Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Social Media Consultant's Morning

  1. Wake up
  2. Check iPhone notifications while still in bed
  3. Get up and walk to computer
  4. Open Facebook. Scroll down entire news feed. Wish people happy bday. Like at least 5 things and comment on at least 2. 
  5. Open Hootsuite and check for mentions
  6. Open Klout. Your Klout score determines your self worth. It can make or break the day.
  7. Open Google+/Blogger/YouTube (since they're all the same now)
  8. Get coffee
  9. Sign in as each of your Facebook pages and start posting
  10. Ritual complete. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Road Trip!

Tomorrow I leave for an epic environmentalist dream road trip with my mom. I'm excited to spend time with my mom and also to visit these awesome places.

We're gong to first travel down to the Shenandoah Valley to visit Joel Salatin's Polyface farm and go hiking. Then we'll come back north and visit an area hit by fracking and some of the farms that produce the food that ends up at the farmers' markets near me.

I'll be reporting all along and am even going to try to make a short documentary about my mom's reaction to discovering fracking - and on the trip all together.

It's been a while since i've written and i'm excited to get going on the blog again!


Saturday, July 7, 2012


Bill McKibben sent out an email this morning recalling yesterday's plan of melting a huge ice sculpture in the shape of the word "hoax?" in front of the capital. I hugely respect his ability to say that he screwed up, but I'm not totally sure it was the right decision. 

I thought the sculpture was one of the most creative ideas I've heard for the climate movement in a long time. I even told my non-environmentalist friends about it out of enthusiasm, and said I really wanted to travel all the way down to D.C. just to see it happen - and the reactions it would get. 

I understand that his decision came from respecting all sides of the movement, but I also think we need to get a little creative here. has been a great proponent of eARTh (earth art) - public movements that display climate change in a creative and engaging way - and I think this could have been a great act of that. 

On the other end, I trust and revere Bill McKibben. I always say that if I could sit down for dinner with any interesting person in the world, it would be him. If you see this, Bill, I look forward to your comments.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baby of the Group - SB ’12 from a Millennial Perspective

As the youngest participant at SB’12, I had a unique millennial perspective. Yes, that includes being vivacious, altruistic, excited, and somewhat star-struck, but also particularly aware of the apathy of my generation and the cataclysm we’ll have to deal with (to put it lightly).  One of the most common icebreakers floating around the conference went something like “So how did YOU get involved in environmental sustainability?”  It’s one I had to answer frequently because of my overflowing enthusiasm and age, and a toughie because it’s somewhat of a mystery where my passion came from.

I grew up in Manhattan with parents who have always lived in NYC. They still believe that garbage can be thrown “away,” and on a recent trip home I discovered they had gotten rid of our recycling bin (I’m a failure…). They refused my bids to install a wormed compost bin under our sink, so I green-stormed my school instead – installing a composter on the terrace and imposing Meatless Monday, PowerDown hours, and Xlerators. The environmental blog I took on for my senior independent project led to Experts’ Opinions on Sustainability and Allan Clout Consulting (a social media consultancy) and catapulted me down a road of endless projects.  The more I learn, the more passionate I become - and that’s the cycle that leaves me bubbling with excitement when I meet others interested in sustainability and fizzing at conferences like SB.

Paradise Point view
As part of the first generation that won’t live longer than our parents, I acknowledge that we’re on a downward slope but am still optimistic that we can reverse the course with dramatic changes to business and policy.  I’m also a member of what I would call the ‘Hippie 2.0’ movement – a distinct subculture of the millennial generation deeply involved in social justice and grassroots organizing and enchanted by “the simple life” of our great-grandparents. We canvas, march, lobby, and organize; plant urban gardens and work on farms; and ­­­­­­­actually care. In general, we believe in the power of the constituent to affect change in policy and business but are all too familiar with the apathy of our “I don’t give a damn because I’m just too cool” contemporaries.

On the flip side, our generation has grown up with the word ‘sustainability’ actually in the dictionary.  Even though most aren’t actively involved in the environmental movement, I believe it registers via the osmosis method (the same concept behind the sleep-with-the-book-under-your-pillow trick).

