NOTHING NEW: Crunchy green networking

When I decided to take on The Compact to buy nothing new for a year, I fully expected criticism from people who thought I was nutty.

What I fear the most (well not fear really but trying to make this sound dramatic) is the disdain of what I call the militant environmentalists. The purists, who would scold me for still using paper towels and paper plates when I should have ditched them years ago. The women who use cloth diapers and don’t color their hair because of the chemicals.

You know, those people.

The people who don’t eat critters. The ones who want to save the whales and who protest things and organizations that I don’t even understand.

I didn’t know the lingo, but I guess they’re called the crunchy green people. It has something to do with granola.

About a decade ago, I used to be one of those people. I made my living in environmental nonprofit work. I coordinated more than 5,000 volunteers each year to do community cleanups and beautification projects. I taught recycling education for our own Indian River County Solid Waste Disposal District.

But I regret to say that I’m no longer one of those people at heart.

Trying to change the world is exhausting. Reporting on it is much more fun.

Not a whole lot of these folks in our local VeroNews.com market, so I wasn’t concerned.

But I’m so competitive by nature that I wanted to get traffic on the blog up. And I’ve been working on learning to use this brave, new world of social networking so I don’t get steamrolled by a generation of journalists half my age who were teethed on this stuff.

So I ventured onto Twitter a couple of weeks ago and began to network with the “green” community there.

There are green bloggers, green mommies, green entepreneurs, green experts, green gardeners, people who make and sell green products, anything and anyone you’d ever want to find.

I linked to my blogs and surprisingly, they liked it. Some of the people even forwarded it out to their cadre of friends called “followers” by “retweeting” my posts.

I was even “listed” in a grouping of green bloggers someone was recommending her followers read.

And I got a few “mentions,” which are replies or a shout out in solidarity.

Overall, my apprehension about the crunchy green community going ballistic over my incredibly amateurish approach to The Compact was completely unfounded.

From what I see in the posts I now receive on my Twitter “feed” from the green community, they, too both need and apply a lot of humor to their own efforts to try to live good, rich lives without harming the environment too much.

Maybe the truly militant greenies are off the grid so they’re not online. Don’t know.

The blog is now getting visitors from all over the continental US, plus Hawaii and Alaska, as I have “followers” in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Since we’re all working in whatever small way we can to save the same planet, using social networking to reach people around the globe with common environmental interests to do so — and without the use of one piece of paper — seems like the right way to do it.

Next up . . . I forgot about presents. Scouring the internet for a used Valentine.

I’d love to hear your comments, suggestions, even your nasty rants should you choose to opine.

If you have questions and post them in the comment or email me at Lisa@VeroNews.com, I’ll try to get an answer for you.

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