Showing posts with label green communication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green communication. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22

Embracing Earth Day:

As the sun was rising in the west, 88,000 blog posts focused on Earth Day were added to more than 2 million written this week. Almost 10 percent of them were written by bloggers at At 6 a.m., it was still early when I looked.

Earth Day By Individuals

Rebecca Leaman, writing for Wild Apricot, highlighted organizations that use Wild Apricot Web sites to help carry out earth-friendly missions to help establish a sustainable future.

Mary Ann Strain, C.P., who represents the "Passionists" at the United Nations in New York City, wrote about Chandrika Tiwari in Nepal and how climate change is impacting women, who she says make up 70 percent of the world’s poor. Even in the United States there is a discrepancy, she writes, 13.8 percent of women are poor compared to 11.1 percent of men.

"irtiza104," who is a student in Bangladesh, used his post on LIFE As I Know It to explore the meaning of Earth Day after admitting that he was "having a lot of trouble fully understanding the meaning of the Earth Day." He then goes on to list seven steps that could help the earth, ranging from curbing our reliance on plastic bags to planting more trees.

Doson, a BlogCatalog regular, chose to write an original poem called "The Blue Marble" on his blog, Inside Doson. "Time Thief," writing a few days ago to help promote the event, provided eco-friendly tips (such as riding an Optibike) on This Time - This Space. And Samantha, an artist who maintains Samantha's Art Studio, promoted reusable bags that can be purchased on Etsy.

Their voices will join millions more who are writing, blogging, and attending events in honor of Earth Day, which marks the beginning of The Green Generation Campaign, a two-year campaign that focuses on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2010. Some events are small. And others, are much larger.

Anti-Earth Day By Individuals

Of course, not everyone shares the same ideas about Earth Day. Alan Caruba, writing for the Canadian Free Press says "much of the foundation of the environmental movement is pure lies, mind boggling distortions of questionable 'science', and a thin veneer for the entire purpose of environmentalism, the imposing of a one-world agenda for the enrichment of a few who dream of a monopolistic control of the world’s resources and its human work force."

He's not alone. There are plenty of people who will write about that today. Or, perhaps, remind us how people haven't done enough in what is often billed as politics masquerading as planet friendliness.

Politics Or Promise?

Maybe it's because I grew up watching the acclaimed Keep America Beautiful PSA crying Indian commercial that launched on Earth Day in 1971 (The PSA won two Clio awards and the campaign was named one of the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th Century by Ad Age Magazine), but I like Earth Day.

Sure, I understand the politics and commercialization of it all. It's simple. People will be around to save the planet or they won't be.

At the end of the day, when you deduct all the fuss from the extreme, the net result is that Earth Day helps people pause for a minute or two and think about how we might do this or that a little better. Ergo, Iron Eyes Cody convinced me to promise to never litter again. It's a little thing. But a whole lot of little things add up to something big. There is nothing wrong with that.

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Wayne Dyer

Thursday, August 28

Seeing The Real Green: Modesto

Modesto, Calif. is located in Stanislaus County, an area that grows more than 250 commodities, anything and everything from apricots (called “cots” there) to walnuts. In fact, the $1.3 billion agriculture industry employs more than one-third of the population.

But rich farmland is only part of the story in Modesto. After the harvest, much of the produce is often shipped to canneries and processing centers, powered by boilers that are facing tightened emission regulations — particularly as they relate to nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

That’s were I’ve been for the last few days, touring several processing centers and gathering base information for a special report. The report was commissioned by Benz Air Engineering, a company that evaluates power systems and then determines the best combination of new technologies and retrofits to reduce fuel consumption and emissions in the boiler room, which is the heart of any processing center.

What’s especially significant about the work done by Benz Air Engineering is that it allows these centers to maintain peak operations without overly expensive alternative energy solutions, the installation of new boilers, or the additional cost of emission penalties. All of which you and I would eventually pay for at the local grocery store, which is already experiencing double digit price jumps.

While the tour was an eye-opening crash course in mechanical engineering, there was something else that stood out to me. Most public relations and communication professionals aren’t prepared to communicate green, which is why some programs eventually fall flat. Sure, General Motors seems to be doing an adequate job, but green communication requires something more than slapping a green or blue sticker on a company Web site.

The future of green communication is going to require communicators to get their hands dirty at the source while remembering that multiple publics depend on different communication strategies to stay moving in the same direction. As it stands now, I no longer sure the general public knows what it means to be green or that their efforts to preserve the planet might adversely affect the very industry that seems to epitomize green in their minds.

Maybe it's time to forget fancy ideas for now — like Steron’s marketing snafu that overshot on the concept of free energy or cars that run on veggies — and think in terms of what might work with today’s infrastructure. According to Benz Air Engineering, the solution is simple. Increasing plant efficiency will dramatically reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. How much?

Just one of their retrofits reduced the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions of one boiler from 30 parts per million to 6 parts per million. And, because the boiler is operating more efficiently and burning less fuel while delivering the same output, CO2 was reduced 20 percent. What does that mean? Maybe it means that the backbone of American manufacturing and processing isn’t exclusively reliant on alternative fuels or the increased production of natural resources. Maybe we just need to make more efficient use of the energy we have on hand.

By doing that, it seems to me, plants could not only appreciate an immediate cost savings and financial payback in less than two years, but the overall cost of fossil fuels might level or drop in the short term as the result of diminished demand. At the same time, we all benefit from a greener planet without placing additional hardships on farmers.

In other words, we might not need to polarize environmental communication in the presidential debates between John McCain and Barack Obama. Maybe, we just need to be more efficient with our energy and our communication about it.


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