Friday, December 16, 2011

Your Goodbye Is Your Customer's Hello

It's been a long road getting here. Product development, testing, market research, production, scalability never seemed to end. But now you've made it. You have a product ready for your customers (and hopefully the world) to enjoy. 

Now the real work begins. 

Sure, you're certain the formulation is safe, cost-effective, consistent, not subject to temperature swings, and countless other factors, but what have you done to ensure an ideal first experience?

A few days ago (I'm not joking), I strayed from my usual lunches and had one of those single-serve Greek yogurts. The first thing I noticed when I peeled the top was how the yogurt had been drizzled in an intricate pattern. It was classy and enticing, and I couldn't help but smile (and eat!). 

Their goodbye was my hello. 

They could have easily left out that pattern. No doubt, it added valuable pennies and seconds to the production line. Margins would be higher, yields as well. So why do something to your product that couldn't possibly even help sell it on the shelf?

My hello. 

Go back to my description of opening the container. Notice anything important? I was smiling about their product before even tasting it!

Before. Even. Tasting. 

What can we all learn from their example? That perceptions, obviously, matter, but not only the ones you slave over for days, weeks, months, maybe even years. You cannot forget the little things, those that "seal the deal" for your customer's satisfaction. 

Would I have eaten the yogurt if it had just been poured into the container? Sure, but it wouldn't have been as memorable. Which brand will I get next time I'm at the market? I think you can guess. 

Once again, the Beatles said it best, "You say goodbye and I say hello."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sales Without Selling - Part 2 - The Right Passion, ahem, Person

Let's review what was covered before going further. The previous entry covered how the best sales is done without the customer ever knowing they were being sold. "Smell this perfume", "taste this appetizer", "try this cleaner": All ways to sell (if done properly) without selling. Bonus points if you can do it with nothing ever being said.

But how in the world do you get a team of people who can do that on a regular basis?

With a lot of patience, practice, research, and, yeah, time. Not to say that you'll be sailing the glistening seas of sales nirvana immediately following, but it will get you on the right path.

Hiring is a pretty complex process. Here I thought you read a resume, discussed it, interviewed, and either hired or passed on that person. Sure, now add lots of other steps in-between.

When we thought of how we wanted our Connection Development Agents to approach community businesses, we quickly realized that we talk about our offerings not as sales people, but as passionate citizens. So anyone working for us has to have the passion too.

And that, you cannot train.

So, is the resume check sufficient? Nope. For now, let's skip over the skills and qualifications assessment (which we perform differently as well) to what we can call step one:
  • Do they have the vision, the passion?
  • Are they open to learning about sustainability and community improvement?
  • How does that passion appear when talking to someone they just met?
Yes, that is step one. We are a social enterprise, and everyone involved must truly care for it to succeed. A sales person visiting a retail establishment is not what we want, nor can ever use.

A passionate member of the community aiming to help another resident in building a more sustainable world isn't selling. They're making a difference.

And that's not easy to explain in a "Help Wanted" ad.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"GREEN" Is The New Black

This is a guest post by one of our Gold Certification Level members, Organic Catering & Events.

We love to throw a party! There is the food, the cocktails, the friends, the music, and décor.  So much fun.  The one thing we don’t like is the waste.  As a caterer and event planner in South Florida, I became more concerned with that waste. 
As we enter into the season of entertaining, the good news is that with a bit of creativity and a little know-how, you can have a fun festive affair, without it taking a toll on the environment.
Some tips for this season:
  1. Supplies: Think like Grandma- Use the Good Stuff- break out the china, crystal and linens. If the event requires disposables look into the new lines of bamboo and plant starch plates, cups, utensils and napkins, they are biodegradable from a continual renewable supply with little negative impact on the environment.
  2. Food: Leave behind your global thinking this time and think local.  Shipping ingredients from other parts of the world requires a tremendous amount of fuel.   Look to your local farmers market or CSA- Community Supported Agriculture.  The food will be fresher, taste better and generally more cost effective.
  3. Décor: Be resourceful.  Use things you already have in a new and different way.  Use a potted plant orchid or fresh herb, wrap the pot in a cloth napkin and display on a glass block or cake stand for the center of each table.  Afterwards, plant in garden and reap the rewards.
  4. Drinks: Simplify here and take advantage of local or seasonal ingredients by serving a signature cocktail and just some select wines and sparkling waters for your event. My favorite this year is our “Florida Snowball Martini” a mix of coconut waters, vodka a triple sec. Fun, Festive and Memorable. Keeping it stylish and unique without the waste.
For more info on how to have a green party or event and other eco-friendly food, drinks and entertaining tips call or email or 954-568-2383
Always in Good Taste,
Chef Marci Boland

