The Clean and Green Club, August 2017

Having trouble reading this as e-mail? Please visit to read it comfortably online.
Like Twitter Pinterest GooglePlus LinkedIn Forward
Shel Horowitz’s Clean and Green Marketing Tip, August 2017
Like Twitter Pinterest GooglePlus LinkedIn Forward
Before We Get to This Month’s Tip: A Few Quick Things

Did Your Organization Spend a Bunch of Time and Money Creating a Sustainability or CSR Report to Let it Gather Dust on a Shelf?

Here’s an easy, quick, and affordable way to repurpose that content and get more mileage out of the resources you put into preparing that expensive report, without any staff time on your end. I will extract the key items and turn them into marketing points that you can use right away:

Do You Have a Room in or Near NYC that Can Hold at Least 20 People?

I’m looking to barter for one-day use of a room suitable for a workshop, ideally Tuesday November 21. If you have an organizational affiliation, so much the better.

Are You a Videographer Near NYC? 

I’m also seeking to barter with someone who can record the above event, if it comes together.

Looking for a Job? I’ve Just Added a Job-Finding Widget
If you’re looking for a job in marketing, visit the home page of If you’re looking for a job in some other field, try the widget on the home page of

Just Because it Would Be Cool
I need 205 more followers on Twitter to reach 10,000. Will you be one of them? Once you’ve done so, Tweet “Subscriber” to @shelhorowitz and I will follow you back.

Hear and Meet Shel
I’ll be attending Linda Hollander’s Sponsor Secrets seminar October 3-5 in Los Angeles. I did a course with Linda and she definitely knows her stuff. If you’d like to learn all about how to get companies to give you money for their own promotional purposes, visit

This Month’s Tip: 4 Questions to Create Eco-Friendly Transformation, Part 2

Last month, we looked in-depth at one key question: what’s the best way to achieve the result?

Now, we’ll tackle the second question: What can I learn from other industries—or from nature?

What can I learn from other industries—or from nature?

Consider how much innovation has been the result of cross-pollination (these examples are all taken from my award-winning 10th book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World):

  • Drive-through service didn’t start at restaurants; banks had them first (in 1930), and car washes were next
  • Shopping carts (the folding kind you take with you when you go shopping) were invented when an inventor studied folding chairs
  • Sticky notes were a repackaging of a failed adhesive; it wasn’t strong enough for a permanent hold, but a bright person created a need for temporary adhesives
  • Velcro was used in the space program years before it was redeployed to households and businesses—where it became, among many other uses, an empowerment device for people with fine-motor disabilities and kids who haven’t learned to tie shoes
  • A medical practice couldn’t eliminate the long wait to see a doctor, but got rid of patient frustration by providing not just a pager but a coffee shop gift card.

Now, turn your attention to our best engineer: nature. Other human beings have used “biomimicry” to create engineering breakthroughs such as these:

  • Concrete that sequesters CO2 rather than emits more of it (Bank of America did a building this way, and the exhaust air was three times as clean as the intake air)
  • Altered wind patterns through urban rooftops, modeled after the reverse- hydraulics of an Indian forest
  • Artificial leaves that—just as real leaves do—convert sunlight to energy far more efficiently, and using far less expensive inputs, than today’s solar panels
  • A robot hand with more agility and dexterity, because it was inspired by cockroaches’ spring-like feet
  • Desalination systems that not only create drinking water from the sea at a fraction of the energy requirement, but can green the desert at the same time.
  • GeckSkinTM, an ultra-powerful adhesive developed at the University of Massachusetts after studying the way gecko lizards climb walls
  • The Biomimetic Office Building, whose designers encourage starting not with reality, but with the ideal, and then seeing how close they can come to it. They “found inspiration from spookfish, stone plants and brittlestars for daylighting; bird skulls, cuttlebone, sea urchins and giant amazon water lilies for structure; termites, penguin feathers and polar bear fur for environmental control; and mimosa leaves, beetle wings and hornbeam leaves for solar shading.”

Stay tuned next month for Part 3, addressing the final two questions:
How can I maximize impact and minimize friction/waste?
Am I counting ALL the Costs?


New on the Blog

Friends Who Want to Help

Are you anywhere near Santa Cruz? New Age/current events humorist Swami Bhaerman I organized a gig for him here in Western Massachusetts a few years ago and he was hilarious.

No cost to listen to this year’s Global Oneness Day, October 24. The awesome speaker lineup includes Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston, Michael Lerner, Panache Desai, Matthew Fox, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Bruce Lipton, Michael Beckwith, Marci Shimoff, and many others. Another superb event from Humanity’s Team.

Order 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. Find out more and order from several major booksellers (or get autographed and inscribed copies directly from me).
Download a free sampler with several excerpts, the complete Table of Contents and Index, and all the endorsements.
Another Recommended BookThe Storyteller’s Secret
Like Twitter Pinterest GooglePlus LinkedIn Forward

The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t by Carmine Gallo (St. Martin’s, 2016)

I picked this book up expecting it to be a book about using storytelling to achieve a business purpose. It is that, but it’s so much more. It’s really a book on how to change the world through the power of telling the right story to the right people.

