2020 finally ended. We have been roller-coastering through this first Covid year, struggling to keep our head above water. We have changed habits, canceled traditional festivities, postponed social events to better times. It has been a frustrating year with many hard pills to swallow. Yet, 2020 also gave us extraordinary high-quality reflexive moments. We used those moment to understand where we are on our life path, critically assess our business strengths and weakness, look for new work opportunities, and pick-up new hobbies.
For the GreenMarked Team, 2020 has marked an importance benchmark: the decision of turning a personal blog into a business. In March, we signed the first draft of our Common Vision:
We are willing to create an online and offline platform focused on environmental sustainability.
- Will be a professional environment where to work for and have fun with the environment. It will represent a sharing place that stimulates environmental innovation.
- Will be legally recognized […] and will be able to apply to tenders and calls, be paid and conquer market shares. With the results and an efficient work style, it will incentive stakeholders to invest time, energy, capital, and other resources.
- Will build its business network and will be able to affect business, administrative and political decisions at local, regional, Italian, or international level.
Since March, this generic Common Vision has helped us deciding our upcoming activities and remembered us where we are heading to.
With all the difficulties of merging our main job, our university tasks, family duties and Covid-conditioned free-time, we were able to set important puzzle pieces that will help us becoming an official business.
Following Greta Thunberg’s Friday strikes, we decided to keep a Friday blog posting habit. In our Telegram Channel, we posted 38 Friday posts and a dozen unofficial posts in 2020, thus getting close to a regular one-post-per-week frequency. Thanks to the variety of content supported by Telegram, posts comprised both brief environmental text, audio, or video messages, as well as longer, articulated and scientifically proven articles. All articles can be read directly in Telegram in a deliciously focus-friendly manner thanks to the “Instant View” feature. In fact, they were also published onto our website blog page, to favor all those who are not Telegram geeks like us. The blog page was revamped, and articles were better organized, thus following now a standard template. Articles were written in two main languages – Italian and English – but we also included Dutch, German and Spanish written articles. To reward the hard work required for a well-written environmental article, we decided to give the authors 25€ compensation for every piece. If you like writing and have a passion for the environment, apply at @greenmarked_info to write and work with us.
On the blog, articles were viewed from a minimum of 11 to a maximum of 253 times. These numbers, however, must be integrated with the views directly on the Telegram channel, where sharing is easier, and views of every post easily exceed 100.
Our Telegram channel now counts 94 subscribers, and we are proud to use such an amazingly versatile, secure, and private-friendly digital platform as main business communication mean.
Now that Mark Zuckerberg will force WhatsApp users to share their data with the other Facebook apps, we are happy to be one of the few groups that does not greatly rely on Facebook. Our effort to bring more people away from Facebook apps, and onto less manipulative platforms is constant.
Nonetheless, in August we landed on Instagram and re-opened our Twitter account. This was our step towards our friends and business partners, who are much more active on Facebook apps rather than Telegram. We started using these platforms to increase our outreach and improve our environmental awareness spreading. Our profiles now count 61 and 17 followers, respectively. We will use these and other social media to convince more people to move away from Facebooks apps and rely more on Telegram and similar media. If you have experience with social media managing or a degree in communication and you are looking for a stimulating volunteering / side-job activity focused on the environment, send us your application to @greenmarked_info. Full application details are in our freshly opened @greenmarked_discussion group.
Social Media Detox
The fight against digital addiction is one of our core activities. In 2020 we organized online and offline events to tackle one of the biggest plagues of these fist two decades of the century.
In September, we organized on Mount Bondone a social media detox day-camp dedicated to sports teachers of Trentino. The benefits of nature and outdoor activities helped teachers reflect on students digital addiction and healthy digital education strategies to apply in the Covid-era.
In November, we organized a three-day social media detox camp aimed to improve the concentration, productivity, and the well-being of university students and young workers. Unfortunately, we had to cancel the camp a week before its kick-off due to the second pandemic wave in Italy, but all camp activities are ready. We will pull them out again in March or April. Check our freshly updated Social Media Detox webpage to see the upcoming camps!
