Big Green Purse and The Daily Green are partnering up to give consumers even more of what they've come to expect from both sites: timely, useful, easy-to-follow advice for green living and shopping. Meet Deborah Barrow, the visionary behind The Daily Green and a long-time advocate for a cleaner, greener environment.
* What inspired you to launch The Daily Green?
My garden. Living in the magical Hudson River Valley, which has inspired environmentalists since the days of the Hudson River School painters. Working as a volunteer at a small historic landscape preservation organization and seeing close-up what suburban sprawl was doing to our communities and our eco-systems.
* What distinguishes The Daily Green from the hundreds of other green websites available to the public?
Well for one thing, TDG is updated daily with news stories on all the enviro news and weather from around the globe. Secondly, our feature and service content covers the whole realm of what it means to “go green” from home to food to lifestyle to politics, from cars to fashion; anything you need to know to go green, we've got it for you. And thirdly, The Daily Green is geared to the new green consumer as well as the deep green activist whom most green websites tend to service. These newly green people are starting at step one; they need a lot of help!
* Some green websites promote e-commerce. Others are very politically oriented. What do you hope to accomplish with The Daily Green?
We hope to make it easy for anyone to learn new ways every day to go green. We also hope to bring to the greatest number of people possible the single most important element in going green: being aware of the climate and health issues in the news and voting and working for candidates who have the best plans to address them. Our Green Your Vote 08 coverage is created to do just that.
* The Daily Green is backed by the Hearst corporation, which also publishes magazines like Country Living and O, Oprah's magazine. How does your affiliation with Hearst help (or hurt) your mission?
Having the backing of a major media company like Hearst Magazine has been instrumental in TheDailyGreen’s rapid growth in traffic, plus its cred and acceptance in the media. We call it a mash-up between mainstream media and a grass-roots, blog based green site invented on a kitchen table. It’s magic.
* What's the most popular feature on The Daily Green?
Our daily news channel gets the most traffic, with the New Green Cuisine food channel close behind. Home and Weird Weather are tied for third. The 25 bloggers blogging on everything from raising organic children to global warming gardening to toxin-free cleaning all do very well, too.
* Are your visitors mostly women, men, or a combination?
It’s a true combination. Not easy to achieve, but here we are.
* You seem to have done a particularly good job building relationships with eco-bloggers and news sources that can enrich your site. How do you create such a diverse network, yet still ensure that The Daily Green maintains its brand identity?
Thank you, Diane, for noticing! Well, we carefully vet bloggers and other sources for voice. We are puckish not preachy in our approach, and we think that’s been key to our success. We also take a slightly fun-loving and humorous approach whenever appropriate. So it’s through that lens that we look at potential bloggers, and somehow, we’ve found some wonderful ones with new ones on the way.
* Given how much time you must spend managing the site, do you have any time to write for yourself?
No. Ha ha. But really, here’s the thing. This isn’t a job: it’s a Second Act avocation for me. I’ve had my big-time media career with the secretaries and the offices and the Lear Jet travel. I went from being a secretary to being a Group President at a major magazine company (with many stops along the way), okay, so that particular neurosis is checked off the list. This time, I’m doing this for me. And to give back a little. Also, passing the Big Five-O somehow has unleashed a creative wellspring that I can’t quite believe or understand, but I’m truly enjoying it from the inside out. So time for myself? This year’s resolution is to get in shape eating the New Green Cuisine from the site, get a weekly massage, and then, jumping right back to morphing TheDailyGreen into a Big, Big Deal.
• What exciting plans do you have for The Daily Green in 2008?
More how-to for people battling new economic pressures, new climate challenges: Water tips for drought ridden home owners. How to green your house to sell it in a bad real estate market. The global warming guide to reading your house insurance policy. Really pushing out our food and recipes to new levels. And keeping the site new and fresh every single day. The goal is: every time you come to TDG, even if you come 2-3X a day, there’s something new and wonderful there for you, no matter where you are on our How Green Do You Want to Be “green-o-meter”!