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How Will You Change the World (Steve Jobs, in memoriam)

Yesterday evening, we learned incredibly sad news...Steve Jobs has passed away.  He fought gallantly with pancreatic cancer and thrived on borrowed time for many years, bringing joy and his unmatched passion to his family and the world.
The story of his life will be told, and retold, in every media outlet, each aiming for a unique way to honor his life and accomplishments.  For they are wide-ranging.  Under his leadership, the world developed a relationship with digital music players, phones that acted more like science fiction, and slabs of glass that expanded on this idea exponentially.  But that’s not doing his contributions justice any more than saying that Einstein came up with an equation.  For entirely different reasons, the world is notably better following their presence.
He saw the world differently, in some ways, how it should be, others, how it could be.  He changed not only how people interact with technology, but developed it in such a way that those intimidated could approach it with confidence.  Art and engineering, together.  Complexity encircled by simplicity.
He’s been called the greatest CEO of all time, and it’s surely a valid statement, considering Apple is the most valuable company on the planet.  It’s certainly one of the most influential.  So what can we learn from his legacy?
That one idea can make a difference.  That boundless passion can shape an industry.  That putting your heart and soul into what you believe can change the world.  "Stay hungry.  Stay foolish."
Many years ago, Apple released a new marketing campaign entitled “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”.  It struck such a chord with people everywhere that it can still be found on every Mac.  Take a close look at that letter being written on the icon for TextEdit and you’ll see.  Art and form, together.
Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits.
The rebels.
The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They push the human race forward.
And while some see them as the crazy ones,
We see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
Are the ones who do.
So, how will you change the world?

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Redesign & New Name!

Well, the redesign has been completed!  If you happen to be reading this post through Facebook, I'd strongly recommend you visit our blog at  It has been re-styled and formatted to greatly enhance usability, provide a more welcoming experience, and give you the information you want quickly and effectively.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Sharing: At the end of each post, there is a row of sharing buttons to quickly share with your network.

But now, on to the question you are most definitely asking: What in the world are Teacups of Sustainability?

Excellent question.

I am a tea person.  Tins of loose-leaf tea kind of tea person.  At home, it's the only thing I drink.  Cold, hot, as long as it is decaf after 3, all is great.

For the coffee drinkers in the audience, think about how tea is served.  Very often, it is in one large pot, with each person partaking in the experience using a small cup, call it a teacup.  This allows the tea you're drinking to stay warm (not too much in each cup), while the larger teapot remains hot.  Each pour is as wonderful as the last, since no sips are inappropriately tepid.

So a Teacup of Sustainability is the same idea.  Think of each post as a teacup.  Hot, fresh, and informative.  Every new post provides a few more insights into the large teapot of sustainability.  And you are welcome to partake in as much or as little of the conversation as you'd like.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to keeping the conversation fresh!

One final question: Do you think the address of the blog should be changed to teacupsofsustainability.blogspot?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Sale Without Selling

Don't think about a sales person.

What was the first thing that naturally came to mind? Of course, someone trying to sell you something. Car salesperson, perhaps? Maybe phone service...I can save you a ton of money on your cell phone bill.

In reality, the best selling is done without you ever realizing you were being sold. It isn't meant to sound nefarious or "sneaky"; that's just the way it happens. Remember that nice restaurant you were at last week, the one with the great waitress? Going in, neither of you considered an appetizer or their daily drink special, but half an hour later, there you are, sipping away on a wonderful concoction and fighting for the last of the incredible dip. 

Did you enjoy the meal more with those perks? The empty plates and glasses speak volumes. 

So, were you swindled? Of course not. Most likely, the waitress sold you without selling. Maybe she mentioned what the chef was featuring that night, or even explained her favorite items on the menu.

This is how sales should be handled in every industry. Unintrusive and catering to their desires and needs, showing how the product fits the customer, not trying to shape the customer to the product. 