Sure, many of the sources are business leaders: Howard Schultz of Starbucks, Steve Jobs of Apple, Richard Branson of Virgin, John Mackey of Whole Foods, Paul Polman of Unilever, Elon Musk of Tesla, Kate Cole of Cinnabon, Sheryl Sandberg who taught us to “Lean In” (and yes, among those profiled who were known first as business leaders, white males dominate, as they do in the subset I listed here—I see this as a weakness in an otherwise strong book).

But many others we know first outside the business world and this list is far more diverse: activists like Malala Yousafzai, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks; entertainers including Oprah Winfrey, Sting, Bruce Springsteen; and public figures who used their platform to create sweeping change: Pope Francis, Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy. And numerous ordinary people who made a difference.

One of my favorite stories is about Adam Braun, founder of Pencils of Promise. After an encounter with a boy in India who desperately wanted a pencil. He started a charity with just $25, and that charity has gone on to build and fund schools that have served 30,000 impoverished children.

Gallo’s format is to open each chapter with a story, often rooted in the protagonist’s difficult early years—and he suggests we open all our talks with a story. He has consciously chosen to present much of the material either through the seven-part Pixar formula for successful storytelling:

  1. Once there was a ______
  2. Every day he ______ (I think he could have said “he or she”)
  3. Until one day ______
  4. Because of that______
  5. Because of that ______(emphasis added)
  6. Until finally ______
  7. Ever since then ______

Or the three-part formula used by J.K. Rowling and others: Trigger/Transformation/Lesson

These are two of many storytelling tools Gallo shares with us to help us amplify our own message by telling it more effectively. Some are common knowledge if you read many books on speaking, such as the vastly stronger appeal of emotional connection over a recital of facts. But some were new to me, such as the biological research that shows why this is so, and the conclusion that if your story is going to succeed, 65 percent or more of the content needs to hit the emotions. He looks at why such devices as analogy and repetition have so much resonance for us (because they turn the content into something more emotive), why so many stories follow “the rule of threes,” and how to develop a “success-destiny mindset.” (Note that the previous sentence is an example of the rule of threes.)

Successful stories involve the protagonist overcoming obstacles, and often require a villain. Every hero needs a “worthy adversary.”

And all these techniques have a goal of moving the listener or reader—he uses the word “transporting.” When you transport your audience, you have the chance to change their point of view.

I’m going to play with that insight myself. Not all of my talks have villains right now, and I am going to experiment with whether adding them makes the speech demonstrably stronger. This might be a challenge in my “Making Green Sexy” speech, where the closest thing to a villain is the abstract notion that green products and services have to be boring. While it’s not a human villain, “Impossible is a Dare” does have two opponents: apathy and disempowerment—but even that may not be clear-cut and personal enough. Reading this book caused me to put up a new speech topic that starts with a very clear villain: the stranger who grabbed me on the street and raped me when I was 11. And that is right there in the talk title: “From Child-Rape Survivor to Champion of Social Change: A Personal Journey.” We’ll see what kind of interest it attracts (and meanwhile, I welcome your feedback on this idea).

Sometimes, great storytellers harness behavior that diverges sharply from the proper and expected. Great storytellers harness our discomfort and break us out of our patterns—like the time Bill Gates, discussing malaria deaths, unleashed actual mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, let me share a few insights (there are far more than I can include here):

  • In cultures with a rich storytelling tradition, the approach is multimodal: including gesture, tone, etc.
  • Learn passion from Steve Jobs’ question, “what makes your heart sing?”
  • Adversity and failure become empowering when we learn from them
  • Storytelling creates a bond that Gallo calls “neural coupling” between teller and listener
  • Stories take complex subjects and convey them in manageable chunks—especially when told in accessible language
  • Stories of hardship and failure say “I’m just like you”; they see themselves as able to do what you’ve done—but never let yourself be defined by those failures
  • Often, the business storytelling successes—and the business successes they lead to—are also driven by a need to change the world: “We’re not retailers with a mission, we’re missionaries who retail,” as John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, put it—or, in the words of Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, “we exist to connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel”
  • Visuals do enormous work in helping us retain a message, boosting recall from 10 percent all the way up to 65—but never get so dependent on your slides that you can’t deliver without them

Gallo ends the book with an awesome quote from Walt Disney: Storytellers “instill hope again, and again, and again.”

Recent Interviews & Guest Articles: 

Shel’s done 24 podcasts recently, ranging from 5 minutes to a full hour. Click here to see descriptions and replay links.
Accurate Writing & More
14 Barstow Lane
Hadley, MA 01035 USA
Connect with Shel



Find on Facebook







About Shel & This Newsletter

As a green and social change business profitability/marketing consultant and copywriter…award-winning author of ten books…international 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), his newest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, has already won two awards and is endorsed by Jack Canfield and Seth Godin. 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, Going Beyond Sustainability, is the first business ever to earn Green America’s rigorous Gold Certification as a leading green company. He’s an International Platform Association Certified Speaker and 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.

Leave a Comment

Name: (Required)

E-mail: (Required)