Triple Bottom Line

Green Marketing is the New Norm

January 18, 2023 Taylor Martin / Michelle Miller
Triple Bottom Line
Green Marketing is the New Norm
Show Notes Transcript

Michelle Miller, founder, consultant, speaker, instructor, creative director, and green marketing expert. Michelle operates her design agency and shares years of green marketing experience to illustrate how general marketing has shifted to green marketing. She also runs The Green Marketing Academy where anyone anywhere can gain insight on how to incorporate more sustainable efforts into their business and communication efforts. The green marketing movement is here and Michelle is one who's leading the way. Listen up!  https://www.thegreenmarketingacademy.com

Triple Bottom Line | Episode 49 | Michelle Miller|

[Upbeat theme music plays] 
Female Voice Over 
[00:03] Welcome to the Triple Bottom Line, where we reveal how today’s business leaders are reaching a new level of success with a people-planet-profit approach. And here is your host, Taylor Martin!

Taylor Martin 
[00:17] Welcome, everyone. I’d like to introduce you to Michelle Miller. She is a woman that wears many hats. She is a creative director at Minty Made, which is a branding web design and marketing agency for wellness and sustainability, but she’s also a founder and educator of The Green Marketing Academy. Their mission is to teach business owners, teams, marketing professionals how to adopt green practices. She’s also a professional speaker and a volunteer for Seattle Zero Waste. Michelle, great to have you on the show. Tell us about your corporate marketing career and what inspired you to dedicate yourself to sustainable marketing?

Michelle Miller
[00:57] Certainly, and thank you so much for having me on the podcast, Taylor. I spent about ten years in corporate marketing, a bit of time in sales, and during this time, I managed a lot of tradeshows and events and oversaw about $1 million worth of marketing budgets across three different channels. One of the things that stood our really in my first year of working in corporate, I remember it like it was yesterday, I was at a tradeshow and I had spent months, and you know being in graphic design, months perfecting these glossy data sheets and things and getting the booth graphics all ready and ordering tons of swag with our logos on it and everything ready to go. It was getting towards the end of the day and people were starting to leave the tradeshow and the conference floor. Everyone at tradeshows normally gets a bag to put all their swag and their stuff in. I saw, not a few people, not half the people, I would say about 75% of people, executives, business travelers, put their entire bag of stuff in the trash and walk out of the hall.

I gasped, not only because I had spent so much time, it was more of an ego thing of like, “but I spent so much time designing that and putting my heart and soul into it,” but more of the fact that, holy cow, this is creating so much waste. I am at one tradeshow in one city on one day. I just started thinking and visualizing this mound of waste that just builds up just from this one event. That’s what really got me thinking about how can we market in a more sustainable way that’s better for not only the planet but just people in general, because especially here in the US, we just live in a society where it’s all about overconsumption most of the time. That’s what really kick started my passion. The rest of the time I worked in corporate, I focused a lot of time on starting up sustainability groups within organizations. Then finally, when it was time, I was ready to make the jump and start my own design studio, I wanted to dedicate a portion of my business to educating another small businesses, other corporate teams on sustainable marketing practices. That led me to where I am today.

Taylor Martin
[03:26] I’m so glad you are here today because I love that story. I love that background. I think we all have that moment in time where something happens and it triggers that moment where you just think, okay, this is not right, this could be better, or this shouldn’t be this way, or that’s a complete waste. I mean, we all have those moments. I know I did. I’m grateful that you shared that story because I know a lot of listeners out there are probably rolling back in their mind where was my moment. I have to ask you. For listeners that don’t understand sustainable branding and marketing, how would you define that?

Michelle Miller
[03:58] Normally, I define it as a twofold concept because I get a lot of puzzled faces when I say this is what we do. We’re a sustainable branding and marketing studio. One side of the coin is, and you know this as well, you want to develop branding that is – that has longevity, that stands the test of time. You don’t want to develop and design a visual brand that is trendy or that is going to fade out over time. We see this with a lot of organizations and large corporations over the years changing their branding to fit the times, but if you really take a strategic approach and really resonate with the target audience that they’re trying to attract, then that fear goes to the waste side. Then the other side to that aside from the visuals is just ensuring that you’re taking steps to make your business sustainable, not only in your visuals but in your copy and your messaging that’s really crafted in a more transparent and authentic way.

