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06 August 2008

Do the Green Thing

I've been a bad, bad blogger. Sorry. By way of explanation, I've started a new kind of Small-Big public service called Green Thing (Dothegreenthing.com) which has been keeping me busy. Green Thing is trying to mobilise the masses against climate change with creativity by making it easy and enjoyable to lead greener lives...

It's a great example of Small-Big in action. Namely that a small number times a big number is still a big number.

A New Scientist cover article “Is there any point in going green?” sums up Green Thing’s approach to tackling climate change rather nicely.

“… your individual contribution may seem too measly to matter, but multiply that by several million and you can start to move mountains.”

This is certainly one of the most important ideas behind Green Thing: that lots of small things can add up to big things. Online, many of the biggest success stories are based on communities of individuals. The many millions of self-published eBay listings, Craigslist classified ads or Wikipedia entries, for instance. Not to mention terabytes of uploaded YouTube videos and hundreds of millions of individual profile pages making up the world’s largest social networks.

The article went on to sum up another of Green Thing’s central beliefs – that if enough people can signal their intent to change, this will itself create much wider shifts:

“..if a significant number of people change their ways and demand greener products, that will send a big signal to the market, encouraging the supply of green energy, low carbon products, organic food and so on.”

We know that politicians listen to voters and corporations listen to consumers. If we can help get as many people as possible in as many countries as possible to do the Green Thing, then this aggregated people power can get governments and business to do the Green Thing too.

A great Guardian article by author Michael Pollan neatly, if unintentionally, summed this up:

"If you do bother, you will set an example for other people. If enough other people bother, each one influencing yet another in a chain reaction of behavioural change, markets for all manner of green products and alternative technologies will prosper and expand. (Just look at the market for hybrid cars.)

Consciousness will be raised, perhaps even changed: new moral imperatives and new taboos might take root in the culture. Driving an SUV or eating a 24oz steak or illuminating your house like an airport runway at night might come to be regarded as outrages to human conscience. Not having things might become cooler than having them.And those who did change the way they live would acquire the moral standing to demand changes in behaviour from others - from other people, other corporations, even other countries."

The New Scientist article concluded:

“…there is no escaping the fact that individuals can make a difference by acting just a little bit greener.”

And that folks is Green Thing in a nutshell.

If all this makes as much sense to you as it does to us then please help spread the word. Sign-up, do the Green Thing and tell your brother, lover, ex-lover, ex-brother, lover's brother, and brother's lover's mother to do the same.

And then I'll have even more to write about when I get back to finishing this book ;-)



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Sofia Teixeira - IM Magazine

I found your blog and I think it’s a “blog for a better world” and that it can have a highlight in IM Magazine, in a special section for blogs.


IM Magazine is an international online magazine with readers in over 120 countries that has a unique concept: to cover the best things in the world... for a better world.

The subscription is free and it’s easy:


All the best,

Sofia Teixeira


Best wishes for the book Andy sounds extremely timely! Cheers MauriceCFlynn

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I also go green with my grocery shopping. I shop for bio degradable wrappers and containers for health supplements that are organic. Plus I carry a re-usable shopping bag.

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