By Shandra Hill Smith
They spend their working hours as ambassadors steering their clients toward   more “green” choices when it comes to real estate. But for these Realtors – some with EcoBroker certification positioning them to market energy efficient and environmentally sensitive properties – the green-mindedness doesn’t end in the office. For them, green living is a full-time opportunity.
Peter Bade
At least two eco approaches are top of mind for Peter Bade: respecting the earth and recycling. Bade, of Sadlier, D’Aprile & Bade, The Intowners at RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside, says he has been active in Virginia Highland and supportive of the area’s neighborhood parks since 1980. Additionally, “I am a founding member of Friends of Orme Park (FOOP), wrote the winning grant for Park Pride’s Visioning Program, which created the Master Plan for the restoration of Orme Park, and am on the board of the Virginia Highland Conservation League.”
For Bade – who has lived and worked primarily in Virginia Highland for 30 years – being eco-minded is a no-brainer.
“The more open, green space and parks a neighborhood has, the better the community and the quality of life for its residents,” Bade says. “The more parks a neighborhood has the more likely neighbors meet neighbors, which creates stronger ties and a sense of community.”
Sara Lee Parker
As a co-owner and broker for Sanctuary Real Estate in Inman Park, Sara Lee Parker helped to lead Sanctuary in adopting a segment of the Beltline.
Sanctuary’s official Beltline clean-up day is April 16 and the organization is hosting Beltline 101 sessions the first Thursday of each month, while Parker herself also is involved with the formation of a Beltline Chamber of Commerce.
“The Beltline is, of course, a huge example of sustainability and redevelopment and will shape the way Atlanta grows over the next decade,” says Parker, who believes in recycling, reclaiming or repurposing furniture and growing her own tomatoes.
“It is just part of my daily routine,” she says. “I plan to live a long life and I really want to be able to enjoy a healthy, thriving planet, breath clean air and drink clean water! Surely the basics aren’t too much to ask for?
“There are plenty of people who are doing much more than me, but if every person just takes the time to do something small, it will make a big difference! We can all help pay it forward for generations to come!” or
Jim Getzinger
Everyone can do his part, believes Jim Getzinger, founder of Getzinger Group, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, which serves Buckhead and Intown neighborhoods.
“It’s important for all of us to be conscious about how we impact the environment,” says Getzinger. “Each of us can make small changes that will have an overall large impact in protecting our environment. By changing out light bulbs to using an iPad instead of stacks of First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) sheets, we are making changes both at home and in the office.”
Led by the efforts of team member Jared Sapp, Getzinger and Sapp adopted the Woodrow Wilson Memorial traffic island in Morningside and have maintained the green space for roughly five years. “By adding new landscaping and seasonal flowers, we can assist in preserving the beauty of our neighborhood,” Getzinger adds.
Carson Matthews
Carson Matthews not only has taken strides to make his home more energy efficient; outdoors, he says he uses rain barrels for irrigation.
“Being green-minded,” he adds, “means paying attention to how you live your life and constantly learning how you can do a better job and be less impactful on the environment. My family is the most important thing in the world to me and I want to ensure my children and grandchildren have a nice environment to grow up in.  The way things are going today with all of the waste and chemicals and utter destruction of our natural resources, it’s hard to believe much will be left in 100 years.”
To help educate others, Matthews – associate broker and a certified EcoBroker, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty – writes a green homes and lifestyles blog, Green to the Scene ( and produces a quarterly report, Atlanta Green Home Sales Report, that’s included on the site.
“This report consistently shows that certified green homes sell faster and closer to list price than their standard new construction counterparts,” says Matthews. “As home building returns in the Atlanta market I hope both builders and consumers will take note of this data and make green home building a priority going forward.”
After all, he says, while going green can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. “It doesn’t cost more to conserve,” says Matthews. “It doesn’t cost more to make a rain barrel and use the water that comes down your gutters. It doesn’t cost more to walk or ride your bike, or use public transportation. It takes time and effort.”