Citizen Renaissance

God The Citizen

It is frustrating that we are seeing leadership from the Lords Spiritual but still a fundamental lack of delivery from the Lords Temporal on the most urgent issue of our times.

To continue the religious theme, I once heard the late Hugo Grynn quote Father Niermeyer: ‘ask not where was God in the gas chambers of Auschwitz; ask instead, where was man?’.

If you’re not reading Citizen Renaissance, I strongly urge that you do. It’s the smartest, most honest fucking writing that you’ve ever read, about . It shakes you up but ultimately makes you feel that everything just might be ok.

Clean Coal? Yeah right

The myth of Clean coal (Possibly the oxymoron of all oxymorons in today’s vernacular) has been suitably de-mythed by the Coen Brothers, in this wonderful little parody.

The ad was commisioned by the Reality Coalition, a non-profit group dedicated to challenging completely rubbish notion that coal can be clean.

Rentoid :: A Recession Proof Business

Not many of can safely say that our business is Recession Proof. My friend Steve can.


Steve runs a little website called Rentoid. Rentoid is like the ‘ebay of renting’.

Instead of buying a lawnmower that you use once a quarter, to mow your dining-table-sized lawn, you can rent one for a day on rentoid. And instead of having your drumkit sitting unused in your shed 363 days a year, you can list it on rentoid (and make some money).

It’s a simple idea. Definitely a good one (Disclaimer time – I worked with Steve on Rentoid in it’s infancy).  And one that’s going to strengthen even further, given the state of the economy and the environment.

It’s great to see a lot of businesses finally getting their act together, and making greener products for us all to buy. But rentoid goes a whole lot further, by challenging ‘consumption’.

As the recession kicks in, people are starting to think harder about how much ‘stuff’ they actually need. At the same time, more and more of us will realise that we need to pull the reigns on climate change too. That’s why is the sort of forward thinking business that’s going to suceed; it turns our over-producing, over-consuming capitalistic world on its head. I’ll drink to that.

Anyway, the purpose of this post was supposed to be to give you a link to a cool video that Steve and his team put together to promote rentoid. But as soon as I start thinking about Steve’s business, and it’s potential, I just go off on one. It’s truly a recession-proof business idea.

Here’s the vid:

Save the Economy AND the planet?

With governments around the world continuing to pump colossal sums of money into their plunging economies, a grand global experiment is under way: can the unprecedented spending provide not only a quick fix for the economic catastrophe but also the measures vital for dealing with global warming.

Yes It Can!

Dare I say it … Thank gawd for the downturn.

Can the economic rescue plans also save planet? | Environment | The Guardian

Keep your eye on Samsung

This looks interesting. A mobile phone that is A) solar powered, B) touchscreen, C) made from recycled plastics, D) extremely energy efficient and E) non-toxic.

The Blue Earth phone by Samsung has been launched Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. Perhaps it’s a promising sign of greener gadgets from Samsung and other manufacturers.

via – PSFK: Samsung Releasing a Solar Powered Cell Phone –

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Message on a drawbridge

I like this piece of street art in Amsterdam, reminding drivers about global warming and rising seas levels – which is a big worry in places like the Netherlands.

(Via Wooster)

10 rules of effective green marketing

Hugh Hough of Green Team has posted the 10 rules of effective green marketing over at the EcoAmerica blog.

This is a terrific list for companies who are just starting to make the move into green marketing. If your business is thinking about becoming green, and how to market yourselves, this is a good place to start.

Here it is:

1. Forget “green.” Okay, you don’t really want to forget it, but you do want to think beyond it. Being environmentally responsible is important, but today’s Awakening Consumers are looking for more. They’re looking at how your brand addresses all three pillars of sustainability: environmental impact, social impact, economic feasibility.

2. Walk before you talk. Don’t make any sustainability claims until you can back them up. Completely. This may seem obvious, but you’d be amazed at how often marketers want to cut corners and make claims they’re not ready to. And that’s a recipe for disaster.

3. Just the facts, ma’am. Don’t tell me what a great corporate citizen you are, tell me what you’re doing, and I’ll make that determination on my own. Simply stating the facts surrounding your sustainability efforts allows you to talk about them without coming across as smug or self-congratulatory. No one likes a show-off.

4. Let someone else tell your story. Nothing is better than a credible third-party endorsement. This is where a partnership with a respected non-profit that shares your values is especially beneficial. Allow your partner to tell the world what you’re doing together.

5. Keep it simple, make it relevant. Your sustainability initiatives should feel like a natural extension of your brand. Several years ago, Green Team did a campaign highlighting Jaguar Car’s partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society to save jaguars in the wild. Jaguar helping jaguars. Its simplicity and relevance made it successful.

6. Look inside. It’s critically important to engage your employees in your sustainability initiatives. With that in mind, look to the people within your own organization for ideas. This is how the partnership between Yoplait yogurt and Susan G. Komen For The Cure came to be. The cause was initially embraced by Yoplait employees on a grass roots level, then ultimately adopted by the brand itself.

7. Money isn’t everything. Sure, financially supporting a sustainability campaign is important, but don’t just write a check and walk away. Look for synergies between your brand and the cause. Involve people on both sides. Involve consumers. Be creative.

8. Tell the truth, the whole truth. Corporate transparency is now the way of the world. Consumers, especially Awakening Consumers, don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to be honest. Admit your flaws, and let people know what you’re doing to fix them.

9. Be genuine. Sustainability initiatives and sustainable marketing has to be real and authentic. It needs to be embraced by everyone involved with the brand, from the person who answers the phone to the CEO. It should be part of your brand’s DNA, not some superficial, jumping-on-the-bandwagon gesture. To help avoid this, think long term, and think big.

10. Have fun. We’ve created ads for a global warming campaign that are laugh out loud funny. Humor may not be right for every topic or communication, but how many doom-and-gloom people do you like to hang out with?

Hat-tip to Ivan for the link.