Entries Tagged 'Consumption' ↓

Tweet your sustainability

Reading this article on brands that use Twitter to promote their products and launch an ongoing conversation with their customers, we got inspired to do a bit of research.

Charles Redell wonders if sustainable brands should tweet, on the basis of a study by Nielsen & Co. that concludes “the average time per person spent on soclail networking sites increased 67 percent from May 2008 to May 2009″.

David Raycroft, vice president of product strategy at San Francisco-based startup Milyoni, seems to agree: “If you are not engaging in these member communities, you’ve already lost control of the conversation,” .

The article mentions Ford tweets, a giant corporation that spends a great deal of time replying to other users’ comments about their cars and new releases:

@Dragonbelly1 Whoa, whoa, whoa. What you mean “don’t like Ford”? Are we really that bad? ;-) ^SM

You may also have heard of Zappo’s case. This shoes brand started tweeting collectively through more than 400 employees. With thousands of followers, this social media initiative helped the company increase their sales in a 20%.

Dell is a corporation learning from its mistakes. After Dell Hell, they seem to have understood the power of costumer influence, and besides creating Direct 2 Dell and Ideastorm, Dell now tweets. They let you know about offers and discounts and get to hear your opinions and ideas live.

Another brand that is listening to their clients’ ideas is Starbucks, though their story is much different. Here it’s a company that aimed at complying with different sustainability standards from the get-go and one that might be consider a clear example of enterprise 2.0. They use Twitter to boost the impact of My Starbucks Idea, a community where you can suggest your own idea to improve the coffee experience.

here’s a list of some of the ideas we launched in the past week – look for them at your local Starbucks! http://bit.ly/Haveu

And even Kogi Korean, a Korean-bbq-tacos truck company is using Twitter to let its followers know where they can buy cheap dishes in every corner of Los Angeles they stop by.

What about your brand? Are you already twitting?
It certainly is an opportunity to take the first steps towards becoming enterprise 2.0, and even to test the power of some of your sustainable development actions. But as they quote on the article by Redell, remember: “You can develop an audience through transparent communities, but you still have to have a good product.”

What is a prosumer?

Every day, often more than once we get involved in a certain type of activity that requires our time and money, but no so frequently our thoughts and reflection.

Yes, we’re talking about buying and consumption. How much thinking did you invest the last time you purchased something?

From Sustainability 2.0, the book:

Over the course of the 1990s, in line with the growth of the participative media and the responsible consumer and free trade movements, a new type of customer began to emerge, the most distinctive trait of whom was an awareness of the impact of his/her actions on the environment and society.

A minority within the world population began to gather at the front doors of companies and say, “Enough! Down with pollution, down with destruction, down with slave labor, child exploitation, pauper’s wages, unfair rules and productive models that are non-sustainable in the long term.”

Satellites, camcorders, blogs, Web 2.0 and cell phones all served to facilitate communications among these different groups and to the chagrined surprise of companies, different forms of interaction came into play and consumers grabbed control like never before, organizing themselves into a variety of movements.

This is the new consumer, the prosumer.

To further this topic, we suggest reading this article on consumers choosing to buy green.

Wash me green

Source: Osocio

Get your sustain on: Internet, toilet paper and awards

There’s so many interesting stuff out there that we thought it could be useful to gather some 10 urls that bring something new to the table, something to chew on.

Here is our first deliver:
1. What is the environmental impact of the Internet?
2. Squared toilet paper = less waste
3. Environment and Energy Awards 2009 winners announced
4. 10 ways to change the world through social media
5. Coca-Cola Introduces New Bottle Made From Sugar Cane and Molasses
6. Green Xchange: Creating a Meta-Map of Sustainability
7. Wal-Mart’s Journey Toward Sustainability and Greater Value
8. Consumers in India, Brazil and China are the ‘Greenest’: Greendex Survey
9. Net Impact Releases Guide to Make Any Job a Green Job
10. Make Your Refrigerator Far More Efficient

Get your sustain on!

The photo above was taken at the Mercado Municipal of Curitiba (Curitiba’s Local Market) and belongs to Fernando Stankuns.

The positive bookkeeper

sustainability-books

Someone once said that you cannot open a book without learning something. Now take a look at your bookshelf. How many books do you have that will help you change the way we live? How many volumes have you read that enlightened you on how to change the world? Do you own a positive library?

It’s true. If we want to reach world sustainability, more than words, we need actions. However, the most steady steps will be of course the wiser, most informed ones. And those steps will probably be backed up with some good readings. We already told you about Sustainability 2.0, on how networking enterprises and citizens to face world challenges. But what else is out there?

A quick search on Amazon.com will drop more than 500 results on learning about sustainable development, taking positive and green actions and measuring the impact of them, or just taking a look into the future of our planet.

One of the experts and pioneers on the field of sustainability is Paul Hawken. He wrote the famous Ecology of Commerce, and his latest book Blessed Unrest, How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming, explains the convergence of the environmental and social justice movements that is happening right now. Another philosopher of the cause is Thomas L. Friedman. He is responsible for Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America, a provocative reading on the challenges we’re facing today. If you haven’t seen the movie already, An Inconvenient Truth, the book by Al Gore, is a must. Not only it holds key information to understanding the climate crisis, but it also provides with some valuable ideas on how to survive it. Also, The Sustainability Revolution, by A. Edwards and D. Orr describes the paradigm shift society as a whole is experiencing. William McDonough wrote Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, where he tells the story of how companies and individuals can do (and are already doing) something different and better for the environment.
If you’re lost in all this ’sustainability fever’, you can always reach for Understanding Sustainable Development, by John Blewitt, a book that presents some educational ideas for getting the big picture. Looking to become a sustainable entrepreneur? The Sustainability Handbook, written by William Blackburn, might be exactly what you need to guide your responsible efforts. A very prolific side on this topic is sustainable design. Design like you give a damn by Architecture for Humanity presents itself as an antidote for apathy concerning humanitarian crises. But a favorite and absolute volume must be WorldChanging: A User’s Guide for the 21st Century. Yes, this 600-page book comprises everything you need to know to become a citizen of this world, and it’s a companion to the website of the same name.

But then again, you might be looking for something much more simple and concrete: Teach Your Granny to Text and Other Ways to Change the World by the group We Are What We Do describes 30 everyday actions you can take to make a difference in the world. They believe that small actions x lots of people = big change.