Taylor Martin
[05:00] Yeah, you want to be transparent so that people really understand so if they do any digging, it’s totally clear this is what we are, this is what we stand for, and this is what we do. What kind of businesses do you guys do work for?

Michelle Miller
[05:13] It’s a mixture of product and service based businesses. I would say the common trait is more of our values, which are sustainability, balance, and growth. I would say most of the time it’s clients that are looking to make an impact in their local community or are trying to change or approach an industry standard from a different angle. We do have a concentration in health and wellness as well because healthy people equals healthy planet so that’s where we really focus more of our time with clients.

Taylor Martin
[05:49] This is a question that I’ve been thinking about in the back of my mind because I see trending happening not in design but in business. How do you see accessible, inclusive, ethical marketing tying into sustainable marketing?

Michelle Miller
[06:05] Good question. These are all such buzzwords, all three of them. I’ve been listening to a lot of other podcast lately that have been talking about this. Summing it up, sustainable marketing, as I mentioned, puts not only the planet first but people first. It’s really important in the scope of our marketing materials, both digital and printing, making those more accessible because then that equals a greater impact because more people are able to access that material, access that message that we’re trying to put out there. Ethical marketing, that’s especially become a buzzword because ethics, of course, everyone has different sets of ethics. Depending on who you talk to, it varies a lot. We certainly don’t teach doom marketing. Especially in the climate and sustainability space, there is that approach of putting the fear that we only have ten years left of water supply. That’s just an example. We want people and our clients and our students to share their message and their marketing in a positive way but still in a way that inspires action rather than takes a fear based approach. I would say ethical marketing, we really just teach our students and the way that we work with our clients to stay away from practices like false scarcity. You’ve been on websites where you see “buy now, buy now,” you get 30 emails in one day, so just really detaching from those traditional marketing practices and doing it in a way that really, again, resonates with our audience and is going to allow growth without those common practices that are a bit misleading in nature.

Taylor Martin
[07:53] Yeah, I hate to harp on car salesmen people but I feel like the typical consumer out there at any level, really, they can smell that sales technique because it’s been overused so much that you don’t want your brand sliding into that sleazy salesmen, sleazy sales cars men category.

Michelle Miller
[08:17] Right, you can feel it happening. As soon as you land on a website or a sales page, you’re like, oh, red flags are going off.

Taylor Martin
[08:24] Yeah, jump, jump, get out of there. How do you help businesses and marketers prevent greenwashing? Because greenwashing is something that has been a buzzword for so long now it’s been overplayed but it is still incredibly relevant.

Michelle Miller
[08:43] Yes, definitely it all comes down to being transparent in a way with not only what you’re doing well but what you’re not doing well. There’s no such thing as a 100% green business that’s doing green marketing full scale. It’s talking about some of your shortcomings and how you’re working to improve that. I think we’re in such a society, and it’s getting better now and people are being more vulnerable about things where I would say in the past, [inaudible] before my time, it was all about putting your best foot forward and showing what you’re good at, what you’re doing. Now it’s come full circle with some of the greenwashing mishaps and cases that have come up that I talk about a lot with BP and Fiji Water and things, examples of them putting a campaign out there that said, oh, we are going greener. There’s some green imagery. We put a green leaf on our logo, but when people dug deeper or those that bothered to dig deeper, they’re really not making much of a difference behind the screen. It was all a façade, all a campaign just to get people to look at it, take a second and think, oh, this company is doing something about it without really understanding the timeline or true pledge behind that. I could soapbox that all day. I don’t mean to name drop. There’s far more but those were just [inaudible] examples so I’d thought I’d share.

Taylor Martin
[10:19] Yeah, our previous podcast we had was on brand love and how you can create the people to love your brand and talking about big brands like you just did, brands that did love those brands for whatever reason, maybe believing what they were doing, when that truth comes out, man, they can flip from being a lover to a hater. You’ve got to watch out when they do things like that. When they greenwash in that degree, that severity, it can come back and slap you in the face in a really hard way.

