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Posts Tagged ‘green’

This morning I was surprised by two delightful tweets from fellow green and social media guru, Max Gladwell, and visual green thinker Franke James:

Tweets La Marguerite

What’s the fuss about? A mention in the UK Guardian, from Do The Green Thing startup co-founders Andy Hobsbawm and Naresh Ramshandani:

Which tech businesses or web thinkers are the ones to watch?

“For tech we read people like Clay Shirky, Nicholas Carr, Yochai Benkler, Howard Rheingold, Kevin Kelly and Bruce Sterling. For green thinking we follow things like WorldChanging.com, Max Gladwell, the TED blog, Treehugger, La Marguerite and folk like John Grant, Jules Peck and Amory Lovins.”

This acknowledgment comes at a time when I have expanded the scope of my thinking besides just ‘green’, to also include other interests such as, the role of social media in facilitating social change, as well as a rekindled involvement with insight  meditation.

I have also moved away from ‘traditional long-format blogging’, as here on WordPress, to a more organic way of sharing my thoughts on micro-blogging platform Twitter, where you can follow me every day here.

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It started with a tweet:

tweet_lamarguerite05

Twitter is great that way. I know of no better forum for validating one’s seemingly universal thoughts and feelings. Yesterday, I got seized with a severe case of eco² panic. Eco like green. Eco like economic. Images of CO2 going nuts, and us still not getting our act together, despite almost daily global warming alerts. And the specter of another Great Depression, only worse this time around.

Thank God, Franke was there to tweet back prompto to shake me up good:

tweet_lamarguerite04I must say, I felt a bit ashamed for having given into “defeatism”.  Imagine if all the citizens voiced out their secret despair as I did. That would be the end of it. Even Bill’s chiming in and lecturing Barack, telling him he’s not hopeful enough. Yes, we can. And we shall. Still, I could not let go completely of the reality of my malaise.

tweet_lamarguerite03That was a pretty wishy-washy tweet. I wasn’t even sure where I was going with it. Until Franke’s response:

tweet_lamarguerite01

Thank you, Franke for gifting me, us with your such a wonderful image. Now, whenever I start feeling blue, I will imagine a green window, opening to a new landscape of windmills, and solar farms, and electric cars, and workers going about their green jobs . . .

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I am usually fairly casual about my finances. Barely a glance at my Mastercard statement. I pay, no questions asked. Until today, when I noticed a monthly charge of $50.32, from New York Times Sales. That struck me as a lot of money, all of a sudden. The representative at the end of the line confirmed that I had been paying that amount for twenty months in a row. One thousand dollars, I could have saved.

Before, – that is when the economy was not such a scary word – I would not have bothered. Fleeting pangs of guilt from my budding green conscience, and thoughts of all the trees downed because of my indulgence, did not make a difference. I continued to read, and then quickly dispose of the daily paver that made its way to my door every morning. Promising myself that one day, I would switch to an online subscription. 

This morning, I resisted the advances of the New York Times representative to cut me a deal. Half price for sixteen weeks. Or maybe just the Sunday paper. Or would I prefer the weekday edition? No, I told him, I had made up my mind. With the economy, I could no longer afford the superfluous expense of $50.32, or any other amount. Plus, it’s bad for the trees anyway.

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Tomorrow midnight, is the deadline for all Twitter fans to vote for the Shorty Awards. Turns out, the Green Moms group is one place short of winning the award in the Green category. Will you please help make this phenomenal group of  green girls the winner? 

Disclosure: I am a member of Green Moms – and no, I don’t suffer from being overly modest! :)

Here is some sample text to help get the word out re the contest. 

1. Go to twitter
2. Prepare this tweet ” @shortyawards I vote for @greenmoms in the Shorty Awards Finals for #green because…
3. add in your reason for voting for us. Without a reason your vote doesn’t count. Here are some ideas: the green movement needs more strong women! ..Moms can do anything! ….they tweet great info on going green
4  Send and you’re done!

