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12 posts from March 2008

March 31, 2008

The Power of the Big Green Purse

Green_biz_radio_2

It's getting to be such a small green world out there. I opened up my Green Biz email today and in the top section, my friend Coral Rose is linked to for her Organic cotton info. The next block of copy featured Diane MacEachern who is on tour with her new book, "Big Green Purse." While in San Francisco she met up with an old acquaintance, Joel Makower the co-founder of Greener World Media. The following is their conversation covering Diane's recommendations she gives to women consumers who want a greener world. You can catch the full interview over on Green Biz Radio. 

Even thought I've featured Diane many times, hearing her talk is something to experience. She makes me feel like anything is possible and if we just approach in a calm, methodical way, we can change things for the better. It's an insightful conversation at how to think about green products from both a consumer and a manufacturer's point of view. 

March 30, 2008

Hope to Action - Power of your Peers

It seems like more and more women are mobilizing on the ground to create real, sustainable change. Hope to Action is the lastest to build out network of small groups of 15 or so women making small changes. Check out their video.

March 28, 2008

Gore's Group Therapy... eventually the Alliance will connect the dots to women's groups

This week The Alliance announced that it's going to connect to groups:

The Alliance, founded by Al Gore, will buy ads and partner with grass-roots groups to spread the word on how to cut greenhouse gases, according to the article. It’s also seeking partnerships with consumer brands to spread the word through their packaging, websites or ads. A microsite, www.wecansolveit.org, has launched - although it’s currently short on content.

They haven't quite connected all the dots yet (see the post on Purses, Peers, Posts and the Power to Move Green Markets), but it will happened and they have $300 million to make something happen big. As a reminder this isn't a gender thing, this is a tipping-point-in-the-market thing. If you want fast change, go to those who are spending the consumer money, educate/support them and you'll see the change you want in the world. Right now we're caught in a chicken/egg scenario. Corporations are putting out greener products, but they need buyers to stay viable. Buyers want greener products to choose from, but first we have to get rid of the brown products still on the shelves...

Meanwhile blogs such as La Margurite, Scream to be Green, Organic Mania, Talk Climate Change, Green with a Gun, Greenadine, Green-talk, Best of Mother Earth, Eco Chicks and hundreds more have been promoting their own form of group therapy by creating an atmosphere that compels us all to stay the course, make the changes, do the work... Note not everyone in the above group is female, but the majority that I know, are.

Once we leave the blog world and join more earthly groups that means focusing on women. Men don't group like we do. Check out how many garden clubs have men in them, now go to book clubs... How about Eco Moms? Over 11,000 are now in that group of groups. Is there an equivalent Eco Dads? If so do they have 11,000 committed? We don't have to conduct a bunch of expensive research to answer the above.

If group therapy works and according to Weight Watches and AA it does, then we need to apply a little group therapy to this problem.

What makes group therapy work is guidance at the top and small groups under 25 which foster friendships and personal accountability. We don't need more newly formed groups as much as we need to leverage the ones already formed. It's something I proposed last year, but I don't have $300 million to make such things fly. I'm happy that Gore's going to give it a chance.

Gals, what do you think? What groups are you part of? Would your group accept corporate sponsorship money if the product/service could prove itself green/Sustainable? Is it important to you? Not? Drop me a note at Mary@Inwomenwetrust.com and let me know. 

March 26, 2008

Women's Political Blogs are Rising in Number

MorganCheck out http://politicsanew.com/ I'll let the voices speak for themselves. Catherine Morgan started the list last year. She invites you to add your blog to the group if you have something to say.

"When I first published this list back in October, we had links to 100 women blogging about politics. Today, the count is at 375, and still growing. Are you a woman blogging about politics? Are you on the list? If not, please leave me your link in comments, so I can add your blog. And, if you would like to be a guest blogger on The Political Voices of Women with a guest post, please join our community.

