I’ve gotten a little leery about product posts lately (“seen on TV” products notwithstanding). Ultimately, with the number of new “green” products out there, such posts could easily become the sole focus of our work here… and I don’t think that’s the kind of content sustainablog readers want or expect. But, I do make exceptions, and was happy to do just that when Ecopreneurist‘s Paul Smith approached me about writing a post on Ode magazine.
Why make an exception for Ode? It’s quickly become my favorite magazine… the first (and, so far, only) one I’ve subscribed to on Zinio. Ode‘s not only focused on issues that matter to me — social, environmental, and economic change — but also on stories about people making a difference in these areas.
In short, there’s a lot of good news in Ode… and, more and more, we need that.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not turning into a pollyanna in my old(er) age. I do think, though, that we in the green media often fall into the trap of negativity. We’ve got to be honest about the challenges that we face, but if we only report on “doom and gloom” scenarios, we run the risk of spreading the idea that nothing can be done to address issues like climate change, water shortages, and biodiversity loss. We should be working to empower people… and sharing stories of individuals and groups confronting these challenges demonstrates that there are positive actions we can take that make a difference.
So, when I look at the most recent issue, I find article on “blue energy” research, social entrepreneurship in the midst of the economic crisis, and a profile of futurist Peter Russell and his call for “communal creativity” in response to global crises. Other recent articles have covered supply chain transparency, efforts to put foreclosed homes and buildings to good use, and a green homeless shelter.
The magazine’s companion website publishes much of the print edition’s content, but also places a strong focus on user-generated content. In the “Exchange” section, users can contribute short articles that contribute to Ode’s focus on “people, passion and possibilities.” Recent offerings include a piece on Oakland’s Vida Verde organization, the “social reality game” Akoha, and franchise opportunities with the “g” Green Design Center.
This post probably reads like an advertorial. It’s not, at least in the sense that no one paid for a profile of Ode. Rather, I’m just so impressed with the work they do that I jumped at the chance to write a short profile. If you interested in checking out the magazine, you can check them out via Zinio (for paper-free reading), or take advantage of a special subscription offer: for $19.95, you’ll get a year of the magazine, a tree planted in your name, and a Thich Nhat Hanh meditation CD. It’s worth a look…