If you are good to Green Moms, I promise I will return the favor some day . . .

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As reflected in the new tag line ‘A Girl’s View of Social Media, Sustainability, and Social Change‘, La Marguerite is getting reborn. From a green blog, to a more inclusive forum where to share my three main interests: sustainability, still, and also, social media, and social change. Social media has become a passion that’s become too big for just a few occasional tweets on Twitter. Social change touches upon my current forays into social entrepreneurship. All three embraced from a very feminine perspective:

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I am thrilled!

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One casual comment made by a girlfriend during a recent dinner at my house, got me thinking, deep, about women, and food, and politics. “You mean, you made the crust? From scratch?” My friend could not believe I had spent the time, and thought I was “too much”. No big deal, I assured her, it had only taken me a few minutes to mix in the flour, salt and butter, and to roll the dough. That’s when I realized how far we have strayed from our womanly ways with food.

Somewhere in the midst of first wave feminism, we, women made a bargain with the devil. Tired of being kept in the kitchen, we welcomed with open arms, promises from the food industry to make life more convenient for us. Put away your apron, and your pots and pans, we were told, and get out instead. Take your family  to Mc Donald’s, for a complete dinner, or if you are courageous enough, go to the stores for some half baked alternatives. Pre-cut salads, frozen dinners, bottled dressing, whole roasted chicken, canned soups, cake mixes, potato flakes, . . . Open the package, mix it up and you are all set. That felt like progress, and the perfect solution for a hurried evening after a whole day at the office.

Of course there were compromises to be made, such as paying more for our food, and  jeopardizing our health and that of our family. Products loaded with too much salt, too much sugar, too much fat, and too many empty calories. Paragraph long labels with ingredients more fit for a science lab than our stomach. Foods purified from their natural vitamins and nutrition. Further compounding the problem, manufacturers conspired to confuse us with misleading claims that we were only too happy to believe. I know firsthand. I spent a good part of my early advertising career trying to convince moms of the wholesomeness of granola bars . . . what a spin that was!

The truth has been catching up with us, however, in the form of record highs in obesity and associated illnesses such as  diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. The personal and national costs are astronomical, and demand an overhaul of our entire food system, such as proposed by pioneers of the natural food movement. First was California food’s priestess, Alice Waters, then Omnivore  Dilemma‘s Michael Pollan, and now Slow Food‘s Carlo Petrini. Each time, the green, intellectual elite has responded with ardor. Some of that enthusiasm has trickled down to the mainstream, as evidenced by the spread of organics in supermarkets. Deep down, though, not much has changed.

Inspired from the success of Obama’s movement, I would like to suggest a different strategy, one that does not come from a few tenors, but that  recognizes women as the beholders of the nurturing instinct, and the ones still in charge of most of the food decisions. Let’s call it The Women’s Food Movement, an effort at organizing the community of women all over, to help them regain confidence in their innate ability to nourish, using simple recipes and affordable, high quality, natural ingredients. Shifting the power away from manufacturers and retailers, back into the hands of women. No fancy words needed. Instead, a narrative anchored in their every day food activities and concerns, e.g. shopping for groceries,  deciding on what to make for dinner, exchanging recipes, looking for deals and clipping coupons, worrying about feeding their family healthy food, having limited time for cooking, making ends meet . . .

Most importantly, The Women’s Food Movement is about trusting women to hold the answers, collectively, and simply providing them with an organizing community and some tools to turn that knowledge into constructive action. This approach requires a deeper understanding of women’s food psychology, than currently displayed in existing solutions. For a beginning of food conversations with women, you may follow the Twitter stream here

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Want to Play Tag with Me?

