Posts Tagged ‘green media’

As I spend more and more time in green-dom, I realize there is not just a few, but many, many ways to become a green citizen. Problems arise when we are being forced into a one green-for-all carcan. These are some of the most common types I have observed so far:

  1. The extreme greenies, the ones that walk their talk, and some more. I talked about them last week in my post on ‘More Extreme Environmentalists Needed’. They are at the forefront of the green movement, have been for years, and will continue to be, as the need for higher green standards becomes more acute. 
  2. The green moms, who cannot get enough of green tips to keep their little ones safe and organic. Last night, some of the green moms in my group were celebrated in a big rahrah event in Washington DC. The green mamas are taking off!  All of a sudden, there are not enough of them to make the rounds of the networks. Who would have thought, even just a year ago?
  3. The green intellectuals, who spend their time thinking about strategic solutions to the big environmental problems facing us. They thrive on biodiversity loss, deforestation, climate change, overpopulation, peak oil, water crisis, . . . The bigger the issues, the better. 
  4. The clean tech crowd, many of them recovering software guys. They can be found at Cafe Coupa in Palo Alto, scheming their next green venture with their engineering friends, and old VC connections. Many of them are members of Cleantech for Obama
  5. The green political activists, who are into making sure the next green bill makes it to the floor, and gets signed. They work behind the scenes, are on a first name basis with their congressman and senator, and hassles their fellow citizens with numerous petitions. 
  6. The green media people, the bloggers like me, who spend a lot of their time, writing in their own blogs, or commenting on others’ blogs. Up in the stratosphere, are some stars, like Tom Friedman whose words carry so much weight, as in Hot, Flat and Crowded. The good news is, anyone can join. All it takes is a few minute to start a blog and write a post. No geekiness required. 
  7. The green scientists, a select bunch who determines what we should really be talking about. They have become the bearers of increasingly more bad news. No wonder, the Bush administration tried to shut them up. The path to green science-dom is a long and arduous one, but not without rewards. The cleantech types are loving them, and salivating over any new bit of research coming out of their labs. 
  8. The green watchdogs, most often found in non profit environmental agencies. Smart, and under-payed, they enjoy the privilege from being able to cause much grief to environmental offenders. Funding is still an issue though, and they are spending too much of their time chasing after dollars to keep their organizations afloat. 
  9. The green marketers, whose claim to green-ness is met with great suspicion on the part of the green watchdogs, and even ordinary citizens. They live in dread of the greenwashing word, and just want to do good while making a handsome profit. It ain’t easy, but they are getting better.
  10. The good green samaritans, who go about their green lives, without great fanfare, and with the satisfaction from knowing that they are just good. They can be found in unlikely places, in poor neighborhoods, where a single mom can surprise you with her green awareness, despite having to worry about so much more. Or a teenager whose green conscience stands out from his or her otherwise clueless family.

To each, his or her green-ness. What is yours?

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Over the last months, some previously unthinkable changes have been taking place amongst the American people. SUVs have become objects of contempt. Summer travel is turning more and more, into a local adventure. Folks are cutting down on their trips to the mall. Gardens are sprouting all over my neighborhood. Even my car addicted teenage daughter has taken up walking, and is charging her friends for carpooling. 

What millions of green blog posts and green media mentions failed to accomplish in months, got taken care of, almost overnight, thanks to one magic number. The $4 a gallon effect is proving what behavioral psychologists have know for a long time. Talk and reasoning have little effect, consequences do. 

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Reading ‘That buzz in your ear may be green noise‘, yesterday’s article in the New York Times, I had a feeling of deja vu. The issue of green cacophony and the resulting confusion in people’s minds, is one that has been covered many times before in this blog. Rather than repeating myself, I thought I would just retrieve all my previous posts on the topic:

The fatigue factor and what it means for the climate fight’

Is it green of not?

Green fatigue

Green overload

It‘s getting to me


The failure of the green media to communicate simply

Top three green actions to reduce your ecological footprint

Seven green marketing strategies to persuade Americans to go green

Since December, the date of my last post, things have only gotten worse. People are more aware. They are also more confused, and suspicious about all green matters. What should be simple, has now reached levels of unparalleled complexity.

I think it’s time we go back to the old and proven adage: Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Not sexy, with maybe too much of a treehugger flavor, but in the end, still the best planet saving tip.

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I have decided to embark on a new project. With the Not So Green Exposure Project, I will track the not so green impressions, to which I am exposed on a daily basis. There has been much talk lately about what should be done to communicate the green message effectively. Taking an advertising approach, I thought it would be interesting to track what gets thrown at me, each each day, and goes contrary to the green agenda. Sources I will be including:

  • news: Internet, blogs, radio, TV, newspapers
  • advertising: radio,TV, newspapers, magazines, billboards
  • mail I receive, including junk mail
  • editorials, commentaries
  • indoor and outdoor audiovisual stimulus
  • conversations with friends and families
  • products and services
  • infrastructures
  • cultural references

I am probably forgetting some, and will add more as necessary.

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More from Robert Collier’s San Francisco Chronicle article, Bali needs to know – can China go green?:

‘According to several international studies in recent months, China’s emissions have not only surged past the U.S. level, but also are growing at a rate that far outstrips wealthy nations’ capacity to decrease theirs.’

Where my mind went at first:

We are doomed. Why even bother? This is depressing. We have no control. This is pissing me off. I don’t want to die from the Chinese mess up. This is terrifying. No matter what we do, we are not going to make it. Why? Why? I am tempted to just give up.

How I retrained my thoughts:

It has not happened yet. There are people working on this. Actually, the article says the Chinese leaders are open to some help. If we elect the right leader, and we commit more resources to helping China the right way, there is hope. Not all is lost. It still makes sense to do my share.

All it took was just one sentence to nearly throw me off the green bandwagon. It is of utmost importance to give people reasons to hope.

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Thanks to my friend Roupen, for calling my attention to this video, that was just featured today on Tim O’Reilly’s blog:


The black balloon certainly has the power to do more for our collective awareness of carbon pollution, than all I have read on the topic in a long time.

Part of what will help us transform awareness into action, is the internalization of such arresting images. I was thinking back on all the changes I have made over the last few months, and the trigger for those changes. Each time, it was not words that set me into action, but images instead, that I have learned to make mine over time:

  • No more beautiful green lawns for me, ever since I learned what it does to the environment. Now, whenever I see a lawn, I see an artificial green cover for what used to be a natural landscape of dirt, native grasses, and shrubs.
  • Something similar happened with my shopping expeditions. Last time, I went to Target, and passed by their latest Go Designer Collection, all I could see were not clothes to covet, but instead hideous man made fabrications, made in far away factories, and a cloud of pollution rising.
  • I have written before about the effect of ‘Synthetic Sea‘ video on my green conscience. It is now impossible for me to grab a plastic bag without feeling huge pangs of guilt, usually enough to discourage me and look for other alternatives.
  • Numbers can be powerful visuals as well. Not until I took the time to research, ‘The Top Three Green Actions to Reduce Your Ecological Footprint’, did I get a clear sense of priorities, and got motivated to take action and start looking for a bike.
  • Last, there is If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brow, flush it down

Advertising geniuses where are you? We need more images like the black balloon.

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