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I debated on writing this post for quite some time.  I’ve kept a pretty healthy distance between my “blogger face” and personal life.  I guess my fear was that in building my personal brand, bringing in anything truly personal would immediately discredit what I was trying to achieve.

Then Haiti filled my heart and the ache became uncontrollable.  What might be more accurate is the Asian Tsunami of 2004 happened first and I remained unchanged.  The Tsunami happened and I watched, read, thought, and prayed about those affected in such an unimaginable way.  And then, over time, the ache dissipated, I forgot about those people – my brothers and sisters half a world away, and I continued to live my mostly inwardly focused life.  Now the tragedy in Haiti is upon us and I feel like my life should be noticeably different.  And maybe should stay that way.

Here comes the personal part, that I have been omitting from my purposefully professional blog.  My relationship with Christ has transformed me and compels me to live a different life.  As a Christian I am called upon to care for the poor, homeless, and loveless.  But yet, here I am a world away in comfort and provision, giving only what seems like a minimal amount.  How should I be changed?  How can I help carry my brother’s burden?  Researching the most eco-friendly diaper seems to be a slap in the face to those people that I am charged to take care of.

Should I completely put the brakes on my life as I know it?  No, I don’t think that’s the appropriate response.  But I struggle with what the right response should be.  As I watch the devastation unfold before me on media of all kinds, in my comfortable chair in my comfortable life, I come to the notion that I should be not only aware of the pain and suffering in the world, but be changed.

Gandhi said that you must be the change you are trying to create.  The change in my world, I’m realizing, goes beyond creation care and best practices in social media.  The change in my world is to care for the poor, homeless, and loveless and to help carry their burden.  Carry it as long as they do and not just how long the media cares.

All over the news, blogs and just about as unavoidable as the healthcare debate, climate change talk is unavoidable.  You reduce the shouting to a dull roar, weed through the extreme thoughts, and find yourself at a place wondering, do I really need to worry about climate change?  I’m comfortable in my house with my central air and heat and don’t see any negative impact in my neighborhood.

I am excited to join bloggers around the world as we participate in Blog Action Day 2009, working together to raise awareness and spur action on global climate change.  But as I sat mulling over just what to write, the questions of the real need for action flooded my thoughts.  How do I explain to my friends, who view me as kind of nuts when it comes to this stuff, that this is really something that we should all be concerned about?

It boils down to a fundamental belief of mine that we are our brother’s keeper.  While some are motivated to save a variety of species great and small, the heart of my concern is for the least advantaged.  Those who walk miles for clean water.  Those who survive day-to-day in harsh environments.  These are the people who will be affected the most by us – cozy in (most likely) fossil fueled homes.

Is there a natural ebb and flow to water levels and temperature on the globe?  Yes, of course.  The complexities of our world are great.  What cannot be overlooked or ignored is the impact that we have on our environment.  Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should – when it comes to living with reckless impact on our environment.

Want to learn more or find easy and tangible next steps?  Check out these great resources:

Guest post by Meghan Nesta, who blogs at Meghan Nesta’s Musings. All views in the post are the author’s alone.

If you’re interested in guest posting on the Sustainable Marketing Blog, please read the guidelines, and let’s take it from there. Thanks!

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At first glance the pairing seems as divergent as camping in a tent and enjoying fine wine. However, they are more closely related and more complementary than you may think.

If you have spent time really engaging in social media, not just sitting on the side-lines and listening to everyone else, you have most likely noticed two interesting things:  The increasing force of the sustainability movement and a unique engagement of consumers with the brands they buy.  Perhaps you have heard a little bit about greenwashing or some commentary on personal sustainability choices. Maybe you were able to resolve an issue with your Comcast account on Twitter. Or, more likely if you have found your way to this blog, you have a peaked interest in sustainability and marketing, and you know a seismic shift is occurring.

Both sustainability and social media put tradition on its digital ear. Companies are being forced to become more transparent in both their stewardship of our earth and in their marketing practices.