Michelle Miller
[10:56] Yeah, it was a huge cleanup process that both of those brands had to do. It still happens today. It’s about teaching how, again, back to the messaging piece, how to lay out an actionable pledge or plan to show the steps that you’re taking rather than – we all know who this is but just pledging to do something by 2030 or 2050 or naming a huge arena after climate pledge and whatnot. There’s still a lot of that going on.

Taylor Martin
[11:29] Yeah, what you’re speaking to is transparency. You’re saying this is what our plan is. This is our goal set. Next year, it might change, but right now, we are seeing the future this way and we are going this direction. If somebody digs in and they do some research on that company and where their goals are, they’ll see that throughout all their materials and everywhere they’re present online. What you mentioned earlier about how there’s a sea change going on, because in the old days, you’re right, we’d always put our best face forward, but now with the internet and so many tentacles out there reaching into company’s information structures, you can find out the truth. If you’re not being transparent, again, that can come back to bite you. I think the best lesson learned here is that you need to make those big decisions. We are going to right our ship and then we’re going to explain the steps we’re going to take to get there and be transparent with it because then I think you’re building that trust with the consumer or client or whatever.

Michelle Miller
[12:34] I’ll add, too, that a lot of even small businesses, they greenwash but it’s completely unintentional. Until you educate them on maybe we don’t phrase it like this, instead we can break this down into more digestible actionable steps that are just easier for you to, one, achieve, and two, won’t raise as many flags and questions coming in from your customers and clients about this, it’s a win-win situation.

Taylor Martin
[13:01] Yeah, you have to look at the messaging from many different lenses to make sure there’s not one section of your audiences or people that may see it in a totally different light in which you thought it would be. When it comes to sustainable marketing, there’s a lot of misconceptions out there. Can you explain some of the ones that are top of your list?

Michelle Miller
[13:21] Sure, I would love to. The most common one because I work with a lot of service based businesses, I would say it’s about a 50/50 split between service based and product based business that have gone through The Green Marketing Academy and worked with us on the design studio side, but many just think that online businesses that aren’t a producer of goods or they don’t manufacture any products don’t really have a carbon footprint because everything is done online. We’re going to talk more about this soon, but there’s a whole digital carbon footprint side of it that a lot of people aren’t aware of. I’ll save that to when we kind of get to that topic.

Taylor Martin
[14:06] Go ahead. Let’s dig in because that’s actually my next question I was going to talk to you about because I have experience in that and I’m really passionate about it.

Michelle Miller
[14:14] Yes, so there’s so much waste floating around in cyberspace. It was last year that I rechecked this statistic, but about 80% of websites on the internet are inactive. They’re not even being used. Think about the strain and just the energy that that’s taking from data centers that are powering this video chat and this podcast that we’re doing right now. There’s so much waste out there that could be cleaned up or just when someone puts a website out there, when someone creates content or ads, this crosses over to another common misconception about green marketing that just because it’s sustainable and we want to print less and produce less doesn’t mean it’s going to be less awareness for your brand or less sales or any of that. The carbon footprint, it’s a good news that a lot of the data centers are being tailored to be more energy efficient these days but there’s still work to be done on that side, especially with some of the crypto and NFTs and all of this stuff that’s popping up these days. That’s a whole other topic for another podcast, I’m sure.

We do need to be more mindful, to sum it up, about our practices, not only as businesses but as consumers. Again, it goes back to that ethical marketing side of just being very strategic and intentional with your marketing, fully understanding who you’re marketing to so that you’re not just throwing things out there to see what sticks and producing more and more content. A side effect to that is sometimes that leads to burnout within your own business or your own team when you’re trying to just produce more and more and more.

Another one is that adopting sustainable marketing practices is going to be more expensive or out of budget. I’ve actually seen the opposite thing happen when I worked in one of my corporate jobs. We’ve saved about $40,000 in print alone and we actually sold more product that year because we really spent time focusing on where those were going, how much of that was actually resulting in sales. We weren’t just throwing flyers out to 10,000 people on our mailing list anymore. We were really segmenting that down and making it, again, more strategic. It doesn’t always mean a higher price point and that you have to invest in printing everything on seed paper instead of paper off of Amazon or Office Depot. Another misconception, a final one that I’ll share, is that it’s not just a trend. Sustainability isn’t just a trend. It’s not something that’s going away. This is science. This is real facts that it’s not just something that we’re going to say, oh, I think we’ll focus on sustainability in the month of April for Earth month, although that still happens. It’s something that we can all work towards. I’m sure you’re the same way. I don’t view other marketing agencies or design agencies as competition. I want this to become the mainstream for all of us.

