64 posts categorized "Colorful Women"

April 26, 2011

Online Women or Location, What Drives Green Spending?

Amazon put out a green dot survey correlating the purchasing of green sector products. It's fascinating if you like tracking trends. [Go here to read the entire article in Green Biz.] One chart tracks energy products, another water, and another (below) parenting. 

The article draws the conclusion that financial or locational needs were driving the purchasing for energy and water, but when it came to green parenting what was driving that?

Why is there a green dot in the NW corner of the lower peninsula of Michigan? It's not exactly where you'd expect to see a green dot, San Francisco or the East Coast sure, but upper Michigan? 

The Amazon research was based on number of green items a parent purchased off of Amazon, such as Green Baby  and Toys.  One reason more green products are being purchased and mailed to Northern Michigan could be Sommer Poquette based in Petosky, MI. She's been a green mommy blogger for years on her Green and Clean Mom blog. Sommer has been so successful, that she's turned it into a business. 

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Screen shot 2011-04-26 at 8.25.19 AM Can I give Sommer all of the credit, probably not, the Great Lakes Bioneers conference spearheaded by Sally Van Vleck and Bob Russell holds their meetings just around the bay in Traverse City each October. For years Sally, Bob, and the Bioneers have been raising green and sustainable awareness. There are even green baby stores in Traverse City.  

But the Amazon article was based on purchasing from Amazon and specifically, they looked at items for "green" babies and children.  That takes an online champion, which makes me see Sommer as a larger influence. Her blog averages 6000 unique visitors a month according to Compete.com. Whether she links to Amazon or not isn't as important as that she is a constant voice for online readership and from there, Amazon is a click away.

I would like to see more research on this topic. When you look at all the maps, one thing is clear, if purchasing is an indicator of culture, the nation is beginning to put their money where their values are -- and that starts with pockets of people who are talking about and buying the solutions. 

Thanks to all the women (and men) who keep the drip, drip, drip of conversation going. 

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March 10, 2011

Change the World with Service Learning

Screen shot 2011-03-10 at 1.22.59 PM Katy Faber who authored Non-Toxic Kids and Why Teachers Quit and How We Might Stop the Exodus has added another solution for the world's ills with her new book, Change the World with Service Learning

"Service learning is a learning tool to empower students to solve problems in their own communities, or even globally. It is a student-driven process, where students learn about a particular issue, place, or problem, then figure out how to take action in a positive way. Then they actually do it." [emphasis mine] Katy goes on to tell how students do the research, make calls, write letters, and solve problems... ultimately sharing the outcome with their communities.

What business person wouldn't want to hire a kid who came to them with those skills? I told a friend recently that I wouldn't hire someone with a four year degree because they have no real-world skills even after four years!

And that's the point, service learning teaches a wide range of functional skills while at the same time instills empathy, compassion, and confidence. As a potential employer, I want that in my employee as well -- someone who doesn't have to be micro-managed because I know they'll make the right decisions. 

And yet too many schools don't offer a program like this or if they do, it's as an elective afterthought. Katy is taking the stand that service learning needs to be an embedded part of public education. 

A young neighbor of mine attends a school with "service days," a full day for the kids to go out into the community and help others. Each time she comes back from one of these experiences, you can see the change. Think about what kind of citizens we could grow if all schools carried the full program that Katy outlines in this book.  

Katy's research has discovered that service learning can increase standardized test scores, improve GPA and attendance, reduce drop out rates, increase civic responsibility, create community connections and even (gasp) improve teen angst. Again, what's not to love. 

This isn't an awareness book, however, this is a step-by-step workbook as the subtitled says showing how to organize, lead, and assess service learning projects. 

Katy puts out a call-to-action to her teaching peers to get this program started in their schools. I would add that this is a program in which local businesses and non-profits should also read and partner with the schools. 