March 24, 2008

Purses, Peers, Posts & the Power to Move Markets

Did you feel the power shift? The markets are changing, first my blog buddy Karen writes about 1,4-dioxane and then an Eco Mom sends me a copy of a letter from Method explaining away the problem that's similar to this. For the first time women are being taken seriously as social influencers. Companies are being pro-active and sending out letters to womens' groups before they take them to the court of public opinion.

Purses, Peers, Posts and the Power to Move Markets is about this shifting dynamic from the women's point of view. Feel free to download a copy of it here. Download purses_peers_posts_and_the_power_to_move_green_markets_3.25.08.pdf 

March 23, 2008

Bringing Blogland and "Green"land Together

Blog_talk_radioToby Bloomberg, who hosts a regular Blog Talk Radio program, invited me and Ginny Dyson  to discuss the intersection of Social Media and Greenwash Free Marketing.  (Thanks Toby!)

Ginny works in commercial design and is considered to be the Sustainability Strategist at DMJM H&M. She spoke from the B2B side. I was there to address the B2C issues in Sustainability and how to keep the message from turning into greenwash. You can listen to our conversations here.

The Blog Talk format is a new way to get out information in a time crunched society. The 30 minute program can be downloaded or just play in the background on your computer, while you go on with your work.  For a full rundown on the program, go to Toby's Blog here or just give a listen.

The commonalities between Social Media and Greenwash Free Marketing

1. Transparency – Can you see the proof? Blogland and Greenland come together.
2. Authentic – Can you prove it? Blogland and Greenland come together again.
3. Getting your message across – Is your green story repeatable?

Develop A Credible Green Marketing Strategy

  • Get your product certified as Sustainable. You can’t claim you’re “Sustainable” until you do.
  • Use LCA, Life Cycle Assessment, Third Party Audits and of course Standards in your blog posts and links.
  • Partner with other bloggers and businesses who are Climate Change evangelists first and business people second.
  • Create ONE Summary Sheet of all green facts pertaining to your company and product. This isn’t a branding document, it’s raw data and the proof behind everything you say on blogs.
  • Take the word to the women who do 80% of the buying and word of mouth influencing.

March 20, 2008

GoodTube is Coming Your Way

Goodtube_2Do you think that nothing is worth doing anymore? That the heart and soul is gone from society and that it's "all business" or it's not worth talking about? Slip on over to www.goodtube.org and you'll be changed forever.

GoodTube is a video-sharing community dedicated to promoting the good causes of good people. At it's core is Kimberly Klintworth, an Emmy winning Salt Lake City TV news anchor who wanted something worthwhile to report at the end of the day. Today her team is growing as is the need to bring attention to the unsung volunteer work being done by millions of women and men around the world.

KlintworthI met Kimberly at the Sundance Film Festival and was impressed with her intent to take her Profiles in Caring TV program on line and open up the space to everyone. She already has 140 shows profiling over 200 non-profits, but she didn't want to take another five years to produce 200 more profiles when thousands of non-profits needed attention. The solution? Open it up on the Internet and let non-profits load up their own videos.

The site is soft launching now, shaking out the links and kinks, but if you have a 501C non-profit that could use some exposure, start getting your video together. It doesn't have to be super polished and you can always add more as you become more skilled. The best news, GoodTube is FREE to non-profits. 

Besides showcasing your non-profit's work, GoodTube is also set to help you recruit new volunteers, raise awareness as a media outlet and drive traffic to your website. Foundation money is behind GoodTube, but they'll be partnering with the right corporations as this gets rolling.

If timing is everything, GoodTube's timing is perfect for a world that desperately needs to feel better about itself and given hope, whether it's saving animals from extinction, feeding the hungry, or planting trees for climate change, it all counts.

Admittedly, I'm partial, because at it's soul are women who have so willing given their volunteer time for generations and never received public recognition for it. Their volunteer work is the glue that keeps communities functioning as much as business does. It's this hidden, and very valuable work that will be getting rightly recognized in the future years. My sincere thanks to Kimberly, her husband Skip, and the GoodTube staff for bringing this concept forward in such a polished and accessible way.