Taylor Martin
[17:30] I agree wholeheartedly with that last part because I feel that – and I was just having this conversation with somebody yesterday about I can see the change coming. I love following trends. It’s getting to a point where consumers are becoming more educated. Climate is getting more crazy. You’re not going to be able to run a business unless you are doing actionable items and taking this actionable item and weaving it into your marketing so you’re educating your customer, your populous, your community. I definitely see that as a sea change that is happening that is in full effect. I want to talk about two other items that you mentioned earlier, the digital carbon footprint. I saw this when I first started my business 15 years ago. We found a hosting company and I’m going to give them a shout out which is aiso.net. They were the only company at the time, 14 years ago, 15 years ago, that had their own solar array outside that was powering up their whole server farm. They had a huge solar array that was powering all their server farm. It was in California. I was like, wow, that’s impressive. It’s not like they’re buying credits or they’re buying energy from the grid. It’s their own power being produced. I’m sure it’s grid tied. I was impressive. I called the president and spoke to him about it. I was just like, okay, you’re – and I put a little advertisement in the bottom of our website so then people go to the site and see it and they can click it and can get access to their service.

The crazy thing is they are, I think, last time I checked, are still the only hosting company that has their own full solar array because it takes a fair amount of electricity. They’ve been growing and growing their grid as they’re growing their solar grid as they’ve been growing their servers. I had to give a shout to them. I’m just surprised that there’s not more of that. I do know Amazon, some other large big companies are building server farms near inexpensive electricity production, which is great for them. I mean, they save money and usually that energy production is hydro or something else that is more environmentally friendly than coal or gas. The other thing you said about the – what I read is that the need to print, reevaluating what your needs are when you’re communicating your marketing message, I think that’s crucial because we’ve been working with companies that we used to print 20,000, 30,000 copies of their annual report and nowadays it’s not like that. Nowadays, it’s, okay, we’re only going to send copies of the annual report to the actual shareholders, which is a much smaller amount. Then we might have some that we take to conferences and special meetings that we may have or new investors coming in, things like that, like high profile, and the rest we just make an accessible PDF, put it on their website. People can download it. I mean, on every mobile device, you can read PDFs and things like that. That is a huge sea change that I’ve seen. I hate to say that for all the printers out there but I’m glad to see that there’s more recycled content in paper. There are printers that are being more conscious of not only the recycled content but the energy consumption, the type of inks that they use, and the types of ways they clean up their inks, and the environmental space that their workers work in. All those things are changing across the board. I always see something changing when I go to a press check or something like that.

Michelle Miller
[21:00] Yeah, and I don’t know about you, Taylor, but it makes it that much more exciting when you do get a sustainably printed – some sort of just tangible printed item either sent to you or that you’re working with a client on because our whole mantra around this is just printing less but making it more memorable. When’s the last time you got some sort of nice card in the mail and you just really appreciate that rather than – there’s nothing wrong with ecards but they just don’t hold the same weight and special feeling sometimes.

Taylor Martin
[21:37] Yeah, you’re really talking my wavelength here, because again, I just had a conversation like this a couple of weeks ago during the holidays when people get cards and there is something that’s physical and emotional when you have that card and you open it up and you hang it up in your kitchen or living room or something or around the fireplace, there is something like that, but it’s not just around the holidays. I mean, sometimes when you get something out of the blue from somebody where you can see they put time into it and effort and equality and it’s sustainable and it’s well marketed and probably a carbon offset, you know there’s more value in it. It’s gotten to a point now where to print something and send somebody something, because of course, postages are extraordinarily high as it was 20 years ago, you know there’s high value on getting something. Now I say that and I still get these crazy one off postcards for all kinds of stuff and it goes right into the recycling bin but whenever you have something that’s more multifold piece or something well produced and designed and marketed, I take note of it and I spend more time with it than I ever did back in the day where there was just tons of them. What do you think are a few simple changes our listeners can make today to go greener with their marketing?

