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11 posts from April 2008

April 29, 2008

Ode to Women and Green Marketing

Dscn3758Have you seen this month's Ode Magazine? It arrived the same day I said to four women, "I know 8 women who own a Prius. One of the women raised her hand and said, "Make that nine." Then the others raised their hands as well. Four out of five of us owned a Prius. I was the fifth who didn't and that's only because they weren't available the day I HAD to buy a new car. (I have a 40 mpg Civic, however.)

I said to them, "See, you're the reason that Detroit changed its ways." (I don't have the research, but I'm betting that the majority of Prius owners are women.) Because women purchased Priuses for the gas mileage, practicality, environmental statement, looks, whatever...Toyota went to the front of the eco-car class and Detroit has been playing catch up ever since.

Now back to Ode. On Page 50 is an ad for the Green Festival in Chicago and topics of what the 350 exhibitors will cover. How many of these areas are women's topics that you'd find in any woman's magazine? Nine out of the 14 topics are traditional women's magazine's story lines. The others are topics that feed or support those nine.

  • Green careers/education
  • Social Justice
  • Eco-fashion
  • natural health and body
  • green media
  • green technology
  • natural home and garden
  • green business practices
  • fair trade
  • indigenous goods
  • organic food/agriculture
  • natural foods
  • green kids' zone

And because is was a women's issue, here are a few more items.

Page 18, Rosa Hilda Ramos, she was/is a housewife in Puerto Rico who tried to protect her family from pollution. Rosa founded CUCco (Communities United against Contamination) in 1991. She didn't start it because wanted to run a business. She did it because it was the right thing to do.

Page 33 - The Not-So-Secret Secret to Changing the World - "Women can lead the way from the survival of the fittest to the survival of the connected."  by Lisa Witter and Lisa Chen.

Page 46 - No More Business as Usual - how social investors can help bring about corporate and political change - by Amy Domini, the CEO of  Domini Social Investments and author or several books on ethical investing.

Dscn3757 Page 55 - A band of women in pink hats and boots are heading to a store to challenge the management by asking, "How can you be sure this cushion wasn't made by children?" or "What percentage of the sales price of this chocolate bar goes to the cocoa farmer"?

Gary Hirshberg CE Yo of Stonyfield Yogurt said about making an environmental impact:

"I realized I needed to move into capitalism if I wanted to have a bigger influence. Business is the only source powerful enough to manifest the change we need." (amen Gary)

Who buys the Stonyfield Yogurt that helps capitalism work? Women. Who buys the majority of the things listed in the Green Festival Categories? Women.

Therein lies the new world order that's emerging from the co-creation of a Sustainable life. The world of buyers and sellers - the buyers being primarily women. Think about that the next time you see a green consumer study. Be sure to check out the methodology behind it. If the survey was a 50/50 split of men and women being surveyed ask to see just the stats coming from women. I'm betting that you'll see a far more engaged group appear.

The pictures came from Ode. Pick up a copy and read it from cover to cover. You'll feel better afterwards.


April 23, 2008

Why Do Green Women Gather? See Below.

" Ever notice how bloggers talk about the same people over and over? That's because we have relationships with them." Yvonne DiVita, Lipsticking

I laughed out loud when I opened my email this morning. In one of my Feedblitz aggregators, the two new Divita_2 posts offered came from Yvonne DiVita and the other Toby Bloomberg. As I scrolled down to see what they were talking about I ran into myself and the cover shot from Bloomberg_2 WECAI this month. (12,727 readers so far) Wecai_trust_cover_2WE is published by Heidi Richards, who is also Heidi_2 another great blog and biz buddy with 35,000 on her mailing list.

Emily_2 What made it particularly poignant was that I just read an email from Emily McKhann from The Motherhood (who I met through BlogHer).(23,000 women bloggers/8 million readers) She asked if I (or Diane MacEachern) (2500 eco women) would be interested in talking to a grad student (another woman) Maceachern_2 regarding ECO women's green groups.

Why do we gather? For the same reason we blog together - to support one another.

These are crazy times, we need each other to help keep the crazies at bay. Kimberly Danke Pinkson of Eco Mom Alliance (11,000 women) sure knows the answer to that one. It's the same reason Kimberly_danke_pinkson_2 we join Weight Watchers or AA. Like any good 12 step program, first you have to acknowledge you have a problem and then, by being accountable to others in your group, you can work to solve it. Why are we accountable? Because we have a build a relationship with the members of the group.

