins for paper and plastic and we have free pick up once a week. 

I was showing a condo in a high rise in Bethesda and there was a representative from the county speaking to the building manager.  He was telling, actually insisting, the manager that they need to have the paper recycle bin next to the mailbox area in the lobby so the residence could automatically throw away their junk mail/paper right there in the lobby. 

If you are a business in Montgomery County, MD it is mandatory that you have recycle bins for paper and plastic.  I swear I will pull regular paper I find in the trash can and put it in the bin.  My assistant thinks I am a nut.  Too bad, I have my convictions.

I was looking for a marketing idea for a "Pop by".  If you are a Buffini student you will know what a pop by is. For those of you who are not, a pop by is when you have an item of value to drop off to your past client.  One day I had an "Aha Moment" for a great pop by idea and it was a very green one that I thought I would share with you.

I was in Whole Foodsand they had the reusable grocery bags.  You know the ones I wouldn't be caught dead with when I was younger?  Well there they were, .99cents each.  I bought 150 of them for my pop bys. 

So what I did was group the bags in twos and made a postcard that said the bags were from me. I tied them together with a ribbon with the note that said they were a way to pay it forward to our Mother Earth.  Then drove around to my past clients homes and dropped them off.  Some of my folks were home and it was fun to see them too.

I will tell you that I got the most calls and emails from those bags.  I still need to do another run to more of my clients and will because I had such a great response from the bags.

The good news is that you spend some green and everyone is happy to help Mother Earth breath a little easier.

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Matt Listro
National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro - Vernon, CT
Your Credit Repair Expert

Hi Audrey: That is pure marketing genius - great idea!


Apr 21, 2009 05:17 PM #1
Renee L. Norton
Birmingham, AL

What a wonderful idea.  Green is definitely the way to go these days!

Apr 21, 2009 05:32 PM #2
Elizabeth Benefield
Montana Country Real Estate - Libby, MT

I Like the whole idea of going green. I'm not so sure of exactly what you did with the bags . You tied them together and delivered then. Was it for people to use or did you put something in the bags. Let me know.


Apr 21, 2009 05:32 PM #3
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Audrey, the French totally put us to shame with green stuff!  They don't waste things, and they use their stuff, from clothing to grocery bags, until it totally falls apart.

Apr 21, 2009 08:52 PM #4
Sasha Miletic - Windsor Real Estate
RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. - Windsor, ON

Hi Audrey, Good post.. Thanks for sharing.

Best - Sash

Apr 21, 2009 11:14 PM #5
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Audrey ~ Too funny - I am the "recycle police" in my office too. However I focus my efforts on taking the wrong stuff out of the recycle bins. Makes me crazy - trash is trash, recycle is recycle.  Cities in our area are really cracking down on this too since I guess costs to recycle are up and contaminated loads get rejected.


Apr 22, 2009 12:06 AM #6
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD

Matt, Thanks hope you can use the idea.

Renee, The biggest challenge I have is remembering to bring them IN to the store with me.

Liz, My note tells them what the bags are for and how to use them. 

Pat, I need to get with you to hear about your trip.  I have been so frantic working and not been around AR much lately.

Sasha, Thanks.

Liz, I agree, I do that too.  I just don't get why people dont get it.  Laziness I guess?  Good for you from "recycle officer" to another.

Apr 22, 2009 01:05 AM #7
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Great gift Audrey. There are so many things we can all do... I consider having no children and living in a 450 sq ft cabin my biggest contributions right now!

Apr 22, 2009 04:59 AM #8
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Audrey:  What a great pop by gift.  I'll have to share that with the Buffini group in my office.  They are always looking for new ideas.

Apr 22, 2009 02:25 PM #9
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Great idea, Audrey!  I'm sure recipients appreciated them.

Apr 22, 2009 10:48 PM #10
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD

Susie, Ooohh living in a cabin sounds so awesome.  I bet it is beautiful. 

Chris Ann, I love your new photo, gorgeous!!  I hope they like the idea, I know my clients liked them.

Hi Margaret, My folks did really like them. I hope it works for you if you do it.


Apr 23, 2009 12:52 AM #11
Liz Moras Migic
Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor

Oh wow Audrey you BLOW me away! Obnoxious you say? lol...yikes..I'm working on it but a fairly new convert...........my mother-in-law used to was her saran wrap and hang it out on the line to dry - so she could use it again - I'm afraid I never appreciated her 'green' earthiness at the time......but.....

What a great idea - 150 dollars in bags.....a little weird.......but what you did with them?  Brilliant! ;-)

Apr 26, 2009 03:40 AM #12
Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

Audrey, what a great way to share the green and help our ecology.

Apr 26, 2009 03:06 PM #13
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI


I am familiar with Brian Buffini, what a great idea for a pop by.  Paying it forward is always a good idea- Go Green:-)

Apr 29, 2009 06:42 AM #14
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Audrey...Thanks for what you are doing and for sharing your idea with us.

A new Wegmans will be opening shortly in Fredericksburg.  I imagine they will have these bags also.  I'll buy tons and give them to my past clients and have some handy for future clients.

Thanks for sharing.


May 05, 2009 02:32 PM #15
Audrey June-Forshey
RE/MAX Realty Services - Darnestown, MD
GRI, Gaithersburg, MD

Hi Kate, Anything to help my friends and Mother Earth!!  I hope it works.  Wegmans is the bomb!!


May 05, 2009 02:39 PM #16
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

This is an older post and we just got a Whole Foods nearby.  I will check it out and see what I can find...great idea!

Apr 02, 2015 12:34 PM #17
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Audrey June-Forshey

GRI, Gaithersburg, MD
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