Environmental Graffiti’s Movers and Shakers: Brian Clark Howard from The Daily Green

Brian Clark HowardPhoto:
All images courtesy of The Daily Green.

Brian Clark Howard is The Daily Green’s web editor and a long-time supporter and friend of Environmental Graffiti. As the TDG’s URTH Guy, he blogs about anything related to being green and stylish in the urban environment, recycling and reusing and technology and e-culture – all with a humorous outlook of course. Brian has been an environmental journalist for more than eight years and his impressive repertoire includes work for E/The Environmental Magazine, Plenty, The Green Guide, Connecticut Magazine, AlterNet and several books. Brian took the time to chat with us about The Daily Green, green experiences in his life and what keeps him going. Enjoy!

Natural swimming poolPhoto:
From TDG’s inspiring post 23 Breathtaking Natural Swimming Pools

EG: What was the idea behind The Daily Green? How did it get started and what keeps it growing?

Brian Clark Howard: On this past Earth Day The Daily Green celebrated its second birthday, which we marked with our second annual Heart of Green Awards , in which we recognize movers, shakers and community leaders who have excelled in bringing the green message to a wider audience. The Daily Green was first envisioned by our founder, Deborah Barrow, who had many years of mainstream media experience, but who felt that there wasn’t enough clear, concise, service-oriented information out there on green living for regular folks. She and her husband were trying to research ways to green up their home, especially with an eye to going solar, and they were baffled by purely technical information they could find. Deborah thought there needed to be one destination online for a wider audience to come together to learn, share and live green.

The site has been growing organically (pun intended) since then, by building a regular audience of readers and newsletter and RSS subscribers, as well as through reaching out to, and learning from, many great friends in the green blogosphere, in the wider Hearst network of sites, through partnerships with environmental organizations and on social media sites, and through our corporate partners, especially Yahoo Green, MSN Green and Huffington Post Green, which help us engage new audiences.

We keep growing The Daily Green, and sharing the green word, by connecting with readers in new platforms, whether that’s on Digg, Stumbleupon, Yahoo Buzz, Facebook, Twitter, Carbonrally or in some other space. Most importantly, we try to produce the freshest, most relevant, interesting and high quality content, and then listen to our readers, as well as thought leaders.

Tree housePhoto:
From TDG’s article 11 Homes Made of the Darndest Things from Treehouses to Missile Silos

EG: Tell us a bit about yourself and any particular experiences that shaped your (green) life?

Brian Clark Howard: I’m 30 and originally from Indiana, though I’ve been in the New York area since 2001. In college I studied environmental sciences (focused on biology and geology), and had intended to become a wildlife biologist or paleontologist. I did research on nesting birds in Indiana wetlands, but eventually decided that I didn’t want to go in a hard science direction. So I decided to parlay my passion for environmental issues with my flair for writing and editing, and started a career in environmental journalism.

I grew up spending a great deal of time outside, hiking, camping, canoeing and just exploring. I once estimated that I’d slept nearly a year’s worth of nights in tents, because I had been to so many camps, and spent two summers teaching kids about nature as a camp counselor. My family instilled in me a great respect for nature and science, and told me that humankind should be good stewards of the Earth.

Bacon Twinkie StonehengePhoto:
Bacon and Twinkie Stonehenge from TDG’s article on 16 of the Internet’s Weirdest Meat Creations

I spent five years as managing editor of E/The Environmental Magazine, America’s oldest, largest independent green magazine, and wrote for Plenty Magazine, The Green Guide, AlterNet and elsewhere. I co-wrote and co-edited the 2005 book Green Living, and wrote part of a forthcoming green guide for Rodale Press. In 2007 I completed a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, where I concentrated in online reporting. I’ve long been fascinated by e-culture, and am a firm believer in the enormous, rapidly expanding power of the Internet. So The Daily Green was a natural fit for me, in combining the nimbleness and freshness of an online organization with a commitment to good reporting and true green cred.

EG: What’s the secret ingredient of The Daily Green? What makes it special?

Brian Clark Howard: The Daily Green has been a great place to be because we have a tone, pedigree and partnerships that are highly accessible, yet we have a true commitment to and background in the green lifestyle. We are committed to service reporting that users will hopefully find truly valuable, and we try to make the enormous concept of “green” as relatable and accessible as possible to a wide audience. We are relatively nimble and plugged into the blogosphere, yet can take advantage of the experience and resources of a larger organization (Hearst).

McDonaldPhoto:
From 15 Hilarious McDonald’s Parodies

EG: What does your typical day involve? Where do you find inspiration?

Brian Clark Howard: Like most of us who work online I never seem to have near enough hours in the day. But it’s a great thing to love your job and love your career path. One of the things I like about working in media is that every day is different. Sometimes I’ll be off covering an opening or event, another time I’ll be trying out a new green product, or I’ll be talking to a writer about tightening her copy, interviewing a source or combing RSS feeds for leads. Working on a website is a team effort, both within the office walls and in the greater blogosphere, and I am continually inspired by my colleagues. I’m also inspired by grassroots greens of all walks of life, as well as major leaders. Finally, since we’re talking about saving the environment, I would be remiss not to point out that I am continually inspired by this beautiful planet itself. Earth is going to be our only home for some time to come, so we better take good care of it. We should also remember to enjoy it while we’re here, because it’s pretty freaking awesome.

JellyfishPhoto:
From TDG’s practical post on Top 10 Weird Uses for Vodka

EG: Tell us a bit about future plans for The Daily Green, what shade of green will it take?

Brian Clark Howard: We think the future is bright both for the green movement and The Daily Green. We look forward to connecting with new audiences and better serving the regular readers we have the privilege of keeping informed. Green is growing very rapidly, and offers great promise for a cleaner, better, more equitable world. We embrace everyone interested in this vital area, from the most dedicated activists to those who are just starting to think about dipping their toes in a cleaner pool. We hope we can offer something for everyone, while being anchored by the inclusive core of our site, which is everyday, real people.

Thank you Brian, for being part of EG’s Movers and Shakers series!

We’ll even throw in a free album.

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