Terry_2Let's take it a step further, take a look at the banner on this blog, see the woman who is in the black suit (second from the left) that's Terry Gamer. She recently bought the rights to 500 women's small town, local level news sources which account for 36 million readers. Small, local papers who would have thought they have much to do with why women gather? The answer is as simple as to why do they subscribe to a small women's paper - it's all about the relationships that it helps to foster between women.

That's the short list, but these are the nine whom I intersected in the last 4 days. Nine women representing a reach into over 45 million women's lives. Why do green women gather? Because we can!

April 21, 2008

Green Gals Make My Earth Day Memorable

Happy Earth Day. How are you spending your day?

I can't think of a better way to celebrate then with new friends working to implement the choices we have to make.  Kimberly_danke_pinksonThis weekend, the California Chapter of N.O.W. the National Organization of Women met in West Hollywood, CA. I was honored to be asked to speak on Sustainability Standards and how women can bring them forward. With me was Kimberly Danke Pinkson, the founder of Eco Mom's Alliance (left) and Lani Lee, (right) a recent college grad committed to bringing eco-issues to N.O.W. (Lani moderated our panel.)

Kimberly is a single mom with a six year old son. She developed Eco Mom Alliance not as a business platform, but because it was needed. As she explained to the crowd, if anyone knows about making green ends meet, she does. She knows that making adjustments in our lifestyle is hard, but she also knows that with the help and inspiration of others in a peer group, that it can be done and it can be fun.

Lani_lee_2She was inspired to create the Eco Mom Alliance one day at a picnic table talking with friends about light bulbs and discussing which ones to buy. Since that picnic table day, the Eco Mom Alliance has grown to over 11,000 on their mailing list.

After meeting Kimberly, it's not hard to understand why she has such a strong following, she is gracious, encouraging and inspiring to be around. The Eco Mom Alliance had been quietly working at making their lifestyles greener and then the NY Times wrote about them. Kimberly said that they have since been deluged with requests from business and non-profits alike. Many want to be a part of their group as a sponsor or partner. That's the power of purses and peers at work.

Lani Lee was amazing as well. Besides running the panel, she also brought gift cards and items made of Elephant dung. Don't squirm, they were very cool paper products and they certainly had a wonderful story to tell. There are about 40,000 elephants in Sri Lanka and 4000 were killed last year because they were interfering with agricultural. To save the elephant, they needed to find a way to make them profitable. It turns out that elephants, as mass consumers of vegetation, they are also mass producers of mashed up pulp (per se) ready to be made into paper products. For a closer look check out www.mrelliepooh.com

If they can turn a profit from, well, recycled goods - think what you can do with a little creative thinking. Write me and tell me about your best way to rally the women and create a bit-o-fun in the process and have a great Earth Day.

April 18, 2008

Project Vulcan puts CO2 Emissions into View for Earth Day

How do can we avoid green fatigue? It helps if we can see what we're fighting. Project Vulcan does that. It makes CO2 emissions tangible and shows how it's a night and day difference. It overlaps the emissions from power plants, traffic and manufacturing. It's pretty amazing and shows how the US impacts the world. Getting us out of the red zone is goal #1. Keep that in mind when picking a president this next time around.  

April 17, 2008

WECAI Springs into Earth Day

Wecai_trust_cover_2I am honored and humbled to be the cover girl for the spring issue of WE Magazine for Women. The E-issue is packed with great women with green ideas just in time for Earth Day on April 22.

The publisher, Heidi Richards gave the publication it's new "look" and direction. She also makes it FREE. Download you 68 page copy of the E-zine here http://www.wecai.org/wemagspring08.pdf.

My thanks to the ever gracious Heidi, for putting this Women & Green issue together on top of running several companies while launching WECAI into a thriving organization of 1200+ global women. WECAI, (Women's E-Commerce) it's an organization dedicated to teaching small business women how to become better at conducting business online.

I'm joined with many other women on the same green mission to create a more sustainable world. Suzy Miller questions ethical marketing or is it just greenwashing? Bea Kunz, WE's green editor addresses how we can spend our way to a better world. Teresa Morrow provides Green Cleaning tips. Elizabeth Skronski Supports Mother Earth in a whole new way. Linda Pereria takes on "Are we loving it to Death"?, Jeanne Horak-Druiff wonders if green glass is possible, Diane MacEchern looks inside her Big Green Purse, Green Granny Joyce Emery shares her point of view and Carol McCelland gives green career guidance.

Green_commerceThe Issue also has a special Women's Green Commerce Survey. Anyone who participates will recieve a list of hundreds of green resources which Heidi has been collecting over the last year. We'll also give you the results, first! Link to it from inside of the Spring issue or here.