March 08, 2011

Changing the World, 100 Years at a Time

Screen shot 2011-03-03 at 2.10.14 PMGo ahead, take your shoes off and spin around a couple of times, today is the 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day celebrating the work that women are doing to change the world. Today is a day to reflect back and advance forward. [art from Art and Spice Creations] 

This morning on a pier in Oceanside, CA,  women are stretching their muscles and getting ready to walk across the United States. Dubbed the  Sole2Soulwalk.com, it will be an ever-evolving crowd as it journeys to Washington DC arriving sometime in September 2011.  Along the way they hope to bring women's issues to the attention local and national papers. Anyone can participate, go here for the map then get your shoes and attitude on. 

Since the 60s women are now "seen", but we are still not "heard"... 

Attitude isn't enough going forward, we need to get our voices involved. This past Sunday I participated in the Op Ed Project which educates women to speak out and help get articles placed in high ranking newspapers and magazines. Katie Orenstein launched the Op Ed effort after learning that only 15% of op ed pieces are contributed by women. Watch her below and see if it doesn't fire up your keyboards.

"The op ed pages of our nation's newspapers are 85% written by men. These pages are extrodinarily powerful and are also theaters for all other media. So for example, 84% of guests on morning talk shows are men, 85-95% of radio and TV producers are men, and it's not a very big leap to know that 85% of congress is male..." Katie Orenstein, founder of the Op Ed Project.

Are you ready to dance to a new tune and lead others?

 Take training from www.theOpEdProject.org, start a blog, or simply begin leaving your comments on newspaper articles and show your gender by giving your real name. Be brave. Put it out there for all to know what you think is just as important as what anyone else thinks. We won't need another 100 years before change happens, 10 years of persistent writing can change the world if more women put their opinions online and in print. We have 15% now, Katie thinks 30% is a tipping point. That's doable.

A big shout out for all the women who took the first step -- Chardonnay Vance,  Carol Kim, Talia Inlender, Bonnie Samotin, Tracie Morales, Umbreen Bhatti, Edina Lekovic, Melina Baray, Christine Kwok, Sarah Schuh, Tabby Biddle, Pia Guerrero --I'm looking forward to reading what you think. My thanks also to MC Sunglaila and Becca Frucht for their insights during the day. 

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December 30, 2010

I Resolve -- To Keep Earth in Business*

Screen shot 2010-12-30 at 1.40.13 PM If prior years were about green awareness, 2010 was about green market traction for companies and consumers. Next year, the market will turn full-frontal-green -- so in 2011  I resolve to buy green or buy nothing and nix the plastic packaging wherever I can. 

Because of progressive-thinking companies like Patagonia, thousands of businesses are turning into adults and taking responsibility for their eco/social-actions. Check out the video below on 1% for the Planet, it cured my cynicism.  (*BTW, whomever thought up "Keeping Earth in Business" as a tag line deserve a bonus. Love it!)

This is bigger than going green, it's about inspiring everyone around us to rethink our processes and give our lives a do-over. Need a personal mission statement, borrow Patagonia's: 

Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. 

Check out the video and see how the power of 1% for the Planet inspired Sweat Pea Bikes -- then see if you aren't like me wondering how you pull the cash together for a custom fit frame...  

(Go to Hulu.com if you want the full movie experience.)

May 28, 2010

Jill Konrath and Sales Sisters are Breaking the Sales Book Ceiling

Screen shot 2010-05-28 at 11.20.55 AM Friend and big company sales expert, Jill Konrath has done it again, she has a top sales book on Amazon along with Linda Richardson and Andrea Walz. 

Jill is dead on with SNAP Selling, I've pitched thousands over the past 35 years; those on the other side of the desk were making snap decisions long before the Internet shorten their attention span even further. 

I can't wait to read her book, Jill always delivers fresh approaches that work in today's environment. I'm going to take advantage of the download freebies here as well.  

Congrats. Go Girls!

#1 SNAP Selling, Jill Konrath

#2 Sales Coaching, Linda Richardson

#3 Perfect Selling, Linda Richardson

#12 Selling to Big Companies, Jill Konrath

#20 Getting to No, Andrea Walz

May 09, 2010

Mother's Day = Save Society Day?

