Brett Little GreenHome Institute

Brett Little

Brett Little is Executive Director of GreenHome Institute. Like many nonprofits, this means he’s a one-person staff. He develops and moderates training courses, consults builders or homeowners, and verifies green homes. He got into this because of an epiphany he had over organic soy milk. Working at Starbucks, he picked up a carton and read the label about the wind produced fair trade product. “Why does anyone care?”

So he hit Wikipedia. He read about climate change. Whatever is happening, he concluded, someone should do something about it. “I’ve gotta do something about that.”

So, in his own words, he “started turning into my hippie self”. Stopped wearing deodorant. Rode his bike 13 miles. Went “mostly” vegetarian. He enrolled in Aquinas College’s Sustainable Business program. While there, he began volunteering for the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability. AES later became the GreenHome Institute. Then the ED retired. Brett Little found himself the young leader of an environmental nonprofit.

What compelled me about Brett is that he takes personal responsibility.

Here was this young man who saw a need and knew somebody had to do something about it. Who among us has not recognized something in need of change? How often have we thought, Somebody should do something about that? What’s different about Brett is that he took personal responsibility to say, “I’ve gotta do something about that.”

And his sense of responsibility didn’t end at the start. It’s how he continues every effort. How about when you’ve tried and failed? How to move forward when the world pushes back? Brett Little’s advice was pragmatic.


[ ] Recognize that it’s a long game.
[ ] Recognize what’s not working & change your mindset.
[ ] Let something go if it’s not going to pay off for you.
[ ] Learn the lessons and carry it to the next thing.
[ ] Reach out for guidance and/or collaboration.

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