Michelle Miller
[22:54] One that you just mentioned that I’ll just move to the top of the list here is when you receive –I sound very passionate about the amount of junk mail I receive, even though I try to opt out of all of it, I call this lesson within the academy sending a message to junk mailers. That’s usually when you get some sort of coupon pack or the normal things we receive in the mail or if it’s a grocery store ad, they’ll have some sort of message to opt out of this mailer go to, and they’ll give you a website and you can go in and enter your information. One thing you don’t have to deal with as much waste every time you go to your mailbox because I’m sure you’re the same way, but about 10% of the things that are sent to me I actually need, and the other 90% just go in the recycling or the trash. Just encouraging and sending that message back to these mayor printers that are just mass mailing everyone to say I don’t need this. Because the more of that they get, they will make that change, but if you just keep shrugging your shoulders and getting angry and throwing it in the bin over and over again, they’re not getting that message. You’re just getting frustrated and it’s not helping anyone. I would say that’s the first change as a consumer we can make.

In a business sense, again, I talked about this earlier, but being more conscious about where you’re spending your marketing energy and your dollars, really taking the time to be more strategic. Less doesn’t always equate to less exposure, less awareness. Then really think outside the box when it comes to creative solutions if you work with clients that are printing, like the two of us, or if you have a product based business, what simple changes can you make to your packaging? I’m not asking you to change out your packaging from a glossy plastic based packaging to fully compostable packaging overnight, but maybe by just making one of the inserts compostable instead. There’s all these little changes that you can make over time.

Then one of the easiest switches you can make, and you talked about this earlier, is switching to a green website host. There’s a lot of greenwashing that still goes on in that space. You mentioned that a lot of these green webhosting companies are buying credits and then selling them as renewable energy, but look for a green website host that runs on 100% renewable energy. The Green Web Foundation, if you type that into Google, is a great resource. I think it’s thegreenwebfoundation.org. That’s where we send all of our [inaudible]. You can search by region of the world that you live in. You can see which are closed. You can do a deeper dive but that’s basically a website where they vetted all these different green website hosts and some of their strengths and the improvements that they’re making. I wanted to share that. Then overall, going back to the whole people side of this, think before you print mass amounts of anything or before you’re designing your next round of packaging for your products or before you buy more swag for an event or show. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean, oh, I need to buy 1,000 USB drives and hand them out. Think about the lifecycle of that item because these often, and more often than not, end up in landfills in our most vulnerable communities, in third world countries, in some of our communities around here that are lower income or already facing so many disadvantages. Really putting that people aspect at the forefront will make you think a lot differently about where you’re spending your marketing efforts as well.

Taylor Martin
[26:49] Man, you gave us a lot of good nuggets there. I want to piggy back on a couple of them. The opting out of the mail item, there’s also if you get a lot of magazines that you don’t subscribe to, they just send them to you because you fit some sort of demographic, there’s places online that you can go to that will connect with them and say do not send this person any more of your publications. They don’t want them. They don’t need them. Of course, who’s going to want to send something to somebody who doesn’t want it? They’re going to stop sending it to you. When you use a service like that, then they know it’s coming from a reputable source and you went through the proper channels. There are services out there that will do that. I want to piggy back that one. I didn’t know about the mail one, those coupon things because I forget them and I just – because I remember last time I checked with the post guy and he was like, “Nothing I can do about it.” I’m like that’s just horrible. Maybe it’s location or region. I don’t know. I’m going to look into that one. Thank you for sharing that.

You mentioned about where you spend your marketing dollars, you’re basically voting with them. I say that all the time with people, just voting with your dollars. For whatever you buy in the world, buy things that have a sustainable component or a community component, DEI component. I’m really glad you said that. I’m also glad you said making those little changes over time, even though you can’t maybe make the whole thing green or sustainable, just keep edging away at it because that is how we make change. It’s incremental little elements. If you can make it greener or more sustainable than it was last year, you’re moving in the right direction. That’s what you’re talking about. What that does is it creates more opportunity for that in the future because the market reads that as a decision. I think that’s great. I’m glad you brought that up, too. I have to say about the swag, I have to shout out, we had ethicalswag.com on a previous show. We’ve worked with them ever since. They’ve been great. They do all this vetting that you were speaking to but with swag. They do the sustainable, the ethical, DEI, there’s a lot of great things out there. There’s a small handful of them out there so I had to give our listeners a shout out to a better direction. Now, we’ve mentioned this a few times on the show and I’m so anxious to get into this, but The Green Marketing Academy, tell me more about this. What do you offer? How does it work?