Very seldom do I engage in blogging games, but today I am in the mood. Daryl Warner-Laux, over at Verda-Vivo green blog tagged me, and I am supposed to let you know seven random things about me. Here we go:

  1. I swim every day with the Stanford master swim team. Never mind that I am the slowest of all, I would not miss it for anything. 
  2. I am addicted to Twitter.
  3. Other serious addiction of mine: 85% dark chocolate from Cote d’ Or.
  4. I am in the midst of launching a community website for grocery shoppers.
  5. I am going through an identity crisis as a green blogger.
  6. I have frequent, secret conversations with the little Buddha on my desk.
  7. I am not into the holiday gifts frenzy.

The rules for ‘social-networking’ tagging:

  1. Link to the person who tagged you.
  2. Post the rules on your blog.
  3. Share seven things about yourself – some random, some weird.
  4. Tag seven people at the end of your post and link to them.
  5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog and/or Twitter.
  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is posted.

Who I’m tagging – in no particular order:

  1. Lynn Miller at Organic Mania
  2. Nadine Sellers at Greenadine
  3. Jason Crawford at Scream To Be Green
  4. Colin Beavan at No Impact Man
  5. Jennifer Taggart at The Smart Mama
  6. Mike Wheets at Wheeties
  7. Kyle Schuant at Green With a Gun

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Met with KoAnn, from Sustainable Life Media for lunch, at local deli. I asked lady at the checkout counter, “Do you have compostable spoons?”.  I was met with same blank stare I have encountered before in similar situations. Mainstream America does not know about compostable plastics, and even less so, sustainability. Not that the lady was not open to learning. She seemed fascinated when I explained compostable plastics, and why it mattered. She would ask, she said.

Back home, in preparation for this post, I did some more research on the topic. Googled, compostable plastics, Fake Plastic Fish. And found post from my friend Beth Terry, ‘Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should‘. Of course, I can always count on Beth to set me straight. No easy way out here. The way to go, really, is good old fashioned metal spoons. Only energy required is from dish washing. Most likely the lesser of all evils.

Next time, I go to the deli, I will ask the lady about metal spoons instead.

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(cross-post from Huffington Post)

Sarah Palin should not have mocked Barack Obama for being a community organizer. If anything, tonight’s results proved her wrong. Our new President has given new meaning, and strength to the concept of community organizing. And he has shown us what citizens can do, when given the means to organize towards a cause, that’s greater than themselves.

Tonight I am thinking of the thousands of Obama offices, volunteer networks, and fundraising organizations, along with the sophisticated Internet machine, and the organizing methodology, that went into getting Barack Obama elected. As the signs are coming down, the thank you emails go out, and the temporary offices go back to their original owners, I wonder, is that it? Will we go back to business as usual, each in our homes, going about our private lives?

Or will we use the skills learned during the Obama campaign to mount a national community effort, this time to address the threat of climate change? The last time I checked, we had less than ten years to get our act together. Citizens have a crucial role to play on the conservation end. As someone who has tried for the last year and a half, to curtail my consumerist and energy appetites, I can testify on the difficulty of accomplishing such changes at the individual level. Instead, we need to summon the power of community to help each other.

Tomorrow, after you have come down from your victory high, I urge you to keep alive the citizen spirit that made you pick up the phone, and knock on doors, and put up signs on your lawn. Take that energy and become an organizing force in your community. Start a No Beef Lunch at your kids’ school, or a telecommuting initiative at work, or a volunteer home insulation project in your city . . . The climate cause may not have a face like Barack Obama, but it’s all the more reason to take it on.

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Tonight, my mind’s shut. My heart too jumpy from the waiting. I feel like Larry David:

I can’t take much more of this. Two weeks six days to go, and I’m at the end of my rope. I can’t work. I can eat, but mostly standing up. I’m anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I’m finding enjoyable my dogs, who keep tripping me when  I take them for their nightly walk. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it’s worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there’s still a potential cure. With this, there’s no cure. The result is final. Like death.

SIx more days. And I shall come back to my former green obsessed self.

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