Turns out, this is a rare skill. Lesson learned for our own team.

But, oh, such a shame...our time is up for today! More on how we have worked to overcome this issue and let our clients and potential customers learn how our products and services can help them next time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A (Big!) Month of Updating

Wow, it's already been over a month since the last update to the blog! Amazing how time went by so quickly, with the soft launch of the Greater Good Alliance (finally!) and the bringing on of two wonderful Connection Development Agents, one of whom is just celebrating her engagement!

Good thing I missed the debt ceiling debate because it sure seems like everyone else had something to say about it. Strange, considering it was a non-issue through all of America's recent history. It's as if certain people are determined to put non-issues in the way of getting real things done.

I can tell you with certainty that we are not those people. In this time, we have launched the ever-evolving website for the Greater Good Alliance, enhanced the Business/Non-profit site, and designed a mobile-signup system for our Connection Development Agents to use while at a business. That's not including the multiple sales and informational presentations, ROI spreadsheet, marketing slicks, and other digital and print items. Or the fact that we now have a full-slate of launch non-profits to help, with many more on a waiting list (Interested? Sign up at and we'll get back to you very soon!).

Our social media presence has also continually been active on Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn (one of our executives moderates the largest Green CPA group on LinkedIn), with regular growth and rising interest.

Alright, alright. You aren't reading this to have me market to you. But remember, most of the world is that way today. You aren't a person, you're a consumer. Organizations and companies who remember that there is a person behind the wallet are generally much more successful. So approach everything with a grain of salt, be prepared to ask questions, and remember to do your homework before agreeing to something or making a purchase.

And if you are offering a product or service, market to the person, not the consumer.

I'll leave you with one of my e-mail signatures: Make a difference in the world...give back!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm Busy...Got Words to Write?

This blog is mainly operated by two of our company executives, and it is unfortunately a difficult thing to keep current with all else we are working to achieve. From the continuing development of the Greater Good Alliance to sustainability projects under GreenProfit Solutions, we're a busy bunch!

So first, some updates. What in the heck have we been doing? Well, we're making progress with website development for the Greater Good Alliance and have more details to share:

For consumers (remember the $5 credit upon launch!):

For businesses/non-profits:

Daily Connection Sample Site:

Internally, we are also finalizing welcome kits, implementation programs, and other materials specially for our member non-profits and businesses.

And now...on to the real purpose of the post!

We want your words! Intelligent, well-versed, and passionate words, but your voice nonetheless. We would love to offer guest writers a venue for spreading a message of community empowerment, environmental responsibility, and business development. If you have something to say, please contact us to discuss publishing! Our mission incorporates helping the community, both private and public, and this will simply be another area in which to do so.

Once more, contact us for information on becoming a guest writer on our blogs. Or, let us know if you would like our own written material...we have a well-stocked library of topics already covered, available for your publications.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Throw it "out", take the trash "away", garbage "pick-up"

Notice a trend in "trash-talk"? Nearly every way of saying trash (and recycling) disposal involves a form of "getting it away from here". So what?

When something is constantly "in your face" or readily apparent: trash on the street, graffiti on the walls, a messy room, it's a top priority to deal with it. We relish organization and cleanliness, so naturally, getting rid of these disturbances is highly valued. But, unfortunately, our satisfaction is achieved when it is no longer in our perception. Sure, the graffiti may be gone, literally, but the trash on the street, well, it was just taken somewhere else...away.

NIMBY: Not In My Backyard is a common refrain when speaking of things that are desired by society, but only if they can be kept out of our awareness. Cell towers, wind turbines (though I personally think they are awesome), and nuclear power plants all fall under NIMBY.

"You want it?"
"What if we have to put it here?"
"Hmm...maybe not so much then."

This same principle is how we treat waste. As long as it is taken away, most people don't give it a second thought. Twice a week, the trash truck comes by and hauls the contents of the waste bin...well, somewhere...somewhere else. That's good enough for most, until we realize that on our joint planet Earth, there is no true "away". Away for one is "here" for another.

Back to the point. By thinking about undesirable things being taken "out" or "away", we lose the importance of their conservation. Take this extreme example: If the local landfill was situated directly across the street from your home, would you make a stronger effort to reduce your waste production, and encourage others to do the same? Sure, because it is IMBY, "in my backyard". Add the N, "Not", and suddenly, we cannot valuate it as clearly.