Michelle Miller
[29:10] Sure, so I launched The Green Marketing Academy last year. It’s been just over a year now since it’s been live. We’ve had about 40 students come through so far. There’s been a mix of people doing it self-paced and then we’ve had three live cohorts now of students that spend about one to two hours a week looking over material. Then we’ll either meet on calls. We’ll have different guest speakers that dive deeper into certain subjects on green and ethical marketing. We offer education, customized training, so if you’re a small business or a large corporate team that wants to focus on certain areas, such as sustainable printing practices or green web design practices, we teach businesses, solo printers, just anyone who’s interested about adopting more sustainable, inclusive, accessible marketing practices. It’s been such a reward to work with these businesses, see the lightbulbs going off of, wow, I never thought about the digital carbon footprint or I never looked at this as a solution that could actually save us money. It’s been great and we’re so excited for what’s to come this year.

Taylor Martin
[30:24] Yeah, I remember in the old days, like you mentioned earlier, you were talking about how when you make a choice to be more sustainable, it’s going to cost more. That’s not the case anymore. Now it’s gotten to the point where you become more sustainable, you make changes in your sustainability efforts and you’re usually saving money. That needle has changed. How long are your sessions for the academy? How long are people in the academy for?

Michelle Miller
[30:50] It’s eight weeks and one of the changes we made at the end of last year is we’ll only be offering it in a live version going forward, the reason being is self-paced works great for people that really hold themselves accountable. I’ve taken courses and sketched out time in my schedule, have gotten it done, but the whole community aspect is really missing there when you’re not going through a week by week different lessons and material with people and able to really ask questions. That’s why I’ve decided to make that change. There’s been such a powerful sense of community connection. It’s been great. Many of the students have hired one another for different services. A graphic designer has hired a copywriter and vice versa. We have a lot of social media and digital agency owners that have been in there that will work with podcast managers. It’s been really fun to see all that unfold, just a side effect of what I’ve built here. We’re growing the team and going to be launching some exciting things that I’ll talk about if we have time.

Taylor Martin
[32:01] I want to ask that question right now because what you were just saying, it’s sparking me to ask. What are some future plans for growing the academy?

Michelle Miller
[32:09] One of the things that we’re going to be launching here soon is annual impact report template. I’m sure because you’ve worked on impact reports for your clients, it can be very intimidating, especially as a small business, of building one of those. You’re often very fearful of where to start, what do I include, what do I not include, is this too short, is this too long. I’ve been working with a sustainability consultant for the last several months. We’ve put together these templates that we’ll walk through each business owner, the person putting them together on how to gather that data, where to put that data, and then how to present it in a visually appealing way because that’s where a lot of people get stuck, too. They know what they want to share, but as designers, we can kind of conceptualize and put that together of what it looks like visually that’ll be easy to digest and not just numbers on a spreadsheet for people to look at. I’m really looking forward to that. Those are launching very soon.

Taylor Martin
[33:08] I always think about businesses, like you mentioned, small business reports. I learned the statistic of half of the US GDP comes from small businesses, which I think is like $2 million to $40 or $50 million, something in that range. but half of the US GDP comes from that. Can you share with us how that affects your work with these companies? Because they have to understand that their value is extremely high, even though they’re a small business.

Michelle Miller
[33:37] Definitely, and that’s when I would say not something that’s held me back from just growing this more quickly and faster, but one of the things I think a colleague mentioned was, well, don’t you want to work with larger businesses because they have more of an impact than one of these businesses with one or two people? I thought, well, no, because we’re the ones that are honestly setting an example for some of the larger businesses because we see it all the time where they’ll be a smaller retailer that’s changing things up and then a larger retailer sadly will see that and copy or adopt a way to do the same thing. That can work in a positive way, too. Like you said, it does make sense to cast the net wide and get this out there as much as we want. Some of the future growth plans that we have are doing more in person training with larger corporate teams but that looks differently and the way that we’re going to present that information and that training than what small design studio A needs over here. I still want to be very cognizant of offering two different solutions and educational channels for both types, no matter what business size we have. We offer ongoing workshops and networking events. There’s room for everybody to learn and change the world and have an impact. That’s really what I mentioned earlier is just making this concept of sustainable marketing more mainstream, eventually dropping the term sustainable and just this is how the world does marketing now. Big pipe dream but we’re working on it.

