I’ve had a great time here at BlogHer in Chicago so far! I got into Chicago really early because I woke up at 4am and got on a plane at 6am on Thursday. It was great to have a little down time. I took some awesome pictures from our hotel.
Then I went on a series of social expeditions, where I got to meet up with so many of my blogger and Twitter friends. I have had so many great conversations already. BlogHer is so big (more than 5,000 this year) but then so small, because we know each other!
One of the recurring themes of conversation last night was green, organic, or natural companies or brands, and their size. Is small best because there is more integrity? Because those companies are not here. Only large companies can afford BlogHer. So what about the small brands? Do they go rouge with offsite unofficial events? Or is it OK if they expand?
So many of us green influencers are attempting to bring eco-friendly living to the mainstream. To do that, we have to have companies that can eventually produce large-scale. To do that, a company or brand has to be … big! I talked to Eggland’s Best last night about why they still use styrofoam for their eggs. I actually got to talk to the owner, who expressed a lot of frustration, which shows that he is uncomfortable with their status quo. He mentioned that in order to obtain non-styrofoam packaging that is sustainable, he has to have a provider that is able to provide supplies at the scale they need. The only provider they have found so far is in Canada, and the cost of shipping was, in his opinion, prohibitive. He mentioned a cost of “3 times” what they pay for styrofoam, and then an increase in consumer cost of 50 cents per carton. I see this problem as two-fold. One, we need to use our resources to connect small providers with big buyers who can solve each other’s problems. Two, we need to work on the public perception that those eggs need to be 50 cents cheaper, because they don’t. They need to be their true cost, not an artificial cost based on cheap chemicals and non-biodegradable packaging.
I am always looking to you, my readers, to help us change the norm, move the dial. Let’s keep doing it!