Thursday, June 16, 2011

Netroots Nation 2011: How to Cross Cultural Lines on Conservation Issues

The Green Miles arrived in Minneapolis today for Netroots Nation. Took the new Minneapolis light rail from the airport - clean, fast, cheap, and dropped me off two blocks from my hotel. Very happy to find that the downtown Minneapolis Westin participates in the Starwood Hotels Green Choice program.

At a panel on environmental justice, just heard a great example on how to reach across cultural lines on conservation issues. Refugio "Reg" Mata of Heal the Bay told the story of how his grandmother used to use a reusable bag when she took him to the market. It wasn't because she was some hippie treehugger, but because in Central America you have to bring a bag - small markets in Honduras don't hand out plastic bags like they're going out of style. Reg talked about how making that emotional connection to reusable bag use - remember how your grandma used them when you were growing up? - can be a much better motivator to action than facts & figures.

Definitely makes me want to learn more ways to broaden the appeal of conservation issues. Great way to start the conference!
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