Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Blue City Green Lake Green City Blue Lake has released their report on sustainability in Cleveland. Check it out here.  I'm still taking it all in. I'm amazed at how much they've done and how much they plan to do and astounded that I never heard of GCBL until I started becoming interested in doing something myself. I happened to find their website with a google search. Up until then, the only time I ever heard the phrase Blue City, Green Lake Green City, Blue Lake was in those Lube Stop commercials about recycling reclaimed oil.

Which I think is indicative of the wide, yawning gap of ignorance we need to bridge in order to bring about effective change. For example, I knew plastic water bottles were an environmental problem so I took steps to eliminate them from my consumption. Yet I had no idea about the environmental impact of the toilet paper industry. None. So I did nothing.

I'm beginning to believe that if someone like myself --who is actively trying to learn and 'green' my life-- can be missing out on key information, it must be that much worse for the people who aren't really paying attention. And the people who aren't paying attention are the ones we need to reach.

We need a broad spectrum marketing initiatives. Similar to what organizations like Peta do. Marketing is how we will reach critical mass in fostering sustainability on a local and global level.

Another example of how we are failing to market the 'green' message, mommy blogs. Per the Today Show this morning, there are something like 32 million moms online. 26 million of them use social media such as Facebook or Myspace or blogging. Currently, there is huge corporate interest in advertising with these moms. Companies whisk prominent mommy bloggers away for swag-filled spa weekends. They gift the moms with iphones and Wiis and free samples and advertising dollars. However, the thing I notice is the distinct lack of green perspective in both the content this demographic produces and from the advertisers.

Moms are not going green. At least not on any large scale I can discern. If you've read the 'big' mommy bloggers, tell me the last time they talked about the environment or vented about the lack of green products or in any way engaged the topic of sustainability? I can think of one 'big' mommy blogger who went to cloth diapers. There was a marketing push for the 'green' generation of household cleaners that distributed free samples, but lacking an overall theme of sustainability, the brand was marketed without the core message.

Being a mom myself, and, at times, a mommy blogger, I'm sort of confused as to why moms aren't pushing green. The future of our children is of immediate concern and instead of using our collective power (which is considerable) to do something about it, we decant our power into determining Advil's commercials are offensive. In other words, the politics of mommy bloggers tend to be, in my opinion, superficial and short term as opposed to focusing on the issues that matter.

Again, I think this all goes back to marketing and outreach. While going green tends not to rely on the mass consumerism driving most of mommy blogger advertising revunue, there are green products (like toilet paper!) that could be leveraged into a comprehensive green campaign to raise awareness and bring about change. So why isn't it being done?


  1. I think you have it backward - it's Green City, Blue Lake.

    They are a very cool group.

  2. Heh. Yes I do have it backwards! Thanks. I am slightly dyslexic. Keeping with the toilet paper theme, I used to call it paper toilet for a looooong time.

    I'll edit and fix it!

    And GCBL is a good organization-I am just surprised I had to dig to find them.