Inconsistent Message? Wrong Platform? Marketing Scheme?

With a mission to promote sustainability, wellness and community by striking a balance between business and nature, I am very open to exploring new ideas and trends. In 2018, I made a specific effort to do more research on Zero Waste and see where I could personally make an impact. To my disappointment, for the second time in less than a month, I am confused by the messages coming from noteworthy #zerowaste influencers.

This time, it wasn’t a major blow to the DIY community. It was a photo of a Zero Waster holding a sign that said “F… Guns.” In America, people are free to speak their minds, and I have no time or desire to get into a debate about firearms. However, as a follower of someone I believed to be passionate about an environmental cause, I was confused by the post. Does the influencer want to unite or divide? Was the influencer’s Zero Waste platform the appropriate place for the post? Was the post just a marketing scheme to create controversy and get more engagement?

Regardless of the motive, I don’t agree or disagree with the influencer’s stance on the second amendment. But I won’t be influenced by someone who uses negativity or division to promote a cause. As stated in a previous post, How Valuable is Your Social Capital, we all have a responsibility to our readership. How we view and use that responsibility can mean the difference between positive change and destructive behaviors.

Though it wasn’t apparent before, I can see more clearly now that there is a pattern of division and controversy in a community that was once appealing to me. As a newcomer, I am the person to influence. I am the type that is skeptical and trying to learn more. I am someone who can embrace what others have started and help promote positive change. But instead of sharing pride and unity, I’m wondering who I may have to unfollow next. I have hope that other leaders in Zero Waste space will continue to provide a consistent message and not get sucked into the trap of using their social capital for potentially controversial and confusing marketing campaigns.

©, March 25, 2018

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