In the social media business and marketing world, consumers are gaining unprecedented access into what once seemed only as the man behind the green curtain – the omnipresent corporate brand. The way in which brands do business has forever changed. While the platform will surely evolve, (It seems at least plausible that Twitter may fizzle out in a few years according to some recent studies, one of which cites “5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity“, the expectation of the consumer to have the ability to not only interact with but also garner a personal response will continue. Perhaps it is the marketing circle of life. The days of the family-owned community shoe store, thriving on downtown Main Street, where customer service was paramount to success, has now been replaced by the global brand (read: “Zappos“) which is thriving on those same fundamental principles – customer understanding and providing the service that this understanding demands.

Climate change and other eco-issues are becoming more prominent political topics, and the average Joe is becoming more aware of the impact of his decisions. A community of consumers is connecting and is compelled to act. News travels at mach speed: blogs and news bits encourage and require debate. In my case, they compel change.

Here at the intersection of sustainability and social media, real change is happening. Not just a political shift or some sort of cultural fad. Our expectations and the ways in which we communicate are evolving. It’s sure to be an exciting ride.

Come stop by my tent and enjoy a glass of organic wine.

Meghan Nesta is a student of sustainability and social media. You can follow her on Twitter.

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Image credit: wharman

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 27th, 2009 at 2:56 am. You can follow comments to this entry through the comments RSS feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.

Posted via web from Just Meghan

Below is a blog of mine featured on SocialYell’s blog.

If you tuned into SocialYell last week, you got a primer on fauxganics.  At its most basic level, organic foods, particularly whole foods (those that come right off the vine, branch, etc.), may not be as pure as you think.  Prepare to get even more befuddled.

Slide a few aisles down in the supermarket and hit processed foods – for the purposes of this post, anything that isn’t a whole food (see aforementioned definition).  From crackers to frozen meals and everything in between, there is a seemingly endless variety of organic foods.

There are many reputable organic food manufacturers out there.  Keep in mind it’s also a growing industry which forces competition… and adherence to rules, but perhaps only the specific rules laid out to attain organic certification (through myriad certifying entities).  So, your picture of what is organic may not be an entirely full picture.

Consider this, from an LA Times article, USDA Organics Label Comes Under Fire:

Grated organic cheese, for example, contains wood starch to prevent clumping. Organic beer can be made from non-organic hops.

True organics are better for you and the earth and are better tasting.  We need to vote with our forks and purchase foods that are sustainably produced.  Take few extra minutes to be sure what you are eating really is organic and not fauxganic.  How do you do that?  Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. READ – Flip the package over and take a quick scan of the ingredients.  You may be surprised at what is actually in those crackers you are about to buy.  The list starts of with organic ingredients, but there could be other (very hard to pronounce) ingredients as well.
  2. GET IN THE KITCHEN – Start with organic whole foods that are locally grown.  Starting from fresh ingredients that you put together is the best way to ensure you are eating the freshest food.
  3. BE EDUCATED – Take steps like you are right now, reading blog posts, articles, and books.  Spend some of the time that you might be educating yourself on the latest tech gadget, on what you are putting in your body.
  4. CONNECT – Connect with local farmers.  Find a farmers market or buy into a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  Surrounding yourself with like minded individuals will help you understand the food you are buying and eating.
  5. FIND Sustainable farms on SocialYell.  If you know of a great, local organic farm, add it!

Meghan Nesta is a sustainability and social media nut residing in the Philadelphia, PA metro area and loves to connect with other greenies on twitter.

Maybe I’ve now arrived or I’m just late to the party.  I now fall into line with the herd of social media groupies and have a blog of my very own.  Turns out this whole blogging thing, might just be the perfect outlet for all the ideas germinating in my head.  I hope to keep your average page view time of 56 seconds chock full of interesting thoughts that will provide some fodder for good conversation.

May my digital footprint be interesting and lasting!

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