SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

September 25, 2009

Using social media to promote green causes

"Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be fish."

— Chinese fortune cookie

In the last couple of years, an explosion of social media has expanded business and globalization. Anyone, any business and any organization can create a page or a profile and unleash themselves into the masses. Some organizations have done very well.

Ashton Kutcher is at the top of Twitterholic.com's top 100 with 3.2 million followers, while Samantha Ronson makes the list with more than 1 million. People apparently want to know if Lindsay Lohan drunk dials.

Also making the top 100, the Green Team's Al Gore and Whole Foods Market have millions of Twitter followers. On their pages, you can find out what Gore is working on and communicate questions about Whole Foods offerings.

But in addition to blowing up a brand, capturing professional connections and publishing work, greenies can also leverage funding for environmental progress through social networking Web sites.

One Green Quick Fixes reader recently contacted me about how these tools helped her promote her cause. Carmenza Montague, originally of Colombia, nominated Marion Institute's Heart of the World project to a competition through her Facebook profile and promoted voting for the organization by reaching out to her more than 1,100 friends and all of her company's Café Yuluka organic, fair trade, shade-grown coffee contacts on Twitter.

Carmenza donates 10 percent of sales from her Fair Share, LLC-imported Café Yuluka, harvested by the indigenous communities of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, for preservation of the biological and cultural resources of her native South American land.

Heart of the World, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), recovers ancestral lands, including those in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, which have been occupied and deforested.

3rdWhaleMobile, which is donating 25 cents for each of its iPhone applications purchased to five environmental NGOs, pre-selected two and opened up nominations for 10 other organizations that would compete for the remaining three slots. The battle for votes was played out through Facebook and chatted up in other social media channels. Voters were not required to buy the application, just simply go to the applicable contest page on Facebook and type in their votes.

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