Friday, December 12, 2008

Green Marketing

Although I'm only in my early 40s, I can remember reading Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Mother Earth News as a kid. Making your own solar panels, growing wheat grass, and designing an efficient compost pile were common headlines throughout their pages.

Many of the people photographed to accompany the stories were usually long-hair hippies with tie-dye shirts and bell-bottom jeans. I wanted to be one of those tree-hugging groupies... complete with peace symbol necklace and a guitar flung over my back. But I never became one. I was raised in a conservative Republican family that regularly went to church and registered me into Catholic school for 12 years.

"Loving the environment" back then meant you were a pot-smoking radical. Today, if you don't have solar panels on your roof, aren't recycling every newspaper and plastic bottle, or collecting the rainwater in clunky barrels attached to your downspouts, you're considered out-of-touch.

Open any business publication or turn on any financial show and you'll hear about how companies are going green, getting off the grid, and reducing their carbon footprints. And I can't tell you how many business cards have recently been thrust into my hand that have the words "solar", "green", "audit", and "energy".

Whether we like it or not, it's cool again to be an environmentalist. The concept is not going away. Your business needs to immediately become a team player with the rest of the world. Print on recycled paper, switch to low-flush toilets, reuse what you can, encourage employees to bike to work, and turn off the lights when leaving at night. It's all good, but in regards to marketing, you have to let the world know what you're doing. Of course, it's very altruistic, to save - to conserve - to protect the rain forest... but from a business point-of-view you have to promote every one of your efforts.

(This entry written right after carrying out the recyclables curbside)


Sarah Jensen said...

So I can buy recycled paper to send out manuscripts. When an agent finally asks to see one.
Or maybe just go paperless and send an attachment. :)

Scott said...

Ooh, attachments. They really do hate them, don't they? Virusphobes! ;)

I do like the idea of sending an eco-thriller MS on recycled paper, though. Mind if I borrow that? I mean, if I write an eco-thriller, that is. Promise to use your name for a lead character. :)