Apply this to all aspects of your life. From water pollution and conservation to waste/recycling, to consumer spending, there is no away, and a negative taken from your sight is now within someone else's.

Remember that the next time you "take the trash out".

Monday, June 13, 2011

The True Cost of “Deals”

Being of the Baby Boomer generation, I remember when America was the uncontested economic beacon of opportunity and power in the world. Back in the 1950’s and 1960’s, good jobs were plentiful and companies proudly toted their “Made in the USA” tags. Millions of independent farmers provided Americans and the world with an abundant source of healthy food, and small businesses played a key role in driving that economic engine. Unemployment was very low, our good health was almost taken for granted, and even immigration was welcomed. Yes, life was good.

So what happened? Why have we now become a second rate economy? Could it be all about the “deal”?

Sure, we can lay blame upon the rise of the fast food industry, which saw the corn incentives promoted by the government during WW2 and thanks to their lobbyists, still subsidized to this day. They created a factory system controlled by a select group of companies which eventually swallowed up almost every independent farmer, and ensured a never ending flow of cheap foods filled with fats, sugar and calories. A fast food burger is much cheaper than broccoli.

Or we can point our fingers at Walmart, the mega retailer who took on the giants Sears and K-Mart and whose favorite slogan in the 1980’s was “made with pride in the USA”. When Deng Xiao Peng opened the door to foreign investment and a market economy in the Peoples Republic of China, Walmart jumped in and started a massive exodus among American business seeking cheap labor. Millions of jobs were lost to China, (where our trade deficit now surpasses $270 billion), and the trends towards outsourcing spread to many other developing nations which were eager to provide the jobs at a quarter of the cost.

And of course, if we’re pointing fingers, we can’t forget about our own government. Supporting trade agreements which help multi-national companies keep their profits and stockholders happy, while forcing millions of field workers in Mexico and other Latin American countries out of work, seeking jobs outside of their home countries or in illicit activities.

Yes, there have been many stories of corporate greed and influence which have negatively impacted our country since those glory days, and correspondingly, even our environment and social systems have suffered. However, when we take a closer look, who is truly to blame?

Look in the mirror. Yes, it’s us. Unless we were born with the proverbial "silver spoon", from the time we were little, we have been trained to search out the “best deal”. Competition is generally good, but we now have built a mentality that paying “full price” is a fool’s game. Think about it. Deals pervade our media. Whether on TV, newspapers, websites, social media, text messaging, or whatever new technology comes along. There’s even a sense of pride and competitiveness among shoppers (and we are all shoppers) to find it “cheaper”.

The demand for cheap goods has created economic havoc here in the US, which is now a “service economy”. Most people have little idea what that actually means. Suffice it to say, that our once fully independent economic model is now almost totally dependent on products produced in other countries. Combine this dependence with new technologies constantly being developed and implemented, the trend is for fewer job opportunities. Not quite the American dream envisioned by our forefathers.

Unseen by American consumers seeking a deal, are the social, health and environmental costs. Here in the U.S., millions are still unemployed. Due to this persistent unemployment crisis, tax revenues are dramatically down, which has elicited a cascading effect of budgetary cuts, causing even more layoffs, and more people, many without health insurance, eating cheaper fast foods. Our health system, while perhaps the world’s most technologically advanced, is now rated 38th in the world by the World Health Organization, behind Ethiopia. Obesity and other health issues related to poor diet continue to increase dramatically.

These negative effects extend far beyond our borders. In order to meet our demand for cheap goods, millions of children, some as young as 4, are now working in factories around the world. Forests and land areas are being “clear-cut” by multi-national companies, such as the palm oil industry, which has created unsustainable mono-cultures by eliminating all native flora and fauna while usurping lands of indigenous peoples. Giant factory fishing fleets, led by the Japanese, travel the world’s oceans, sucking up every living organism in their paths, whether edible or not, leaving nothing behind. Due to the environmental degradation, entire villages of people have lost their means to support their families, and many have turned to criminal activities. Witness the rise of the infamous Somali pirates which started out as a group of fishermen whose source of food had been decimated by these foreign fleets.