March 17, 2008

Canadian Ad Guidelines (just in time for St. Patrick's Day)

After the consumers (women) of Canada complained about the claims being put on VitaSea clothing, the Canadian government is reacting. Why is it that it's always after the fact and after many people complain before companies do the right thing? It's another reason for Marianne's post on the need for green standards. Trust, but verify.  Check corpwatch for examples of greenwash.

According to the article by Greenbiz the following flagged the need for guidelines.

"In November 2007 the Bureau forced Vancouver-based Lululemon Athletica to remove any references to the therapeutic benefits of its VitaSea clothing products because it made claims that could not be verified. The clothing's advertising said it would release minerals and vitamins in to the wearer's skin when wet and could improve skin in a variety of ways and reduce stress.

Ladies, take a bow. Because you questioned the authority of a marketing message, Canada in putting together guidelines for honesty. The EPA already has green guidelines. You can find them here or I'll also keep them handy under Culture Shifters to the left.

The message is clear to companies in Canada and the U.S., it's time to put truth into all advertising or someone will question your authenticity; and that affects that other form of green. 

Today's green post is in honor of my Irish Grandmother, Margaret Clare McShane. Erin Go Bragh!

March 15, 2008

Why do we keep on making things that kill our planet Mom?

From my chair I hear from all sides on Climate Change, i.e.  business, believers and those on the fence. This weekend I received a letter than pretty much sums up why I keep doing what I'm doing. It came from a new friend who has to answer to business plans and also to her 9 year old son, Tyler.

*****

Tyler_807_smI'm writing because my son Tyler has a need to change the world and perhaps the two of you could help each other.

*****

Tyler is an old soul and he's not your average nine year old. He studies Einstein and reads spiritual growth books for light bedtime reading. He gets deeply upset by global issues, particularly if they involve lack of basic needs for people in third world countries or destroying the planet. His latest request was for me to help him collect people's pocket change so that he could change the world. He named it, "Change for Change."

*****

I thought of you today because from the back seat of the car he asked, "Why do we keep making things that kill our planet mom?" I'm attaching a picture of him for you, I'm wondering how he could help you on your global crusade as well.

***** 

In Gratitude,

Taiha Wagner

www.BuildHerDream.com

www.Chameleon-Network.com

******

I don't know if I can help Tyler directly, but I bet some of my readers can in which case send your ideas to his Mom, Taiha. Tyler may only be 9, but he's able to figure out that Products+more Products = not a good future for him. I find it amazing that the Climate Change/Earth Change message can get through to him, but not those in my own age range.

******

The United States has been dubbed a "service" economy since that most of our products are being made overseas. Considering the impact that products are having, perhaps a service economy isn't such a bad thing, it's local, has no packaging and brings us back in touch with each other. Maybe it's exactly what we need to bring down CO2 emissions and pollution waste for the sake of Tyler's future and that or our retirement funds.

March 13, 2008

Goldman Sachs is trusting 10,000 women to change the world

Thank you Goldman Sachs for investing in women around the world. Your 10,000 women project is a powerful statement.  As other micro lenders have found out, leading money to women makes good business sense. The return on the investment is very high. Check out their fact sheet on it.

Following the money is another reason the green movement is doing so well now, it's right economic thing to do. When you add this women's economic movement to it, what's not to love?

I can hear the backlash already, "Why aren't they helping 10,000 men"? The answer is because they already are - millions of them. Surely you can't be threatened by 10,000 women from third world nations?  It's nice to see it the help coming in the form of venture capital instead of women holding yet another fund raiser to help our sisters on the other side of the world.

It's also nice to see Goldman Sach lining up their for-profit model with a non-profit model that makes sense. It's not a strapped on good work, it has the same purpose as Goldman Sachs, it create profit. It also will provide something else less tangible, those 10,000 women will be demonstrating their leadership style and values. Who knows what long lasting effect that will have on the global economy. Look what happened when Deming championed the problem solving style of a group of Japanese women? Factories everywhere launched programs in SPC and TQM based on his observations.

If a handful of women in Japan can change manufacturing techniques around the world, think what 10,000 women might change.