Hello from the SXSW Eco Conference in Austin. This is the first year for the conference, which is finding solutions for sustainability in our world.
You’ll probably read me write that word “sustainability” a lot over the next three days. In fact, the first panel was on Latinos and sustainability, a topic that is obviously very important in San Antonio.
Mando Rayo from Cultural Stratagies said the issue of Latinos and sustainability breaks down into three topics: cultures, tradition and history, choices versus necessity and creating inclusion.
In terms of cultures, tradition and history, Rayo said Latinos have a history of being “green,” even if it isn’t recognized by other cultures. Things like backyard gardens, raising chickens, re-using plastic bags and milk cartons, riding bikes and utilizing public transportation are all “green” lifestyle choices. However, they aren’t always seen as that with Latinos. In fact, most of us have a choice to use public transportation but choose not to. Does that mean those who use it because of necessity are not as “green” as others? That breaking of stereotypes and mindsets leads to inclusion in the sustainability movement. Rayo said it all starts at home with Latinos, which is one stereotype that is true with that culture. He said companies and organizations should create both passive and active recreational opportunities for Latinos when it comes to outdoor activities. It can’t be a one-time deal on Cinco de Mayo. It needs to be a year-round focus.
Rayo had eight strategies for helping environmental companies or organizations connect with Latinos:
- Start today
- Connect with the culture
- Build relationships
- Be a resource (it’s not about you – it’s about them)
- Understand your market
- Make your organizational brand mulit-cultural friendly
- Go to the people
- Be committed