Since our detox camps are highly social events and could not take place, we organized three “Detox in Lockdown” webinars. The webinars illustrated work productivity and well-being detox tips, such as the Konmari method and mindfulness sessions, to adopt during the quarantine period.
Our activities against digital addiction does not end here. By the end of 2020, our @socialmediadetox public group reached 86 members and is used to conversate about social media issues and provide #DetoxPills.
Environmental digital games
One of our #DetoxPills was the Telegram “Digital Carbon Quiz” that we rolled out in September. The 30 quiz questions allowed players to learn about the environmental impact of their digital activities. The Telegram “Advanced Sustainability Quiz”, instead, allowed players to go in depth into the world of sustainability. We rolled out this first quiz in May for the Telegram Education Quiz Contest, and Telegram rewarded us with a price of 500€ because of the quality of our product.
Besides the Telegram quizzes, we tried out the Geocaching platform to make our environmental updates more dynamic. Geocaching is a modern treasure hunt that uses GPS coordinates to find treasures (“geocaches”) hidden around the world. In November, we placed four green geocaches in different places of Mezzocorona (TN, Italy) that highlighted environmental qualities and criticalities within the municipality.
Reaching out politicians, credit institutions and private businesses
Our impact on political and private business agendas has been tiny in 2020. In February and October, we wrote two comprehensive articles to denounce the deforestation of the Paganella highland in favor of ski resorts. Although both articles were read more than 150 times and were shared with the Paganella Ski Area company directors, our words were left unheard and more deforestation activities are currently ongoing.
To the contrary, our words were listened when we openly debated with three Italian food retailers about their seemingly unsustainable food packaging. Although one retailer claimed that the packaging recycling should be a responsibility of the consumer, the other two agreed with us that continuous efforts must be made to improve the recycling level of their products.
We did not expect to be listened when we asked the “Cassa Rurale di Trento” credit institution about their measures to reduce their environmental impact. The answer from one of the managers was comprehensive and was published on the institution associates magazine.
Finally, our “environmental sling shot” has had another good shot this year. In May, we participated to a public debate on future of the European Union organized by the townhall of Lavis (TN, Italy). Our talk about the “Happy Degrowth and the Ecological Transition of Europe” on Zoom and Live Facebook was seen by 864 people, and lead to a positive exchange with the head of the Italian Degrowth Movement.
In September, one of our GreenMarked Team volunteers co-organized a Reforestation Day in Obereggen (South Tyrol, Italy) in area devasted by the windstorm Vaia back in October 2018. During the Day, approximately 500 local Norway spruces, larches, and mountain-ashes were planted on the mountain slope. The new seedlings will help accelerate the reforestation dynamics, decrease the soil erosion process, and reduce the hydrogeological risk.
Following the South Tyrolean good example, we recently opened-up the “Native Carbon Trees” project in Cochabamba (Bolivia), partnering up with a local agroecological NGO. In one of the most polluted and water-scarce areas of Bolivia, we have started planting the first 10 chirimoya, avocado, and American pepper trees in the agroecological patches of local farmers. The trees will help sequestrate atmospheric carbon and support local agroecological production. Each tree is personalized with the name tag of a GreenMarked member… but more details will soon be published on our website, so stay tuned!
2021 GreenMarked Membership card
The “Native Carbon Trees” project is a spoiler of the numerous activities that we will organized and roll out in 2021.
If you like what we have organized so far in 2020 and would like to sustain our activities, buy your 2021 GreenMarked Membership card for 30€.
Besides supporting us, you will get
- Free access to our webinars on environmental matters and digital detox strategies such as the “Detox in Lockdown” seminar
- Great discounts on the Social Media Detox camp and the other ecotourism events
- A native Bolivian carbon tree (, chirimoya, avocado or American pepper) with your name on.
Click qui to pay quickly on PayPal. Write “2021 GreenMarked Membership card” in the message box. If you are buying it for a friend do not forget to type his/her name in! Text us at @greenmarked_info if you do not have a PayPal account, you want to pay through IBAN or need more info.
After this outstanding 2020, we warmly welcome 2021 and all the great news it will bring, we are very happy to have you onboard, and we are looking forward to seeing you in one of our next events!