Our obsession with the deal has fueled the world’s fastest growing company, Groupon. Growing from a modest 32 employees in 2008 to over 8,000 today, this company has built an extremely successful business formula on encouraging and offering deep discounts from merchants. Great revenues for Groupon, and great deals for consumers. But not always so for the merchants who are just trying to survive.

I guess that’s the point. In every great deal, there’s someone paying well more than full price. Hey, as long as it's not us...oh, wait.

Keith Winn - Chief Visionary Officer
Greater Good Alliance

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Goals, Deadlines, and Waving As They Go By

If you haven't noticed, we're really excited about launching the Greater Good Alliance. With all these "daily deals" sites popping up, it's thrilling to know we have something based on that premise (ease of understanding by populace), but with a significant ace up our sleeve.

Make that a pair of aces.

Just to refresh your memory, we are aiming to create greater communities, ones that are more intertwined, environmentally-aware, and socially dedicated. Businesses will be directly connected to local non-profits. Citizens will have easy opportunities to frequent those places of business and volunteer for the organizations. And every purchase (to be called a "connection") goes directly back to the local community.

Yeah, it's pretty awesome.

But those are our goals, and not our deadlines. While we are 100% committed to meeting or exceeding deadlines set for work with our clients, we made the mistake internally of not following our own advice. Our milestones were not rigorously followed, and if one slips by, another is likely soon to follow.

We are learning from that mistake.

I feel obligated to pass along what we've gained so you don't make the same slip-up in your organization or business. First, be excited about anything you're doing. That happiness shows through any marketing materials, event announcements, and even standard customer interactions; it is contagious. Contrived "excitement" is seen immediately by your clientele, and it leaves a very poor taste. Second, make internal deadlines just as important as one you would set for a customer. Hey, if it's missed, you can't deliver your product or service properly, so it still affects them! Third, know the difference between your goals and deadlines. They are not the same. Goals are what you hope to get done by a certain time. Deadlines are what you will get done.

Finally, you will miss some goals. Don't sweat it!

Lucky for you, you met your deadlines, so your customers were never affected in any way. In case you were wondering, this also connects directly with sustainability programs as well. Make reasonable benchmarks and work hard as a team to achieve them, but don't get discouraged if something takes longer than expected. Like any other business strategy, you may have unexpected setbacks. That's good. It means you are trying something new.

And what better way to differentiate than to do something no one else is doing?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mutual help comes from mutual assistance

I want to help promote awesome non-profits. Can I do a ton? Maybe not...yet. But it's something. You know, like the old starfish on the beach story. "Made a difference for that one."

So let me help you! For a while now, our outreach has included calls for the social media information to local non-profits. Are we looking to spam them, solicit them to "buy our stuff", or otherwise harass the administrators of those systems? Of course not!

We are working to build a movement rooted in passion. Those non-profits are where the peoples' passions lie. So let us help connect them with what they likely don't even know exists in their own backyard!

The response has been...ok. Not great, but not dismal. However, I know there are many more great organizations in the Broward and South Florida region not represented! Our research identified over 2,000 of them in Broward County alone. Non-profits: We need your help to begin to help expose you to more people.

Why do we want social media information for non-profits? To feature them, what they are doing in our community, and to tell their story to those who may be interested in listening. Not to solicit donations, but to build the passion, so donations and volunteer time come naturally.

So if you know of great causes that are not represented by us, leave their information in a comment, or post on any of our social media pages (GreenProfit Solutions or Greater Good Alliance, on Facebook or Twitter).

You've got the passion. Help us help you spread it far and wide.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It feels a bit like a (shuttle) launch

You got me. It's been too long since my last post. Do I have an awesome excuse? Sure, I was battling reanimated dinosaurs on a remote island and just finally was able to escape. Good thing no one ever made a book, film, or theme park with that premise. Otherwise, no one would ever believe me!

In truth, we have been hard at work getting set for the soft launch of the Greater Good Alliance. What? Never heard of it? Time for you to get following and Join the GGA Movement! We offer Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for your status update addiction. Be among the first to sign up (it's free, really) and we'll give you $5 to use upon launch towards a discount or straight as a donation to a participating non-profit. Help a worthwhile cause with only your e-mail.

