The Clean and Green Club, April 2016

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Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Marketing Tip, April 2016
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Want to say thank you to me for all my hard work bringing you this newsletter since 1997? 

One way would be to order your copy of Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World by April 18 from Amazon–all sales before the pub date count in figuring out best-seller status, and I’m close to being a category best-seller. Would love to have your help in getting there. The book comes with cool bonuses, too: see . Scroll down and you’ll see a green-tinted box (or plain text if you have HTML turned off) with the order link.

If you would like to do a very small and easy thing to help, consider donating a single automated Tweet and/or Facebook post, pre-written for you. It takes 30 seconds to sign up at — just click one or more of those big red buttons.
This Month’s Tip: My Selfish Motivation for a Lifetime of Activism
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You know by now that I’m not only a marketer but a committed activist, working more than 40 years to create a better world. Now, here’s the part you might not know: I put those thousands of hours in, gave all those speeches, wrote all those books, started several movements and organizations—because I’m selfish.

But what differentiates me from, say, Donald Trump or the Koch Brothers (besides their obvious vast wealth and ultraconservative politics) is this:

—>I define making the world better as in my self-interest. I work to make the world better, so I (and my kids, their as-yet-unborn kids, my friends, and those who are suffering currently) can have a better world. That helps me and the people I care about.

It’s looked pretty much like this, going back to age 12 when I really got going with making the world better:

1969-75: peace in Vietnam. Because I didn’t want to go to war when I turned 18. I actually started mentally working on my Conscientious Objector essay when I was about 12. 

1970-present: environment, at least to a limited degree (I helped defeat my first nuclear plant in 1971, before I really knew very much). I thought clean air and clean water were not just nice-to-haves, but have-tos. How to bring them about if not by working for a cleaner environment?

1971-73: high school student rights/multiculturalism at my high school, and oddly enough, a side exploration in the Libertarian Party. Because my rights were at risk. I wanted freedom to dissent as a student, and freedom from draconian laws about things that were really no business of the government.

1973-85: LGB activism (we didn’t know more than a couple of Ts back then). The B part is about me.

1974-81: Safe energy/no nuclear power/no nuclear weapons. Because keeping the world from cataclysm is a part of those environmental have-tos.

1983-98: A lot of community board service on affordable housing, reinventing democracy, a free-form dance collective (the arts have always been part of my social change work), disability rights, and even a board advising the local District Attorney on civil rights issues from various minority perspectives. Worked with my city councilor to create the first nonsmokers’ rights regulations in our area. Also was involved in several mayor and city council races, including three where I ran as a council candidate, one where I managed a successful insurgent campaign (we won by seven votes), and a mayoral race where I wrote all the press releases. Because I wanted a better city and county to live in, and I saw the City Council as constituted in the early 1980s as a very repressive institution that did not represent the wave of new immigrants to town such as myself.

1999-2000: Founded and played key organizing/leadership roles in a group that saved a local mountain in just 13 months (I thought it would take 5 years). And it means that every time I drive by that site (just a mile from my house), I DON’T have to look at ugly houses going all the way up to the ridge line, or sit in traffic as they exit onto the main road.

2002-present: Reinventing the business world as an ethical, environmentally conscious partner in transformational social change
the last two years of it focused on turning hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance. Because, thinking holistically, making business a partner in bettering the world betters conditions for the people and other critters that live here—and that includes me. And also because business has the resources, technology, and yes, motivation to do this work, where activists are often lacking some of those pieces.

So there you have my true confession: I make the world better, so I can live in a better world. And isn’t that as good a motivation as any?

What’s YOUR motivation to change the world?

Preorder your copy of Shel’s newest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World

Learn how the business world can profit while solving hunger, poverty, war, and catastrophic climate change (hint: they’re all based in resource conflicts). Endorsed by Chicken Soup’s Jack Canfield, business blogger and bestselling author Seth Godin, and many others. Release date is April 19, just in time for Earth Day, and you can now preorder from several major booksellers (or get autographed and inscribed copies from me). Learn all about this powerful book at
Shel Interviews Thought Leaders
Michael Shuman, author of The Local Economy Solution, is the first person I’ve interviewed for a new series with thought leaders in enviro-friendly and/or transformational business. Michael talks about why most conventional economic development makes no sense and what to do instead.
Hear and Meet Shel
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About Shel & This Newsletter

As a green and social change business profitability/marketing consultant and copywriteraward-winning author of ten booksinternational speaker and trainer, blogger, syndicated columnist – Shel Horowitz shows how green, ethical, and socially conscious businesses can actually be *more* profitable than your less-green, less-socially-aware competitors. His award-winning 8th book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet was a category bestseller for at least 34 months (and is now available exclusively through Shel). Shel also helps authors/ publishers, small businesses, and organizations to market effectively, and turns unpublished writers into well-published authors.

Shel Horowitz’s consulting firm, Green And Profitable, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company. He was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011.

He began publishing his monthly newsletter all the way back in 1997, making it one of the oldest marketing e-zines (it’s changed names a few times along the way).

“As always, some of the links in this newsletter earn commissions—because I believe in the products and services enough to promote them (I get asked to endorse lots of other programs I don’t share with you, because I don’t find them worthy).”
Privacy Policy: We Respect Your Privacy

We collect your information solely to let our mailing service send you the information you request. We do not share it with any outside party not involved in mailing our information to you. Of course, you may unsubscribe at any time—but we hope you’ll stick around to keep up with cool developments at the intersections of sustainability, social transformation, and keeping the planet in balance. Each issue of Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Newsletter has a how-to or thought-leadership article and a review of a recommended book. We’ve been doing an e-newsletter all the way back to 1997, and some of our readers have been with us the whole time.