Earth Day is only a marker of greater things to come. It's all about Purses, Peers, Posts and the Power to Move Green Markets. Download your free copy of the Spring E-Issue and catch the green buzz plus hear much more from the many bright women who are out to recreate their personal and business life. http://www.wecai.org/wemagspring08.pdf 

In Women We Trust!

April 16, 2008

Hey Starbucks (and ladies) I have an idea...

Gals, would you boycott Starbucks if they switched all their coffees to those that were good for the planet and people? I didn't think so. Would you let them know that? Maybe they'll switch out faster.

Img_0684_3At 5:45am this morning I'm remembering that we don't have coffee in the house. EEK. We don't function without our morning blast off, and ever since we bought the Cuisinart grind and brew we must have real beans. It's too early for our grocery store, but the corner Starbucks is open.

Ten minutes later, I begin to search the racks for organic, shade grown, fair trade coffee. They had it last time, but this time only "organic" was available and only one option. I mention my dismay to the cashier to which he commented that Starbucks can't offer them all because everyone has their favorite brew. (Humm, and how did they get a favorite? Someone at Starbucks gave them that option.)

Img_0685_3 "What? Are you kidding me?" I ask, "Starbucks can put a coffee shop on every corner, but stocking the shelves with organic, fair trade, shade grown coffee isn't possible?"

"Here, take the idea card and submit it," he countered from the counter. I flipped over the card and there is MyStarbucksIdea.com. Good for them. So, I added my vote to the fair trade, organic and shade grown pile.

Starbucks is like everyone else right now. They want to do the right thing. They've done tons of right things already such as health care for part-timers and fair wages along with a consistent service that has become everyone's office and livingroom away from home. Help them make the next big decision to stock and serve nothing, but organic, fair trade and shade grown coffee.

They already know they have to do this, it's just a matter if enough people talk about it and ask. Am I wrong? Would you be upset if everything offered at Starbucks carried the triple bottom line?

April 09, 2008

Whose Survey is Right, Edelman's or BlogHer's?

Blogher_biz_backs_4 BlogHer Biz didn't disappoint this year. If you missed it, here are some opening stats. I'll add more info as the week goes on. It's too much to put into one post.

Last year BlogHer Biz was just figuring out what and who to talk about. This year there were case studies and surveys with enough data to cure the questionable. One of the interesting findings can be located on page 13 of a survey that BlogHer took of 6000 women some bloggers, others just readers of blogs. In that 40% of bloggers believed that their blog's biggest impact was fostering relationships with their readers and 38% thought they were relating to someone who cares about the same things that they do.

That's in line with the Edleman survey that Steve Rubel addressed on "Trust in Peers Trumps A-List". Some 58% of opinion elites 35-64 in 18 countries said they trust "a person like me." However it goes on to say, "Meanwhile, only 14% trust bloggers - a figure that has largely remained flat since 2006."

Hummmm..... On one hand the BlogHer bloggers think they are doing it to earn trust and on the other hand, the readers in the Edleman survey reported they didn't trust information from Bloggers. Confused? So was I, especially when later in BlogHer's survey they found that over 50% of the readers would go to a blogger for advice and information. If you're going to someone for advice and information, you trust them. (chart below)

Blogs_source_of_info_2 So what's the deal? Why only 14% with Edelman and 50% for BlogHers? They both surveyed a huge population. I looked at Edelman's report to see they surveyed just women or was it 50/50 men/women Edelman didn't state it. I'm going to assume it was a mixed crowd, however, and maybe that's where the trust factor split. If anyone knows for sure, please tell me.

Let's say it was a mixed bag for Edelman, in that case, you have men in the survey answering whether they would trust a blogger or not thereby bringing down the "over 50%" to 14%. Or maybe they didn't see bloggers as "just like them" even if they have the same likes and dislikes. Now I'm really curious. Or maybe it's because we/women don't see A Listers as someone we can't know. We trust Oprah. She's the ultimate in A Listers.

At least I know for sure, in the case of BlogHer bloggers and their readers that there is a high trust factor going on between them, and that's something that women bloggers and readers need to know about each other. In Women We DO Trust.

It's also something that business needs to know, if you want to put your money on a blog site that has high trust value, put it with a women blogger.

Comments? How far off do you think I am?

