The Magical Boost of an International Marketing Channel

| Thursday November 3rd, 2005 | 0 Comments


This has very little to do with sustainability, or the integrated bottom line, though I suppose I could make a case that it has something to do with cross cultural relations. Anyway, here’s an interesting marketing phenomenon – rebranding something that’s utterly generic in one country as something special and/or exotic in another.
Boots is a pharmacy chain in Britain that can be found on almost every corner in any town in the country. There must be a thousand in London alone. It’s like Walgreens, but smaller. Basically it’s a place to go when you need some deodorant. There’s nothing exotic about it whatsoever. In fact Britons would probably laugh if you suggested that the store, or anything in it, was even worth talking about.
Enter the Target marketing channel…

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Synergizing Market Trends to Communicate Effectively with Cultural Creatives

| Wednesday November 2nd, 2005 | 0 Comments

images-4.jpgHaving only recently become aware of the Cultural Creatives market, a 50-million-strong and growing segment that shares such values as environmental sustainability and a healthy lifestyle , marketers are seeking ways to effectively communicate with it. According to, Cultural Creatives don’t mind advertising, but they want it to be informative, clear, and truthful without the hard sells or emotional manipulation . Two synergistic business trends might offer some businesses a great opportunity to differentiate and communicate their products’ value to this particular market: 1) the increasingly sophisticated process- and information-focused collaborative partnerships along the value chain and 2) environmental product designs within system-based, life-cycle processes such as in Design-for-Environment (DfE) and Cradle-to-Cradle (McDonough & Braungart, 2002) approaches.

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Kiva – A Grameen Bank Model Run by You

| Wednesday November 2nd, 2005 | 1 Comment

kiva.gifI haven’t done a great deal of reading about this organization (other than what was on Boing Boing the other day), but it’s a really incredible idea. Microlending to needy people in the developing world – funded by single, individual donors like you and me. You can visit their website, and look through a list of real people (currently only in Uganda) who are looking for a loan to start or improve their business. It’s usually about $500. There is a reasonably high level of transparency in tracking exactly what happens to your money, communication with the recipient, and (hopefully) you get your money back in several months. There is no interest on the loan, as the idea is still charitable. [check it out]

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Chiquita Launches “Rainforest Alliance Certified” Brand

| Wednesday November 2nd, 2005 | 4 Comments

chiquita.jpgChiquita has come a long way since the notorious banana-republic days of political and military meddling across Central America. Today, 100% of the company’s farms in Latin America have been certified by the Rainforest Alliance to meet that organizations high standards for conservation, management, and worker compensation. Having completed the certification, “Miss Chiquita” will now be joined with the Rainforest Alliance’s frog logo on bananas sold in Europe. That’s not bad.

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Patagonia Founder Speaks Wise Words in Outside Mag

| Tuesday November 1st, 2005 | 3 Comments

patagonia.jpgIf there’s anything worth reading today, it’s this outstanding article by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia in Outside Magazine. In the article, Chouinard describes business as both plague and saviour for the planet – depending on how it is deployed. He continues:

We believe the accepted model of capitalism, which necessitates endless growth and deserves the blame for the destruction of nature, must be displaced. Patagonia and its thousand employees have the means and the will to prove to the rest of the corporate world that doing the right thing makes for good, financially sound business.

There’s also a great little piece on NPR about 3 minutes long that’s worth listening too. Click here to check it out. (Thx Jill!)

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Carnival of the Capitalists

| Monday October 31st, 2005 | 31 Comments

Here it is folks – This week’s Carnival of the Capitalists! This is a much longer post than usual because it contains many, many posts from a great many blogs that all have something or another to do with capitalism, business or economics. Some have a decidedly “green” overtone to them, and some very much not. Some lefty, some right. I’ve tried to categorize them a bit and added a little editorial of my own on occasion. Each post is a short summary that will link to the original post on the original blog. There’s a lot of reading here, just in time for Monday! Oh, and Happy Halloween! Read on for the carnival…

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Carnival of the Green Launches!

| Friday October 28th, 2005 | 0 Comments

cotg.gifI’m happy to say that with CityHippy’s help, along with (already!) a few dozen other blogs, the Carnival of the Green is on the way.
What this means is that every Monday, all the participating “green” blogs will send one of their best posts of teh preceeding week to be fatured on a “host blog”. The host will rotate weekely. Nov 7th will be the first date, hosted by CityHippy. Triple Pundit will host on November 14th, and so on…
If you would like to sign up, please email kara at treehugger and choose a date from this list. If you want to submit a post – please put together the following:
a link for the post
the post author
the site name the post appears on
a short (3 lines) summary of the post
Simply email all of that to
For this first carnival anything posted online from 21 Oct until 4 Nov is eligible.
Happy blogging!