Similarly, my generation has grown up embedded in social media – coming of age during the Crackberry, smart phone, and Facebook revolutions. I, particularly, believe in the power of social media to communicate, organize, and collaborate and am attune to its integral role in our lives (and I might just base my self-worth off my Klout score…@SaraBAllan). The information age that put a googol of facts and figures into cyberspace has led to web 2.0 that can actually make use of it. This is where our generation can come in handy – we created SM etiquette and understand better than anyone how to pull our friends in by making the tidbits of our life seem note-worthy.  Crossing over, we intuitively understand the best ways to use social media to engage customers, constituents, and especially the rest of our millennial generation. Two of the biggest themes at SB’12 were millennial engagement and social media best practices, and the Gen-Yers in the room had unique insights on both. 

        Although I do my best to remain realistic, I face a passion fueled by my altruistic vision.  I am optimistic about the effect corporate sustainability can have and the amount they’ll be willing to do because, although grassroots organizing is crucial, it can only provide the pressure through which businesses and government realize change.  So, unlike many of my hippie counterparts, I want to work in corporate sustainability. (This would be the star-struck part because almost every attendee of SB has my dream job….) For me, living the crunchy life isn’t enough – I want to go bigger – to the top of the chain that actually creates and shapes U.S. consumerism.

      All of this has led to my specific passion for collaboration in the environmental movement that I believe is necessary to prevent our imminent doom (to draw from my emotions after getting through the first 50 pages of Eaarth). This is also why I was so set on traveling from Philadelphia to Sustainable Brands and was behind the co-create I pitched, called Spark[!]Box – a platform to facilitate project-based collaboration among small environmental organizations.  Moving forward, I will continue to develop SparkBox with the inspiration and empowerment I gained at SB’12.
            I do have to say…the party scene does almost rival that of college – good job staying young at heart!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sustainable Brands '12

I'll be blogging this week from the Sustainable Brands conference 2012 in San Diego! It is a fantastic conference with incredible speakers and attendees.

I'll be blogging from the college student / young entrepreneur / sustainability enthusiast perspective daily. I'm interested in seeing if there are any other young college students here...?

After a small (but adventurous) snafu, I am now staying at Paradise Point, the gorgeous conference location on an island in Mission Bay.

All blog articles will be posted here, and the relevant ones copied to SparkBox and Allan Clout Consulting.

I hope you'll follow along with me on this journey!

Monday, May 21, 2012


I've just come across a new and intriguing word...intrapreneurship!  I'd never heard of this word before a Sustainable Brands Article. The wikipedia definition is "the act of behaving like an entrepreneur, except within a large organization rather than a market as a whole."

Interesting concept. I think it embodies the most admirable trait of the executives I most admire. An innovative spirit for risky projects. These projects usually contribute to a highly genuine CSR campaign - the most successful type.

Here's a great example of one I read today...a Grist post - A Wisconsin hospital is powered by beer and cheese. - what a great story!

I hope I can be like this one day when I'm a Corporate Sustainability Officer :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

de la Vega

While this isn't quite on the topic of my blog, I haven't written a post in a while...I'm really hoping to ramp up my blogging efforts this summer (right after I'm recovered from my wisdom tooth extraction).

Anyway, I've always had a fascination with de la Vega. For non New Yorkers, de la Vega makes chalk drawings all over Manhattan. They're usually pretty simple, but have a neat concept and made my walk to school interesting if there was one on the block that day. Last summer, I saw him in action and had a minor freak out - the type teenage girls have when they see Justin Bieber, or the likes. Instead I've never really had a thing for that hair. Anyway, this is more my type of freak out. I took a few pictures. 

Today, I passed his new shop with my mom. It's actually a framing shop that's housing some of his works. And they're ridiculously over priced. So, i took to researching online. I've come across some neat images I hadn't seen before and am hoping to find some way of decorating my new room with them (that doesn't break the bank). (Many more posts to come on the new room - I'm moving into Penn's first coop and will have a room in a 9 bedroom house off-campus! so excited!). 

Below are some of my favorite pictures that I found online. No credit to me, they're clearly all marked de la vega. And I found most of them on his Facebook page -

[Really I just want to get these up here so I can pin them to interest :)]