Anyway, that's what we have all been up to here at GreenProfit Solutions. One piece at a time. Like a shuttle. Millions of individual systems that not only need to work properly themselves, but also must work together with each other equally so. Yesterday, Space Shuttle Endeavour launched on her final journey into orbit. But it wasn't without delays and challenges. This time, an important power unit that helps keep hydraulic fluid from freezing while in orbit broke. Can't fly safely without those in good shape! So, the team made sure all was well before wishing the crew 'bon voyage'. While you can see the shuttle pass over you while in orbit, the Greater Good Alliance will be landing in South Florida in just a few weeks!

The message in all this? Make sure all the operations and strategies in your business or non-profit work properly. Then, ensure they work properly together. Silo thinking can be dangerous for the Shuttle. It can be costly for you.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Learning from Strange Places

Obviously, if you're reading this, then you have heard about the largest story on the planet. No, not the royal wedding, or that two Girl Scouts are appealing to stop the use of environmentally-destructive palm oil in their cookies, or even that a meteor shower (from Halley's Comet trail!) is coming this Friday.

You know what I'm talking about. Osama. Usama. However you spell it in your culture.

But the spelling is not the important part. Nor was his death, in a sense.

It was the way various parts of the world reacted to that news. In Washington, DC, there were thousands of people celebrating in the streets. Other areas were more muted in their acceptance of the information. Nearly as fast, blogs and other writers began commenting on the morality of celebrating a death, even if that person were responsible for the death and suffering of so many.

But that morality question is not the point of this post.

It all comes down to the fact that different people, from a variety of cultures, respond to the same information in sometimes completely opposite ways.

And we sometimes forget that in the environmental field.

"A big, bad company is destroying an important place! You should care and do something about it!" we say. Who responds? Only those we already had "on our side". So how do we generate the response we want (action, activism, passion) in a group that is not receptive to the general message as written?

Make it fit them. Learn what drives these varying groups of people. What are their concerns? When we can scale and frame an issue into the world view they possess, then support will simply follow. It is suddenly in their best interest to speak out.

One size message does not fit all. For some, that previous example is all you need. Another community may respond better with, "Jobs, health impacts likely from specific damaging action. Work with others in your town hall to send a message supporting your children's future."

Dancing in the streets. A solemn, candlelit talk. Two ways of expressing the same emotion.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An Earth Day Message

On behalf of everyone here at GreenProfit Solutions and cuZOOM, I'd like to wish you a Happy Earth Day. It may be an oft-repeated suggestion, but we encourage you to make every day Earth Day. How? Make those little steps towards minimizing your impacts. You know what they are: reusable bags, consolidate driving trips, minimize energy and water use. But also, tell your friends and family. Help them do these little things as well.

And give. Of your time, your skills, your contributions, or your knowledge. It doesn't matter. But every bit you give back is a little more someone (or something) else would not have had if it were not for your generosity.

Earth Day isn't just about seeing green everywhere. It's about your relationship with the planet and everything (and everyone) on it.

Today, and any other day for that matter, ask us how you can help. We'll do our best to connect you with a cause that truly connects in your heart. No charge, no catch, and no strings attached. If you can help make your world a better place through our connection, then we've done our job.

But it is never done. Have a Happy Earth Day.

Edited 4/22/16

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sustainable Weddings, or, Marriage Without the Impacts

Oh, how irony can stick out its head at the oddest times. For this entry, I was aiming to address sustainable wedding advice. Considering this summer has three weddings I'll be attending, it's been a topic of discussion as of late. So what can be done? Weddings are notoriously expensive and resource-intensive celebrations, but that does not mean all hope is lost.

Of course, this is where the irony steps in. Yesterday, a business friend asked me this precise question. At the exact same time, I was reading a message from one of my to-be-married friends about how she will be making her wedding as sustainable as possible. So, I organized the steps she will be taking, along with a bit of explanation on each item. Turns out, the e-mail message was printed in the business associate's blog word for word.

Seems silly to reprint it all again here, so for some amazing sustainable wedding steps (all of which will save money), please continue on to Sustainable Wedding Advice (blog by Nila Do, Editor with Gulfstream Media Group).

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Go to the Event, Especially If You Don't Care

This past weekend, the Kids Ecology Corps. put on their annual People and Planet Day event. Held at a new location, Esplanade Park, they were privileged to be situated on one of downtown Ft. Lauderdale's prime pieces of real estate. The event accommodated a wide range of businesses, from local organic vegetables to personal health and wellness. Organizations participating covered the usual sectors: helping kids become more healthy and environmentally responsible, growing your business with the help of a "green" network group, as well as a variety of others. Food at the event was provided by a team of very passionate, talented, and entertaining organic chefs.

