How social media is creating green forums for sustainable, green engagement.

Environment activism, like social media, is an interactive activity requiring on- and offline engagement. Given how powerful a tool the internet has become in creating and sustaining broad-based networks, it works to the advantage of environmentally-conscious activists to engage the medium to create a ripple-effect of awareness.  These forums allow the opportunity to connect online with like-minded people for a variety of purposes, from business growth to political or environmental activism.

The problem, of course, arises in the transition from vibrant online communities to real, in person results. Yet, in the words of WebEcoist, the “dedicated and curious greenie can glean a lot from participation in niche environmental forums. And voting and sharing on green social news sites is a terrific way to fill out your green social web experience.” And as engagement and education are always the first steps of any movement, the abundance of these online forums make the sometimes daunting task of environmental stewardship slightly less cumbersome.

The following ten platforms integrate environmental activism with social media’s networking capabilities (all site descriptions are courtesy of The WebEcoist, more information available here).

1.) Sustainable Design Forum

Architecture fans and geeks alike will not want to miss this seriously smart forum for true buffs and industry experts. Featuring “news and resources for sustainable design in architecture, development and construction,” this site also also shares great op-eds from thought leaders and top builders and designers.

2.) EcoUrls

The brand-new ecourls.com (still in beta) was created by top green bloggers and social media contributers to promote exceptionally high quality green news and information. You can visit the site and sign up to meet other green bloggers, social media users and find some excellent content. Though just starting, so far the site looks very promising, with an emphasis on content over flashy design or cluttered features.

3.) Change.org

Change.org is a clear, simple activist forum with an interesting format: you type the change you want to see in the world and the site guides you to a relevant project, organization or issue. Or choose from the most common changes on the main page. The coolest part about Change is that you can create your own organization (they’re called “Changes”) and get others in the community involved. A great place to connect with people and nonprofits that care about the future of the world and its inhabitants.

4.) Carbonrally

If competition gets your blood pumping, this is the place for you. Rather than supporting and connecting with other green minded people, you compete with them. It’s a fun, original concept and though it’s new seems to have a good base of users participating. Compete on teams with those in your real-world community or online pals against other teams on the site. Will you join the Royal Acorns? Looks like they’re the underdogs.

5.) Rate It Green

It’s pretty straightforward: you join, you rate. This is a well-crafted and easy to use green forum for environmentally-friendly building product ratings; like Consumer Reports for green building. Whether you are starting from scratch or retro-fitting your current pad this is a good resource.

6.) Green Options

Home to many of the best green blogs online, this green network also has forums. Not as populous or deep as Treehugger but definitely worth participation, particularly if you feel overwhelmed by the bigger forums. Connect with others and discuss all kinds of green issues at Green Options.

7. Responsible World Citizen

This Ning thing is thriving. Ning – basically a community platform for creating your own social network – is a hit and grows daily. If you read blogs like Triple Pundit, work in green business, or simply care about the future bottom line, then Responsible World Citizen’s “sustainable conscious business community” is for you.

8. Planet Green

Planet Green, brought to you by Discovery and tightly partnered with Treehugger, has launched new forums. They aren’t very active yet but the content on Planet Green is high-quality and the membership so far at the forums is a good crowd. Try it out.

9. The Environment Site

Purely green discussions ranging from tech to energy to politics to health can be found at this thoughtful and calm forum. Sincere members weigh in from all over the world on a number of environmental topics. A recent thread asks: “Can you be a capitalist and environmentalist at the same time?”

10. Arch

The Arch design community features over a dozen well-populated and active architecture and design forums, including green. A must-stop for anyone into technical design, engineering, green architecture and more.

If your business or organization wants to know more about using social media for a specific purpose, drop us a line at either jwillms@pondstone.ca or amiron@pondstone.ca.

-Jessie W.

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