We are always seeking new ways to enhance our interactions with our consumers — and increasingly, our consumers are using social media. Following that trend allowed us to dramatically increase our reach last year. We had fewer than 1,800 followers on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn at the beginning of 2009. A year later, that number had exploded to 44,877, about 25 times as many. Our Seventh Generation Nation members more than doubled to 254,000 during the year. The number of topics covered in our online forums and guides has also risen, and those topics are increasingly reader initiated. A few of our educational initiatives are covered below.
Many people aren’t aware that more than 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. That’s 22,000 women too many. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are frustratingly vague, making it difficult to diagnose. Because we still know so little about ovarian cancer, funding for education and research is critical.
Seventh Generation supports the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) in its mission to fund research to find a method of early detection and ultimately a cure for ovarian cancer. We designated September 1, 2009, as "Let's Talk…Period Day" in observance of September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and our commitment to this cause continues. With help from a network of concerned consumers and Seventh Generation Nation members, Seventh Generation donated $22,000 to the OCRF in honor of the 22,000 women who are diagnosed each year.
Spreading the message about the impact of chemical toxicity in the home and solutions for eliminating this problem is very important to us at Seventh Generation. In 2009, we began a partnership with Healthy Child Healthy World and WebMD to make a simple, online tool available to everyone interested in healthy living. The WebMD-hosted website shows a typical home with toxic hot spots identified in yellow. Click on any room, choose one of the hot spots, and you will see practical tips for healthy solutions. In the bedroom, clicking on the closet provides tips and a video about toxic fumes from dry-cleaned clothes. Click on the shower in the bathroom to learn about shower-curtain off-gassing. With videos and practical, affordable tips, this interactive tool has something to teach all of us about making our homes healthier. Seventh Generation’s partner, renowned pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene, proclaims that "for every environmental problem…there is an environmental solution."