Is it time for a new Mother's Day tradition that goes beyond flowers and dinner? That would be YES if Michelle Obama and women around the world have a vote. 

Julia Ward Howe started it in 1870 with her Mother's Day Proclamation. It was a pacifist reaction to the American Civil War and the Franco-Prussian Way. She believed that women had a responsibility to shape their societies at the political level. 

Today at 1:00, women will be standing silently across the globe for 5 minutes as witnesses for change. They'll be recreating the moment when two grandmothers stood still for a day in a park and more and more women joined them in silent protest as they stared at city hall. It seems like a silly thing to do, but imagine how you'd feel if 1000 people gathered and looked at you in silence. 

This morning Michelle Obama sent the following email outlining the things that the Obama administration has done to make the world a better place for women and families to live. It's too good not to reprint the entire thing.

Women tamed the wild west, why not the world? Happy Mother's Day to all who bring peace to their homes. (kisses Bena)

The White House, Washington

Dear Friend,

There's no way I could ever measure all that my own mother has done for me. She is my rock. She pushes me to be the best professional, mother, wife and friend I can be.

As a mother myself, I've come to realize that being a mom isn't always easy and that no one can do it alone.

My husband understands the many challenges facing today's mothers and their families. His Administration has taken steps to level the playing field and ease the burden.

The first bill the President signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to ensure that no women face the same discrimination and injustices that Lilly did after 20 years on the job. When women make less money than men for the same work, families have to work harder just to get by.

The President signed an Executive Order creating the first-ever White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Federal agencies take women and girls into account in their daily work and to ensure that our daughters have the same opportunities as our sons.

Through the Let's Move! Initiative and the President's Task Force on Childhood Obesity, we're helping to provide parents with the knowledge and tools they need to make healthy choices for their children and teach their children to make healthy choices for themselves.

This week, we are celebrating Women's Health Week to promote steps women and girls can take to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

Mother's Day is about showing our gratitude for the mothers and mother figures who have influenced our lives. The President and I would like to extend our warmest Mother's Day wishes to all of the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and friends who have inspired a child.

Happy Mother's Day!

Michelle Obama

April 29, 2010

In Women We Trust: Lynn Tilton

Lynn Tilton puts her money where her mouth is - LOTS of money - about $7 billion give or take a million. 

I never heard of her until last week, and this week I can't get her words or her mission out of my mind. Here she is on EconoWatch in 2008 at $5 billion and 30 companies, today she has 70 billion invested in her Patriarch Partners group in companies from helicopters to Spiegel Catalog.

Lynn is focused on saving good companies with a solid structure, who may have lost their way, from being chopped up and sold in pieces. She has taken her ideas to Wall Street and Congress and now is taking them directly to the street - main street to be precise.

Saving America's self-esteem one company and job at a time is something I can get behind.


And here she is a year later on Power Lunch a little blonder, bolder and a few billion bigger. She has a plan for saving companies and jobs with her SMERescue, for small and midsized businesses.


April 18, 2010

Green Women Celebrate Earth Day's 40th Birthday

Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 7.01.35 AMWhoo Hoo! Light 'em if you got 'em, Earth Day's 40th birthday is here on April 22. It's time to pause and praise the thousands, maybe millions of Green Women making every day Earth Day by greening their homes and encouraging others through their blogs and community action projects. 

From mommy bloggers like Heather Hawkins and Renee Limon from EnviroMoms to members of the Green Mom Carnival to the team behind the Eco Mom Alliance and their 25,000 green gal pals - women everywhere are joining to support each other's work. 

All the awareness and buzz that they generate is fabulous. In tandem and equally important (but not as visual) are the women working in the B2B zone helping to bring the building, products and investment side of things into the main stream. Together the two groups are co-creating the next eco-culture. 