How Method Moved to Social Media

Method_cb_tight I was honored to moderate the the discussion for the Method Social Media Case Study at BlogHer Business last week. On the panel, (left to right) were Amy Cotteleer, President of A Squared Group (A2G), Anna Boyarsky, Senior Associate of Influencer Marketing at Method and Kathryn Thompson, who blogs for Parenting.com and DaringYoungMom.com. (thanks CB for the pic)

In preparing for the discussion, I checked out A Squared Group and was instantly impressed. They just "get it" - this marketing to women thing as well as seeing women's for the "really new media" that they are. It's no wonder that Method chose A2G to help them develop a sincere social media program.

Detoxing Seattle

Method_detoxThe Detoxing Seattle program was a completely new way to enter into a market. Method, with it's sculptural design has been in major retail stores for a while, but it doesn't scream "Green" which is its main selling point in an evergreening market. I asked the BlogHer audience how many are "greenies" and a modest show of hands went up. When I asked how many used Method products however, and many hands went up. Without knowing it, they were supporting the green movement, the product's styling and recyclable packaging worked. Being green(er) than other options was icing.

What they did

The agency first got to know different bloggers, like Kathryn on a personal basis. Kathryn already had recognition in the local market, is an entertaining writer and someone who cares about how her home environment affects her family. Amy explained that her agency always tries to meet with Bloggers first to see if it's a good fit of values and interest or not. How many agencies are willing to do that?

Next they invited the women to a night out with cocktails and no expectations except to bring with them all the under-the-sink chemicals that they would want to take into detox. Even if no one liked Method, the night was still be a success. (Hundreds of toxic products were brought in.)

Afterwards, they sent a basket of Method products directly to each women's house. Pretty nice and unexpected. Needless to say, they had many nice things blogged about Method later and now that's a permanent part of the Method legacy for others to read including investors. I know I sure would invest in a company that is good to the planet and good to those who buy it. What's not to love? For the record, Method is the 7th faster growing privately held company in America according to Inc. Magazine in 2006.

What's next?

This very Social Media program will continue in Boston, Minneapolis and more major cities. Their plan is to detox the world one woman and one city at a time.

My thanks to Amy, Anna and Kathyrn for a great discussion that had us all laughing. If you want to be someone who "cleans like a mother" fill your house with Method eco-safe products.   

April 07, 2008

EcoImpact CO2 Food Footprint Calculator

Vegetarians have to feel vindicated, compare the meat with the rice in this widget - almost a 10,000 emission difference. My favorite vice, coffee, is still ok given the amount of cups you get from a 1 pound bag. I'll need to see how they calculated the CO2 and see if they used a Life Cycle Assessment method or not.

April 06, 2008

The Buzzonators of BlogHer Biz

Blogher_her_typepad2What is the sound of hundreds of manicured nails typing? That was was I heard for two days straight at BlogHer Biz in NYC, tapity, clickity, tap...  I couldn't take notes notes fast enough.  BlogHer Biz is very different from BlogHer's Summer conference. It's smaller, more intense and everyone has a mission or five to talk about. 

Sitting next to me was Alysson TeCarr from Typepad which is the software I use for this site. Her colleague at Typepad is to her left, but I didn't get her name. (A little help Alysson?) Yes, Typepad will be bringing out a more customizable format soon. I was taking video with my Flip and then converting to snap shots. That's where all these pics came from. I took shots with a still camera as well, but Flip, that needed less light and you can stop movement, performed better.

Blogher_getgood_yvonne_3Prior pals like Yvonne DiVita and Susan Getgood showed up. (Check out Yvonne's new Lipsticking look.) Toby Bloomberg and Elana Centor were back for another year, as was CB Whittemore. I met up with Virginia Miracle again too, who moved from Dell to Ogilvy since the last BlogHer conference.  I can honestly say I know these women better than my neighbors - even you Virginia.

Blogher_girlfriend_flowerDebba Hauper of Girlfriendlogy was treat, as were Maggie and Paige from Grossman, Lindsay Yaw with her Mind, Body and Soul site called BeThree. Once I met Beverly Robertson  of the March of Dimes we couldn't unmeet. Seemed like she was everywhere there and everywhere on Twitter as well. (yes, I promise, I'll start twittering, really... honest...)  Natalie Johnson the New Media Manager at GM balanced business with pleasure with blackberry. For comic relief... Tara Anderson of Lijit and Kathryn Thompson of Daring Young Mom. (just go her site and see what I mean)

Blogher_taraAnother fun gal I'm looking forward to getting to know better is Terry Gamer, she recently purchased millions of womens' eyes in the form of readers of small, women owned newspapers around the U.S. She's new to blogging and ready to shake things up - at 64!

My thanks to Jory, Lisa and Elisa for again surpassing expectations and combining the best of women, work and inspiration together.

NEXT: business not as usual