Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cool Earth Apps—Sparking Interest in Saving the Planet

By Joanna Kulesa
Looking back on “Earth Month,” I am reminded of how many different ways there are to spark a conversation that benefits our planet.

One of our nonprofit clients, Rock the Earth, works with the music industry and its fans, many of whom are concerned with the fate of our public lands, air and water, to advocate for the ensured existence of a sustainable and healthy environment for all. For example, Rock the Earth’s Planet Defender Awards have helped to encourage big names in music to raise their voices for Mother Earth since Earth Day 2006. Kulesa Faul recently helped to announce this year’s conscientious tribute.

The Planet Defender Awards honor individuals who are dedicated to environmental activism, including Willie Nelson (Artist), Amory Lovins (Community Leader) and Lynn Henning (Grassroots Activist). Of course, Willy Nelson accepting an award for his eco-friendly work has large-scale ripples, but famous or not, anyone can raise awareness with (literally) the click of a button.

Take a simple technology like applications (apps)—most everyone today carries a smart phone. National Geographic’s “National Parks” app lets us peer upon the amazing natural landscapes that surround us and, hopefully, sparks curiosity about preserving our planet. Other apps also seem to adopt National Geographic’s long-standing motto, “Inspiring people to care about the planet." Another, the Night Sky app, enables us to gaze upward at the beauty of it all, and map the stars and constellations wherever we are.

Other apps take a proactive approach to preserving our precious resources. The new “Fragile Earth” app takes a serious look at the issues by highlighting areas at risk, while organizations like our client People Power have developed apps to help us easily manage our energy use.

When mixed with social media, environmentally conscious apps can ignite change on a scale never before possible. Like the butterfly effect—“when a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world it can cause a hurricane in another part of the world”—when we post an awe-striking photo of the Grand Canyon or Mt. Huang to our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, you-name-it accounts, our actions may inadvertently give birth to a newfound appreciation of nature, or taking action to preserve it.

Earth-appreciation shouldn’t be confined to a single day or month. Why not begin exploring these simple apps to spread the wonder, gratitude and awareness? 

Joanna Kulesa is principal of Kulesa Faul, in San Mateo, CA. Kulesa Faul focuses on public relations, social media and communications strategies for enterprise software and consumer technologies companies.—

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