Taylor Martin
[35:20] Speaking of pipe dreams, my last question is, I just want to ask you because I ask this on a lot of podcasts, if you could have a magic wand and just have one thing change for businesses, what would be that one thing for you that you wish all businesses would start doing tomorrow?

Michelle Miller
[35:35] I think it actually comes down to the way that we’re educated, even before we get into business. I actually sit on a local university advisory chair for a board from Seattle University. We’re working on offering more classes and courses for college students and university students about sustainable marketing. That is part of their curriculum and required credits when they’re going through either an undergrad or marketing degree or MBA, including that as part of it. I think it really starts there, even as early as I think we – I’m trying to think back if we learned about marketing in high school. I’m pretty sure we did, but just making it more mainstream in our education system first, but with businesses, I think it, again, comes down to unlearning a lot of this mainstream marketing practices, the ones that are borderline unethical that we’ve been learning that this is the way you have to do business. There’s no way that you have to do business. There’s a way that you choose to do business. We’re hoping that this sustainability really continues to take off and just becomes part of the set of ethics of every business.

Taylor Martin
[36:55] I love that. That is a great wish. I love that because you’re talking about getting the next generation, if you will, of marketers to get them just to be part of their routine and then having that as just a standard practice. You’ve got my vote. I love it.

Michelle Miller
[37:12] I have one more thing, too. I’m sure you’ve been keeping up with the statistics around Gen Z, but every time I do new research on the statistic of what percentage of consumers are making more sustainability focused choices or things like that, it keeps going up. It’s not going down. Shout out to Gen Z. They’re just really taking this a lot more seriously, and like you said, voting with their dollars in places that matters more so than the previous generations have. I’m hopeful.

Taylor Martin
[37:43] As you mentioned, you have two different ways of accessing your academy, which I want to let everybody know, it’s thegreenmarketingacademy.com, easy to remember. You can go there and sign up for classes, and then if you’re in the – is it Seattle that you’re in?

Michelle Miller
[37:58] Yes.

Taylor Martin
[37:59] The Seattle area, you can do in person later on.

Michelle Miller
[38:01] If you’re outside of there, too, we haven’t traveled outside of the state to do training yet, but that’s definitely something we’re open to.

Taylor Martin
[38:10] That’s great so you and a couple other people can go off to different team building events?

Michelle Miller
[38:17] Yeah, everything has become so high grid lately so it’s really up to the company of what format that looks like.

Taylor Martin
[38:23] The Green Marketing Academy, thegreenmarketingacademy.com, and you will travel. That’s awesome. How can our listeners follow you, your business, as well as the academy online?

Michelle Miller
[38:34] Sure, so I’m on LinkedIn, I would say, most actively, /greenmarketingmovement is my handle, if you will. We’re also on Instagram @thegreenmarketingacademy. I think our handle is pretty consistent, YouTube, Facebook, Green Marketing Academy, you’ll find us there. Yeah, I hope to connect with some of you listening out there. This was such a fun morning to talk about this.

Taylor Martin
[39:02] Excellent, thank you for being on today’s show and sharing your expertise with us. It’s been a great conversation.

Michelle Miller
[39:09] Definitely, thanks so much for having me.

Taylor Martin
[39:11] All right, everybody. Over and out. 

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[39:13] Thanks for tuning into the Triple Bottom Line. Your host, Taylor Martin, is founder and Chief Creative of Design Positive, a strategic branding and accessibility agency. Interested in being interviewed on our podcast? Then visit designpositive.co and fill out our contact form. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, we would appreciate a review on Apple podcasts or whatever provider you are logging in from. This podcast is prepared by Design Positive and is not associated with any other entity. We look forward to having you back for another installment of the Triple Bottom Line.

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