How Green is Google Plus?

illustration of G+ by Franke James with collaged elements

Google+ is moving fast, and so are some very entrepreneurial folks who are not affiliated with Google.

Google has a reputation for being Super Green.

So, when I got onto G+, I was hoping I could hang out with Green Googlers and learn tons of stuff about all the cool green things they’re doing. Maybe even soak up some clean green energy tips from Sergey and Larry. And even Eric.

But getting my daily dose of greens on G+ required some work by me.

On July 11th I tweeted:
I love Google+ but it's missing something important -- my green friends! Tweet or DM so we can connect on G+. #climate #sustainability

My call for green friends was quickly amplified on Twitter.

Brad Johnson (@climatebrad) ThinkProgress’s Green Editor at the Center for American Progress quickly retweeted it.

climatebrad RT @frankejames: I love Google+ but it's missing something important -- my green friends! Tweet or DM so we can connect on G+. #climate

Green friends are easy to find on Twitter. I have lists and lists and more lists that tell me who is green, and what is the latest news on all environmental issues.

But replicating that deep greenness on Google+ requires some searching.

my green circle

Probably because G+ is still in beta-mode, and there are issues with privacy, Google hasn’t made it easy. To find greens on G+ I entered in search terms like “green” and got pages and pages of results of very green people. But they were green in name only (surname). A few people who are real green leaders came up but not that many.

So, I searched for “environment” and found lots of people who are using that as a synonym for workplace. Thanks, but that’s not the ‘environment’ I’m looking for! Planet didn’t turn up much either.

The best results were when I searched for the names of eNGO’s and green businesses I follow on Twitter. That’s when I hit the motherlode. Lots and lots of green people from eNGO’s and green businesses are on Google+, like WWF,, Grist, Mother Jones, Greenpeace, David Suzuki Foundation, Fresh Energy, Think Progress and more.

But that manual approach is pretty tedious, enter…

Google Plus Search, Google Plus Directory | Find People on Plus:
Browse for People on Plus:

(Thnx Chris Brogan for the tip!)

So, how green is Google Plus?

That depends totally on you. Even though Google is green by reputation, Google Plus is color-blind. G+ is all about making your experience as individual as you are. What color will your G+ be? You can make it whatever color in the rainbow you want.

Are you wondering who I have in my green+ circle?

Well, if you share my passion for all things green and sustainable — and want to discuss the latest environmental news — I’d love to bring you into my circle. Please join me on Google+. You can find me by searching for “Franke James” (artist and author).

I’m happy that I have a Green Circle on Google Plus now and that it’s attracting green thinkers, leaders, movers and shakers.

Join me, so we can make the most important circle, Our Planet, Greener together.

planet circle by franke james

Franke James’ “Bothered By My Green Conscience” Wins 2010 Green Book Award

Green Book Festival Medal by Franke James

May 2010: Bothered by My Green Conscience is the winner of the 2010 Green Book Festival Award for Graphic Novels. The award honors books that, “… contribute to greater understanding, respect for and positive action on the changing worldwide environment.” Bruce Haring at the Green Book Festival said, “Franke’s book is a sheer delight and the judges are proud to honor it with this award.”

Author and artist, Franke James commented, “I’m absolutely thrilled it won the Green Book Festival Award for Graphic Novels! Book awards catch the attention of the media — and are therefore a great way to get the core message of my book to the public, and that is, ‘Do the hardest thing first.’ And then brag about it, shamelessly!”

“Do the hardest thing first.”

“Tell everyone about the wonderful green thing you did! Pretty soon, you’ll discover it’s fun and you’ll be inspiring others. Your friends and family may feel envious at first — but before you know it, they’ll be doing their own ‘hard green thing.’ And then we’ll have a real green revolution happening! And we need that.

“We’re treating our world as though it was disposable, and we had another shiny new one just waiting on a shelf for us. But we don’t! We need to get serious about protecting the environment, so that our children and grandchildren will have a healthy planet to live on. We can do a lot to fix the world, but we need to get ambitious now — and not wait for the politicians to save us.

“Do the hardest thing first. You’ll be surprised how fun it is, and how good it makes you feel!”

Franke James’ book is in good company — other Canadians who won the US Award…

climate cover up  cover James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore won the overall Green Book Festival prize for Climate Cover-Up (Non-fiction). It is a book I highly recommend. It’s a fascinating, and illuminating read about the crusade to deny global warming.  It will give you insight into the inner-workings of the PR campaigns (financed by the fossil fuel industries) that are sewing climate confusion, and in many cases, using outright deception to fool the gullible public.

The campaign to deny global warming mirrors the campaign by the tobacco industry to convince people that smoking was safe. And we all know how that ended up. Decades were wasted, lives lost, all unnecessarily, because society refused to face the scientific truth.

Now every cigarette pack in Canada comes with warning labels, such as “Smoking Kills.” What warning label should we put on our planet that will wake people up? Please leave your suggestions in the comments.

smoking illustration by Franke James