EPA Kicks Off Bloggers’ Roundable with Safe “Back to School” Feature

Maria consoles the Von Trapp children
Maria consoles the Von Trapp children

When the notice landed in my inbox that the EPA would be holding regular green bloggers roundtables, I was stoked. A chance to engage with one of the world’s biggest government agencies dedicated to environmental protection? How cool!

The e-mail included a list of suggested topics they planned to cover: sustainable design, solar energy, indoor air quality,
testing your home for radon, sun protection, and alt fuels. It also called for requests for other topic ideas. I suggested: reducing water toxicity and air pollution in the manufacturing process, cradle to cradle production and implications of new carbon legislation for businesses.

So I was a bit bummed when the invitation to the kick-off event arrived. How to Lessen the Impact of Back to School Shopping. While this isn’t directly in the 3P sphere, I figured I would attend just to support their new efforts. I know it’s a bit scary for a big government organization to interact with bloggers and I know they have to start somewhere.

Sadly, the roundtable  was just about as groundbreaking as it’s title suggests. It covered such topics as the importance of reusing last year’s school supplies and buying in bulk. Nevertheless I don’t want to be too critical here, because I sure am excited about the possibility that regular briefings such as these could become a frequent occurrence. I just hope they become a bit more relevant!

[UPDATE] Suzanne Ackerman from the EPA contacted me to let me know she was reading. She wanted me to let the readers know that the listing of future roundtables can be found here if any bloggers are interested in attending future events. She also welcomes your ideas and requests for inclusion via twitter @suzack777. Yay Suzanne!

So I turn to you, readers, if you could talk to an EPA expert, what would you want to talk about?

Jen Boynton

Jen Boynton is editor in chief of TriplePundit and editorial director at 3BL Media. With over 6 million annual readers, TriplePundit is the leading publication on sustainable business and the Triple Bottom Line. Prior to TriplePundit, Jen received an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School. In her work with TriplePundit she's helped clients from SAP to PwC to Fair Trade USA with their sustainability communications messaging. When she's not at work, she volunteers as a CASA -- court appointed special advocate for children in the foster care system. She enjoys losing fights with toddlers and eating toast scraps. She lives with her family in sunny San Diego.

5 responses

  1. Hi Jen.

    Thanks for coming yesterday. :)

    As you noted, we have to take it carefully. But we really do take seriously all suggestions for improvement.

    And Suzanne’s already working on the next several.

    BTW, I use Twitter to discuss uses of social media in gov’t, so feel free to say hi there: http://twitter.com/levyj413

    Thanks again!

    Jeffrey Levy
    EPA Director of Web Communications

  2. I’m really glad to see that the EPA is having this kind of round-table, even if the topic isn’t exactly earth shattering this time. Blogs and other forms of new media are exactly how many, many people are going to share and spread this kind of information – and bloggers often have great ideas to share, including how organizations like the EPA could communicate better.

    As for back to school…

    The worst thing I recall about those days was the implied social pressure to show up with lots of new stuff. I was lucky enough to go to a school where the pressure really wasn’t that intense, but I do remember a lot of advertising on TV that was aimed at making kids feel like they really needed brand new clothes, gadgetry, backpacks, and everything else. It’s probably worse today.

    Unless a kid is really strong, I think the best thing to do is teach kids how to teach other kids that recycled and reused stuff is “cooler” than the brand new stuff. I sense a great market here for some enterprising entrepreneur…

  3. I’m really glad to see the EPA start the dialogue with the community about what matters to them in sustainability. For me it’s a matter of degrees of urgency as climate change creates hardships: clean air, clean water, clean energy, educating and training for a greener future, water and energy conservation, land use planning for sustainable communities…white roofs anyone? I’m looking into it myself.

  4. Pingback: EPA blogger fiesta… also on Twitter « Christopher A. Haase

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