Needless to say, coupled with the beautiful weather typical of South Florida's spring, it was a great way to spend a Saturday.

So why weren't there tens of thousands of people passing through the event?

Because it was a "green" event. I'm not saying that as a bad thing, hey, we were there, and it's what we do 150%, so I am completely supportive of their mission, however, that actually took away from the participation.

Say there is an event for video games. Who do you think will attend? Gamers, developers, manufacturers of computers and game consoles, most likely. Those who don't play video games won't be there. Even if the topic of the event is bringing gaming to a new audience.

Same goes for a "green" or eco-friendly event. The mayor was there, a major grocer had a booth, but the vast majority of attendees were those already "in the know". So how do you overcome such a challenge?

Solve that, and you'll be the world's greatest event promoter.

One solution is to branch out from just your core audience. Include things that, going back to the gaming example, a gamer would scoff at. Similarly, appeal not to your supporters (they'll attend anyway most likely), but to the general public. Have games (yes, even outside the gaming event...people love a competition), challenges, and mainstream entertainment. The prizes don't really even matter. Just keep in mind ways to tie all that back into your primary theme. That way, attendees who may not have cared at all for the general theme can leave with some new insights, possibly even gained unconsciously.

But the most basic requirement of an has to be a whole lot of fun. And this past People and Planet Day hit that mark.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fool's! PlantChat - An Environmentally-Friendly Communication Medium

You've heard of IM, phone, VoIP, and text messaging, but do you know about the latest innovation in communication? We call it PlantChat, and are confident it will change the way you call in to work sick or arrange to meet up with friends that afternoon (You aren't really sick, are you?).

So how does it work?

All of our existing communication strategies have environmental impacts, from the energy used to power computers throughout the system, to the potato chips consumed during a late-night IM conversation. PlantChat eliminates all of those negative effects, and replaces them with a unique, natural system.

When you want to get in touch with someone else through our proprietary PlantChat network, you simply plant the appropriate seed. Huh? Yes, seeds! In just a few short months, they will grow into the flowering beauties that will carry your pollinating message through the skies. Want to say, "what's up"? Go for the basil. "See you in the summer!" Dandelions are definitely your best bet.

The message can be read by simply looking at the full-grown plant in a profile view...each leaf forms a representation of the word you want to say. Trust us, it can't be easier!

All communication is performed 100% through solar power, and transit times can be as low as a few weeks for the fast-growing weed varieties ("Sup, yo?" and other nonsensical expressions only. Proper grammar requires more time to produce mature seeds).

Weeks, months? My IM is instantaneous! Why use this and wait?

As mentioned, those systems have environmental impacts that we simply have been unable to avoid. Here, you will be contributing to oxygen production, better soil quality, and even the spread of beneficial plant life to a new region (Weed-based expressions excluded).

Where can I get these PlantChat systems?

We are confident you'll be able to find all the message species you need in your own backyard, but, for additional language packs and accents, our online store representatives will be happy to provide your exact combination. From London to Long Island, Miami to Milan, we've got you covered.

Let PlantChat become a part of your daily routine! Contact us today for more information.

So sorry, this entire program was only available on April 1st, 2011!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Value of Discussion

We just had our first advisory board meeting to discuss the new Greater Good Alliance initiative last night. Let me first thank all those in attendance for your incredible insights and contributions. What seems so clear-cut to someone building a system may be completely unintelligible to anyone else not involved in its creation. We plan to take many of your contributions to heart as we continue to build the model and get closer to a formal launch. (Hey, you can pre-register now to stay in the loop!)

It does bring up a great point, however. Do we communicate enough? And, if so, are we communicating the right information? The reason many great ideas fail to transpire is due to poor planning. I'll be the first to admit we have made some silly mistakes in this company's growth that could likely have been avoided by seriously talking with others. Namely, those who have already made that mistake! I'm fine with making a mistake no one has encountered before, but to commit a common "oops"? That's just a waste of all of our time, and can potentially affect our bottom line, our clients, and the overall success of a program.