NEW YORK BOOK LAUNCH EVENT for Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World: Green America’s Green Festival—New York, TOMORROW, Saturday, April 16, Javits Center. Mainstage talk at 11:30 a.m. followed by book signing. This is a great event; I’ve attended several times and this will be my third time speaking. Not just terrific speakers but also great organic food samples and cool products like the wallet and purse vendor who makes stuff out of old tires (I use one of those wallets that I bought there a couple of years ago).
GUEST ON THE BILL NEWMAN SHOW, WHMP 1400 AM & 96.9 FM, Northampton, MA and online, Monday, April 18, between 9-10 a.m. ET

GUEST FOR ASK THOSE BRANDING GUYS, Monday, April 18, 1:15 p.m. ET/10:15 a.m. PT, and live over KVSF (101.5 FM) Santa Fe, NM

INTERVIEW WITH TODD SCHNICK,, airs April 18 (and beyond)

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION DATE FOR Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World is Tuesday, April 19—and Earth Day is Friday, April 22

SECOND OF J.V. CRUM’S TWO INTERVIEWS ON CONSCIOUSMILLIONAIRE.COM, Tuesday, April 19 (almost no overlap between this and the earlier show listed at “recent interviews”) 

AN EXCERPT FROM Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, Brand Identity in a Global Economy, is scheduled to run Tuesday, April 19 at

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS BOOK LAUNCH EVENT for Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, Wednesday, April 20, 7 p.m., Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley. Come early if you want a seat; I’m expecting to fill the room.


SLOW LIVING SUMMIT, Brattleboro, VT, April 28-30 (theme: Food and Agriculture Entrepreneurship), My talk will be on the 30th @ 1:30 pm: “Impossible is a Dare: How Your Food Business Can Make a Difference on Hunger, Poverty, War, and Catastrophic Climate Change

GUEST ON THE BARRY MOLTZ SHOW, any time after Sunday, May 1, 6:30 a.m. ET


GUEST ON THE ENRICHMENT HOUR WITH MIKE SCHWAGER, Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (and archived on that link afterward)

WEBINAR FOR INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS OF NEW ENGLAND, “Green Audiences, Green Titles, Green Printing” Thursday, May 26, 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT

Recent Interviews & Guest Articles:

Guest on Leon Jay, Socialpreneurtv (you’ll get to see what I look like when I’m overdue for a haircut/beard trim—a rare glimpse at Shaggy Shel)

Western Massachusetts Small Business Show with Ira Bryck

Friends Who Want to Help
Shift Network presents a telesummit, Earth Day Summit: Renewed Hope, Real Solutions and Reverence for Mother Earth, April 22 (Earth Day).

On April 22, esteemed green experts, spiritual leaders, innovators, activists, scientists and luminaries from around the globe are coming together to offer us all a renewed sense of hope, real solutions and reverence for Mother Earth. Join Starhawk, Kenny Ausubel, Vicki Robin, Chief Phil Lane, Jr., David Crow, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and others for this no-charge online gathering — and find inspired actions for a healthy, sustainable and thriving planet.

Another Recommended Book: The Earth’s Best Story
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The Earth’s Best Story: A Bittersweet Tale of Twin Brothers Who Sparked an Organic Revolution by Ron and Arnie Koss (Chelsea Green, 2010)

This is a very well-written book—but not a pretty story. The twin brothers who founded Earth’s Best, the first company ever to produce organic baby food at commercial scale and with national distribution, planted a flag in the ground for 100% organic, top quality, and unwavering ethics.

Starting an organic baby food company turned out to be a whole lot harder than, say, manufacturing natural ice cream. Especially when you have no experience manufacturing anything at all (never mind the specific and very complex world of making baby food), you’re wildly undercapitalized, you discover that no existing manufacturing plant can keep the organic food separate so you have to build your own, your production equipment is beyond ornery, and you’ve chosen to locate in Vermont—3000 miles from the California base of most of the organic commercial growers that existed in the late 1980s US.

It gets even harder when you have to bring in venture capitalists with no understanding of the organic movement and no respect for the company culture, and you’re forced to give up control inch by inch over a period of years. These two very decent men got slapped in the face by the production issues and then knifed in the back repeatedly by the players they brought in to save the company.

Amazingly, Earth’s Best somehow survived, and was eventually sold to Heinz, and then to the natural foods conglomerate Hain Celestial. And it eventually became profitable, though long after the founders were forced out. And not so amazingly, the idea of natural baby food caught on, and all the major players eventually added natural and organic lines. For this, eco-conscious parents should give thanks to these brothers.

But the real reason to read this book is to learn from their mistakes. Use it as a negative playbook, so if you’re ever going for funding, you’ll know how NOT to get shafted. Too bad crowdfunding didn’t exist back then.

Of course, the book is told from their points of view. Those they battled with might tell a different story. And they made a number of errors, and then kept making them. Issues with sourcing and manufacturing had to be overcome, and sometimes that meant dumping unsatisfactory inventory for pennies on the dollar. These things happen. But their tolerance for incompetent, arrogant managers surprised me. And even worse, after getting burned multiple times, I’d have thought they would figure out that no oral promise is worth anything. Get. Everything. In. Writing.

I’ve read a lot of corporate histories, including several in the natural foods industry or other green sectors, and I don’t think I’ve ever read such a heartbreaking one. It’s an unfortunate reminder that too many people in power see business as worse than dog-eat-dog, and those of us who view high ethical standards and a compassionate approach as assets need to protect ourselves from others who are rapacious and uncaring.

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