In 2021, I’m continuing to provide hands-on, rubber-hits-the-road coverage of a whole pile of stories relating to all aspects of triple-bottom-line sustainability (as is my expertise).
In addition to blogging about them on this blog or that (plus previously as a celebrity blogger for a Cox Enterprises website, pictured above in a collage that also includes samples of my other published work-for-hire), I’m doing 100 new pitches to paying marketplaces (as was my career before preparing to leave for the Peace Corps, now delayed due to COVID-19 possibly forever).
For your convenience, I’m compiling snippets of the pitches here in one handy place. Expect the addition of about two a week. They will run the gamut from feature and how-to articles, to books (including e-books to power-launch your cause-oriented marketing funnel), to opportunities to showcase resiliency in a plethora of innovative ways.
I’ll additionally consider custom work and, as always, am interested in collaborating professionally to help make the world better (contact me here). As a seasoned professional and a member of Mensa, I learn quickly and I don’t waste your time or money. I get to the heart of your story, from your C-suite to your factory floor, to help you showcase your organization’s commitment to forward progress in our rapidly-changing world.
Note: I particularly love to blog, and if your corporate foundation or nonprofit blog is flat or stale, I can breathe new life into it. An ongoing relationship with me (whether it’s once a month or once a week) provides you with a steady stream of fresh content to milk across your diverse communications platforms.
I wasn’t featured in O: The Oprah Magazine as a Passion Person for nothin’! Let’s go.
(1) TODAY’S LESSON: KEEPING SCHOOL GARDENS GROWING DURING THE PANDEMIC (1,000 WORD ARTICLE)
School gardens have been growing like crazy across the USA over the past fifteen years. Then, COVID-19 hit, many kids and parents went remote, and thousands of school gardens across the USA were left to rot. Ouch. I see some on my daily bike rides.
At the same time, hunger is exploding, plus we now know co-morbidities related to our ever-expanding obesity epidemic are directly linked to increased risk from COVID-19.
So what’s happening with all these weedy spots? Your readers may be inspired to learn that . . .
(2) MY BIG BAG OF SAD (CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK THAT HIGHLIGHTS MENTAL HEALTH BENEFIT OF BIKE RIDING)
Remember riding your bike as a kid? Perhaps you even rode it to school. Today, the overwhelming majority of children do not meet the Centers for Disease Control’s daily recommendation for physical activity.
Not only is obesity, and thus obesity-related diseases, continuing to rise and at younger ages, but more and more children are experiencing symptoms of depression and other brain health ailments that can often be traced partly to their lack of daily movement in combination with the increased stresses and impacts of our current world.
There are not many young children’s books that address the feeling of general sadness that increasingly permeates our society nor offer a simple, proven action that children can take to help reduce it.
My Big Bag of Sad, my proposed 32-page picture book targeting children ages 2-8, does this in a fun, empowering, and imaginative way that puts the reader in control of taking a positive step to help feel better. As the big bag of sad, dragged behind a bicycle, transforms into things far more uplifting, they themselves transform.
Contact me if you are a literary agent who is interested in the full pitch, including the complete sweet manuscript, for this children’s picture book. Tap in every Monday for more pitches. Here’s my portfolio.
(3) The Grass Is Always Greener . . . or Is It? (2,000 word article)
Federal agencies take a second look at artificial turf
Artificial turf, first introduced in the 1960s, is increasingly carpeting outdoor spaces in the United States. Ball fields in cities, suburbs, school campuses, and military bases; publicly-accessible gathering spaces; dog parks; children’s playgrounds; and private property from residential backyards to rooftop bars are now sporting the material seemingly overnight. You’re not imagining this. In fact, there were 12,000-13,000 synthetic turf fields in 2016 with an estimated 1,200-1,500 new installations added each year (although, it appears to me as if that rate has escalated in this past year or so). It is being touted as an environmentally and budget-friendly way to save water; eliminate harmful pesticides and costly fertilizers commonly used on natural turf; and provide an aesthetically-consistent, durable surface that can last decades.
Limited studies showed no harm from the materials used in artificial turf. However, gaps in that research have been identified, and both the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pulled back from their previous statements regarding artificial turf, acknowledging the multiple concerns raised by the scientific and public communities about the product. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies artificial turf as one of seven sources of lead exposure for children, recommending precautions posted at field entrances to warn of steps to avoid exposure risks. Here is a Fact Sheet released in 2015, with chilling warnings (note that in my suburb-city, an artificial turf field is used for middle school PE — and PE is required — without providing the ability for children to abide by these recommendations afterwards).
Since then, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched a multi-agency action plan to study key environmental human health questions. That series of studies is now complete and the report has finished undergoing peer review before public release. Here is the reply I received re: when that final report will be released:
Might there be reason for those in a position to choose artificial turf to adopt the precautionary principle at least until this report and its findings are made public? As an additional sidebar, are there existing or emerging alternatives to artificial turf (such as soil-benefiting, nitrogen-fixing, low-maintenance, perennial clovers or a cork-based product that is naturally antimicrobial, fire proof, lightweight, biodegradable, and fully sustainable to grow and harvest) that would be beneficial to consider instead?
For this 1500-word story and 500-word sidebar, I would seek to interview those involved in the research at government agencies, those at turf companies or industry associations, those in a decision-making capacity at public and private places, those in charge of PE protocol at my local middle school, and those who offer or have chosen alternatives.
P.S. I could also include mention of how Europe is addressing this issue, if it is easy enough to do that briefly. Future article idea: The USA/Europe differences regarding the precautionary principle and allowable ingredients (such as when major food manufacturers have separate production lines for each in order to meet the different standards).
(4) Scooting the Issue? (1,000 Word article)
Did cities make good on their claims about proper disposal of shared scooters?
I want to do an update on my scooter end-of-life article that ran on Ensia, SmartCitiesDive, and GreenBiz as there were some very specific actions that named cities were planning on taking as a result of research they were conducting. That ever-so-exciting word infrastructure is about to back in the news in a big way, and you don’t want to miss the boat (train, bus, bike, scooter).