If you're looking to a new business strategy, or even a new business, make sure to communicate. Discuss your hopes, worries, and goals with trusted business and personal companions. You might be surprised by what they have to contribute! Don't be afraid to receive criticism, in fact, encourage others to dish it! Keep one "downer" in the group, and I don't mean a boring person, but rather, the one who is so down to earth that they are looking for the potential cracks or failures in your plan.

Doing this will save you enormous amounts of time and money later on. It very well could accelerate your success, and allow you to help those your plan originally intended!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hope for the Many

Feel as if you are the only person working for the benefit of the planet or community? It's ok. You're not alone. This past weekend, I found some time to get a bit of reading done. Part of it was incredibly depressing (though immensely informative) - Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.

If you haven't had an opportunity to read this book, please do. Considered by many to be the impetus for the modern environmental movement, it blasted apart perceptions on the use of insecticides, pesticides, and other chemical forms of "shaping" Nature to our preferred design. The sad part is that very little has changed today, 50 years later. What happens from now on is partially up to you.

That, as I mentioned, was only part of my reading. Other materials were focused on societal and environmental solutions, some on the horizon, some even being implemented as we speak. At universities, among non-profits, in businesses, even in certain governments, great ideas are being shared. Unique approaches going far beyond lightbulbs and recycling change how we will look at efficiency, society, and going green.

So in a world perpetuating the idea of doom and gloom, know there are others like you, who want to make things better. Please don't get discouraged, and contact me if you are looking to connect with, well, whomever your ideas require.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Take Account of Your Efforts

Yesterday, while in a meeting with a financial advisor, a thought came to mind: "When dealing with cash, future outlay, retirement savings, and other issues, we develop a detailed plan, with visible steps along the way. But is that often done when implementing a sustainability program?"

Perhaps due to how it has evolved, "green", or as we like to approach it, "sustainability" (Green is normally just environmental, while sustainability considers a societal and financial aspect as well), is often seen as a side-project. It's something supported by a number of employees or volunteers, but usually stays on the outside.

Would you structure your 401(k)s or customer relations programs as, "a nice addition"?

No way! They are essential to your personal and professional well-being. Well, so is your sustainability program.

Think about it: What are the goals of "going green"? Sure, reducing your environmental footprint, educating others within and outside the company, and being better community stewards are all good results. But the goals are different. You're aiming to measurably reduce expenses, improve your marketing image, and decrease risk by having a comprehensive plan for any potential issues.

All members of our Approved Green Business Program (soon to be members of our Greater Good Alliance, but more about that later) receive a Sustainability Plan in which to implement within their own business. Separated into three phases - Planning, Action, Marketing, it allows a company to make their time count when implementing their environmental policies. Each item within has a timeframe to seek its completion, so they can stay on track.

Some examples:
Phase I:
  • Build a Green Team
  • Audit existing stock
  • Collect utility bills

Phase II:
  • Assess supply chain (Purchasing & Production)
  • Employee habits

Phase III:
  • Press releases
  • Company dispatch
  • Ongoing consultation

So, next time you look to make your business more sustainable, be sure to have a plan! Questions and comments can be directed to Joseph Winn at GreenProfit Solutions.

Monday, March 14, 2011

We're Back!

Wow. Looking at the history, and it has been a year and a half since the last update!

During that time, we have evolved significantly as a company, and, modified slightly how we approach the online media outlets. As you may know, we have an active Twitter feed @greenprofitsol as well as a Facebook Page - you're encouraged to follow and Like us today!

Much of our communication has been directed through these outlets, given the propensity of the online public to be focused on quick posts, short stories, and "catchy" statements in under 140 characters. However, we recognize that there is also a large population eager to read full blog posts, and who are we to disappoint!

Our blog will return, but in a slightly different form. First, most previous posts were articles we had posted elsewhere on our network. Now that our primary website is fully capable of hosting these stories, we will be forgoing the duplicity. This blog will take on a more laid-back attitude.

This is where company executives will be able to talk about what is on their mind, reactions to stories in the news (not just links to the articles), and suggestions on how you can help make your business, non-profit, home, or community more sustainable.

Importantly, this blog may contain opinions expressed by posters that are not those of GreenProfit Solutions or its partner companies.

All of us are looking forward to this new avenue of communication!

So, now that we're back: What should we discuss?