Current Issue: November 2010

Earn a commission–find me a paid speaking gig in the Bay Area for January 17 or 18. I will be speaking on the 19th at the Sustainable Food Summit. Contact me directly at 413-586-2388, shel at

Shel’s Green And Profitable monthly column has launched. If you know a newspaper, newsletter, website, or blog that would like to run this column, please recommend us. the link is

In This Issue…

  • Pushing the Green Bar Higher: Report from the Green America/Global Exchange Green Festival
  • Persuading People to Buy, by Marcia Yudkin
  • Hear & Meet Shel
  • Friends Who Help

Pushing the Green Bar Higher: Report from the Green America/Global Exchange Green Festival

Saturday, October 23, I did my Green Marketing talk at the Green Festival: the largest and most well-run event of its kind I’ve been to, and I’ve been to quite a few.

The way the schedule worked, I ended up not being able to connect with a lot of the other great workshops—but that was ok, since it took me pretty much the whole day to go through all the exhibits.

Let me tell you, the Green world is hopping! Two years ago, much of what I saw at the show would not have even been on the drawing boards, and now it’s reality.

Some random observations:

Water: Awareness of water as a global resource issue has come a long way in the past few years, and that plays out on several fronts, among them:

•   Products that reduce or eliminate use of bottled water, such as Hydros Bottle: a reusable water and highly portable bottle with a built-in filter

•   Industrial and agricultural processes designed to use much less water

•   Consumer awareness projects such as Corporate Accountability International’s very effective “Think Outside the Bottle” campaign

Community Food Self-Sufficiency: Innovative companies and community organizations are noticing that not only rural people are looking for locally-sourced, healthy food. Urban people want options too. Some of the solutions have been around for years, such as farmers markets bringing their wares to urban centers or Community Supported agriculture farms that sell memberships for a whole growing season. But others could be just as game-changing, such as the offering from Sustainable Garden Supply, Inc. This company does “vertical gardens” and claims that 30 different plants could be grown in a three-foot space. It looks somewhat like an Italian Renaissance fountain and can be used indoors or out.

Fair Trade: No longer just about coffee, cocoa, and tea, the list of fair-trade certified products (and groups certifying them) continues to grow. Sugar, bananas, clothing, and other products are now obtaining certification, and several different certifying bodies are now active. And there were at least four different fair-trade chocolatiers sapling their yummy wares (a far cry from the acute shortage of decent chocolate I encountered when I switched to fair trade several years ago).

Home, Shelter, and Energy: There must have been at least two dozen vendors selling and/or installing solar energy systems, a comparable number selling conservation and retrofit products, plus some geothermal. Attention to wind seemed to be concentrated in the nonprofit organization booths, though. Many contractors were also around to discuss building new green structures or renovating old ones, along with eco-friendly landscaping, gardening, and decorating. And Zero Waste as well as Zero Energy have become popular catchwords.

Fashion and Home Decor: Green has gotten very chic. Say goodbye to the drab monochrome patterns and I-used-to-be-a-burlap-bag look of years past. Today’s eco-fashions are colorful, dramatic, interestingly cut, heavily influenced by world-beat cultures, and look nothing like an old coffee sack. Think of the difference between recycled paper in 1990 and today. Reusability is also big, with, for instance, reusable cloth wraps with Velcro closures to replace sandwich bags—and a portion of the Mother Earth News booth set up as an heirloom seed exchange. And speaking of Zero Waste, many small vendors featured a wide assortment of craft items created from what used to be considered scrap: jewelry made of recycled paper and metal, elegant art papers made of deodorized and sanitized elephant dung (which I actually came across in 2009 and mentioned in Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green), textiles from old soda bottles, furniture from recovered glass…

In short, if your exposure to green products is based on what was out there 20, 10, or even five years ago, it’s time for another look—which you can take by browsing the exhibitor catalog, posted here.

Another Recommended Book: Persauding People to Buy, by Marcia Yudkin

As a long-time subscriber to Marcia Yudkin’s Marketing Minute newsletter, I read most of these essays when they were first published in that format.

Now that she’s organized some of her columns into books, I’m pleasantly shocked by how much more I get out of them. She has clearly given much thought to the order, so that essay builds upon essay to strengthen and hammer home the central messages–such as the importance of knowing your market inside out and backwards, and matching the medium, market, and message.

The articles are short and digestible: 1-1/2 to 2 widely spaced pages apiece (remember—these were first published in a newsletter called the Marketing *Minute*). Normally, I like my content longer, because I like depth. But Marcia wastes no words and achieves that depth in surprisingly little space. Which is why I continue to read her newsletter for more than a decade, even as I’ve unsubscribed from dozens of others after a couple of years, or even a few months.

Icing on the cake: the little aphorism or bit of humor at the end of many of the articles that lets different synapses connect in your brain, and reinforces the article’s message while generating a smile.

As a long-time advocate of these principles, I strongly recommend Marcia’s book, with its easily-digested nuggets, as a complement to my own Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green.

Disclosure: I am personally acquainted with Marcia and we were in a mastermind group together for a while.

—Shel Horowitz

Hear & Meet Shel



  • Second Annual Communication on Top Forum, Davos, Switzerland, February 17, 2011. Tentative title: “Social Media, Internal Activism, and Corporate Social Responsibility: How to Build Customer Loyalty AND a Greener Brand”
  • Teleseminar on Social Media for Book Authors, Wednesday, March 30, 2 pm ET/11 a.m. PT, with Judy Cullins. Still working out the exact title and (very reasonable) price. We’ll have it for you next month, along with a registration page–but meanwhile, please mark your calendar.
  • Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 10 AM-4 PM, my wife and I will exhibit again at Amherst Sustainability Festival in downtown Amherst, MA
Recent Interviews You Can Listen To
Articles By Me

Friends Who Help

Ram Dass (yes, the real one). Forty years ago, Ram Dass sparked a revolution in America with the publication of his first book, Be Here Now. This landmark classic inspired an entire generation to embrace the ancient wisdom of the East, and apply it on a personal level.  Now, four decades later, Ram Dass brings the world his most important teaching in a new book: Be Love Now.  If you order a copy of the new book now, there are free gifts his friends have put together for you,  including tickets to the concert with Krishna Das in New York City where Ram Dass will be live online from Maui. (transportation to the event not included)

Densie Wakeman of the Blog Squad always has good stuff. Now she has a nice little gift for you: a new, no-charge 7-day minicourse called Visibility Boost! It covers:
  • Exactly what it takes to boost your visibility.
  • A simple way to find your target audience.
  • Where to find potential JV partners.
  • An important blogging tactic that will boost your visibility.
  • How to share your expertise so you dominate your niche.
  • How to get more leverage from your videos.
I’ve signed up for this one myself!

Accurate Writing & More, 16 Barstow Lane , Hadley, MA 01035, United States

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