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Ford Model U – Green, Clean… Edible?

| Friday October 28th, 2005 | 2 Comments

ford_model_u.jpgThis isn’t exactly new information, it’s something a friend of mine dug up. But it’s new to me, and very interesting. The Ford Model U was a concept car from 2003 that ran on a hydrogen engine. But the most interesting thing about it was the soy and corn based tires, panels, and engine oil.
I’ve no idea how well it stood up in the rain, or in crash tests, but it proves that Ford has been at least *thinking* about something other than the status quo.

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Burger King Pulls Out of Voluntary Improvements in Health Standards

| Thursday October 27th, 2005 | 0 Comments

bking.jpgDespite states’ and even entire countries’ moving to improve the health of kids in schools by banning junk food, Burger King (UK) is stubbornly holding on to its roots.
The chain has dropped out of a government led program to get food retailers to reduce levels of fat, salt, and other unhealthy ingredients. Still, as pointed out on PhatGnat, at least BK is being honest about it. The company maintains that “customer choice” is their priority and people make willful decisions about where and what they eat.
Assuming junk food can be kept out of schools, and assuming companies like Burger King can be successfully monitored in how they advertise and sell their wares (associating them with free toys, for example), then what’s wrong with an occasional Whopper? (via PhatGnat)

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High Tech Harvest in the Heart of Silicon Valley

| Wednesday October 26th, 2005 | 0 Comments

comp_rec.jpgElectonic waste is a growing problem all over the globe, but computer recycling is quickly gaining ground to deal with it. GreenCitizen and Acterra, two bay area groups, have teamed up to hold a “High Tech Harvest” in Palo Alto on November 11th. The educational event will allow people to drop off unwanted electronic for recycling. Proceeds from the recycling will benefit Acterra.
This local event is taking place in the heart of Silicon Valley, but there’s no reason similar events can’t take place in any town. The GreenCitizen Center is located at 3180 Park Blvd. in Palo Alto (behind Fry’s Electronics) and will host the event from 5:30 to 7:30pm on Friday, Nov. 11.

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ECOnomics Business Plan Challenge

| Wednesday October 26th, 2005 | 2 Comments

eco-nomics.gifAs part of their “Ecomagination” campaign, GE has teamed up with Dow Jones to issue a great sounging business plan challenge: ECOnomics. The contest is offering up to $50,000 for a winning business plan that demonstrates how “green” business is “good” business. It’s open to all university and MBA students with a deadling of December 15th.

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Oregonian: Bottom Line on Global Warming is Economy

| Tuesday October 25th, 2005 | 1 Comment

oregonian.gifAn editorial in yesterday’s Oregonian sums it up nicely: “If you care about jobs, the economists say, you better care about climate change.”
The editorial is exactly the kind of well argued news I’d like to see in papers across the country. It cites a new report by 50 Northwest scientists stating that unchecked global warming is an imminent threat to the Oregon economy. The ironic point is that many in the legislature who promise concern about economy and business are the same who dismiss global warming as irrelevant.

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Walmart Goes Green(er) with Bio Plastic Containers

| Monday October 24th, 2005 | 4 Comments

walmartplastic.jpgWalmart’s grocery department will soon begin switching from petroleum based plastic clamshells to corn-based packaging. The potentially revolutionary news replaces an astonishing 114 Million plastic containers.
Despite my generally poor feelings about Walmart, I’m pretty impressed – the potential impact on the bio plastics imdustry is enormous, as if McDonalds suddenly went all-organic.
That said, high petroleum prices undoubtedly played as much a roll in their decision as anything else. Furthermore, as pointed out on Treehugger, bio-plastics are often derived from genetically modified crops, and I have also seen reports that some bio-plastics (ironically) use as much fossil fuel as regular plastic due to the use of petroleum based fertilizers. But why look a gift horse in the mouth? Bravo Walmart. (via Treehugger)

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Solar Decathlon Wows DC

| Monday October 24th, 2005 | 0 Comments

solar_dec.jpgFrom Mary Morrison & Rick Anderson at Bainbridge Graduate Institute:
On a beautiful fall day in the Nation’s Capitol, we discovered the solar decathlon. This is an annual event pitting 18 universities, national and international, against each other in designing the best solar home. The University of Colorado at Denver and Boulder defended their title for the second year. But as the students will tell you, it’s an event where everyone wins.
The tour stop in DC was in the perfect setting. The Mall, the park area sandwiched between the Washington Monument and the Capitol steps was an ideal setting to demonstrate the ingenuity, practicality and creativity of young minds interested in transforming the building industry to utilize the earth’s access to natural energy sources, as well as using green building materials and water saving landscaping. Perhaps the political professionals took notice that the future of the building industry is taking heed to the ample and free source of power, the Sun.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is the primary sponsor.

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ANWR/Oil Dependance Video Now Better Quality

| Friday October 21st, 2005 | 3 Comments

TAP_video.jpgThe “Treasure America” video we produced this summer is now available on Google Video in a larger, higher quality format. The video makes a solid economic argument in favor of preserving the Arctic Refuge in its current state. Please pass it on, blog about it, write your politicians and let people know that investment in renewable energy is what this country needs. Watch the video here.

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