Coming up on April 28th, The Green Standard Organization, lead by Deborah Dunning, will be hosting a thought leader forum on sustainable standards in DC. They'll be covering the processes, education, financial backing, buildings, products... everything a business needs to make it on a global scale. Deborah's known for her ability to translate sustainable product performance information into a user-friendly format. Between her and another visionary, Marilyn Farmer of Green Building Pages, no one has an excuse that they can't learn what it takes to be sustainable. 

Also at the forum are Leanne Tobias, LEED AP and expert in sustainable commercial real estate projects and portfolios. Working with Leanne, is Martha Paschal. Martha also works with commercial real estate and watches for ways to match Federal stimulus funds to energy-efficient, multi-family projects. 

Another partner in sustainability is Debra Italiano who is so incognito that she doesn't even have a Linked in page, yet if you dusted a sustainable business deal for fingerprints you'd find hers all over it. Without women like these locating opportunities and turning owners into partners, many enterprises wouldn't see the light of an investment day. 

It all comes down to cold, hard, GREEN cash. Without the business of business buying into and enabling change, the green momentum we see now would never make it into mainstream culture. That's where Mindy Lubber, the President of Ceres comes in. (watch her below) Ceres is the leading coalition of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups. The group touches trillions of dollars and helps guide mega companies into being more environmentally and socially responsible or face the consequences in their stock value. 

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Coral Rose who was at the inception of WalMart first sustainable product experience. Look at what Wal Mart's sustainable direction has done for their profit margin and influence since then. 

These women represent the millions of other women who are holding their ideals high and keeping the green torch burning in the most carbon-free way. At some point soon, perhaps this year, the B2C and B2B worlds will meet. At that moment we'll have the rebirth of a sustainable economy and one heck of a party. 

Happy 40th Earth Day!

April 03, 2010

Which Came First, the Ads or the Cultural Change?

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Are we changing the culture or is the culture changing us? Recently my enlightened brother sent me a collection of ads from our childhood, (thanks Bill) how absurd, how stupid, how PRESENT in everything we saw or read back then. If you watch Mad Men, you have a good idea how these insane ideas were created, approved and given a run-of-media. 

Can you imagine the outrage if a company ran something like this today? Women bloggers such as Yvonne DiVita would be all over it and the company would have to overcome years, maybe decades of the moment's bad judgment. That's the power of checks and balances in today's wired world. 

Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 5.10.13 AMIf it was still a man's world per se, would we see the things that women value coming to market today? To phrase it another way, will the world become more sustainable because a company decided it was the moral thing to do or because it's the economic thing to do? My money's on the latter.

Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 5.09.22 AM Screen shot 2010-04-03 at 5.09.05 AM The ads of the 50s and 60s happened because the values of those creating, approving and running the ads put them there. The ads you see today are being created, approved and run by a different gender to please a very different audience - the female consumer. Consequently, feminine values are beginning to permeate the social system. 

With the help of millions of bloggers, 50 years from now our grandchildren will see ads that are equally absurd - ads that promote bottled water, non-organic food and products that pollute the water and damage third-world societies. 

No company wants to be on the wrong side of culture, it's the fastest way to lose marketshare. 

P.S. in the NY Times on  4.11.10  Nike is beginning to see the push back when it continues to back faulted star athletes. Women and men aren't buying the message or the product... and worse (for Nike), they are willing to write why in a public forum that will be searchable for years. 

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March 02, 2010

One woman, One message, JUST SAY NO, TO PLASTIC

I get asked all the time 'What can I blog about"?  Each time I use Beth Terry as an example, she's passionate about what she does and it's inspiring the world to take note and follow her lead - consume less plastic.

When I watch the National Geographic channel and see how many organic items (hair, bones, seeds) can be found thousands of years later by archaeologists, it makes Beth's message even more powerful. As my husband and I watched this ABC segment on Beth, we are re-motivated to further tighten up our own consumption. Even If you don't believe in climate change, the least we can all do is commit to pollution change.