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3 posts from August 2011

August 15, 2011

Women are Working to Change Our Plastic Ways

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 7.25.27 AM Bettina Wassener summed up the brutal facts about plastic in the NY Times this week. (thank you Bettina)

"About 300 million tons of plastic is produced globally each year. Only about 10 percent of that is recycled. Of the plastic that is simply trashed, an estimated seven million tons ends up in the sea each year."   full article here.

As daunting and disappointing as that number is, she also flagged that starting in September there will be a Plastic Disclosure Project. 

Naming the problem is always the first step to a solution, then when many companies measure and disclose their plastic ways we can begin taking steps to reduce it. We'll be watching and reporting on its success. 

It's a big deal as eventually everything ends up at the bottom of the "hill" and that would be the ocean which no one nation takes responsibility for cleaning up. 

Beth Terry first brought it to my attention when she started blogging on MyPlasticFreeLife (formerly Fake Plastic Fish). 

Screen shot 2011-08-15 at 8.08.01 AM And that's how all these changes are happening, one person blogs, others comment, more gather data, additional groups report on it. And now business is doing something about it. In September we'll have a formal system for Plastic disclosure in in the way that water is tracked or greenhouse gases. This is what corporate social responsibility looks like. 

Note that governments are side liners in this movement. A quick check of the Plastic Coalition team tells the tale of which gender is pushing for this change. The majority of the worker bees are women.



It appears that the Plastic Disclosure Project has two guys (Doug and Erik) at the helm and that seems to be the pattern for social change these days -- women activate and men formulate. Women flag the problems and and give it exposure and men find ways to make it work with business. It's a true co-creation partnership of synergies.

You can't finish what you don't start, so thank you to all the "Beths" who are in activation mode. Let me know what you're doing and we'll feature it on In Women We Trust.

August 10, 2011

Ray Anderson's Choice - Hurt it or Help it

I must deviate from the usual female-centric posting today to honor a legacy creator -- Ray Anderson passed this week leaving a pile of eco-inspiration behind. He chose to "help it" (the planet) and the economy and world is better because of him. 

While Wall Street points fingers and doesn't know who to trust, they should take a lesson from Ray who pushed his company, Interface, into become sustainable. At the time this video was made, Interface had taken the company's green house gas levels down by 90% while their profits doubled -- his customers knew who and what they could trust.  

August 08, 2011

Meeting Up at BlogHerd

Screen shot 2011-08-07 at 4.43.57 PMThe first BlogHer conference had about 300 women, this year over 3,000 stampeded through the San Diego's convention center and flash-mob danced together before eating lunch. What fun and yet the reason I attended wasn't for the celebration, it was to meet up with 8 members of the Green Moms Carnival who I knew only by their postings.

Screen shot 2011-08-07 at 5.01.27 PM 
BlogHer gave me the face time missing from my communication diet. Pictures are those who made it to the Birds-of-a-feather Eco table ... Left to right Seated:  Katy Farber, Beth TerryHarriet Shugarman,Standing: Amber StrocelMicaela Preston, (me)Mary Hunt, and Lori Alper. MIA from this shot Maryanne Conlin who was with a client at another table and the rest of the Green Moms Carnival members. [photo credits go to Micaela for posting the original on her facebook, my phone camera dumped.]

I guess I didn't need to say "Eco-Table" as the coffee mugs and water jugs give our passion away. Unfortunately, that's where the green part of BlogHer stopped. The exhibitor's hall wasn't exactly dark green, more of a scattered green. 

The best of the green crowd -- Moms Clean Air Force a group trying to convince Congress to vote with our lungs in mind. Isn't it a shame that we have to lobby for something that should be a slam dunk common sense vote? PEW Health Group was represented, asking to get anti-biotics out of your food chain. Cotton Incorporated demo'd how they turn old jeans into safe house insulation. PaperCulture.com talked to me about how expensive it is to become sustainably certified, yet his card line up was as organic as he could make it on his own. Dolphinorganics.com took it a step further and are NSF certifed, but that they weren't listed on GoodGuide.com yet. And that was about it for sustainable actions.

Other companies were there with green advertising, but their products were far from green in execution and packaging. For that reason, I'm not mentioning them here. That's where I draw the line, if a company isn't working at becoming truly sustainable, not just painting old products a "green", then they don't get any airplay from me.

The scene on the exhibit floor was that of bloggers-gone-wild picking up tons of freebie stuff. The after parties provided even more plunder. Who needs Oprah when you can go to BlogHer and fill your holiday gift list. I'm not sure how to change that now that the expectation is set, and a part of me wouldn't want to if the products were made sustainably; as for now, it's just more stuff that will end up in an overcrowded landfill.

Sighhhh. I had such high hopes after my first BlogHer conference, maybe some day it will get back to its purposeful roots.