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The topic of what, exactly, facilitates real change in human habits has been the focus of behavioral scientists, political pundits and clever marketers for as long as we’ve had a mature free market system in North America. In the non-profit world, where resources are scarce, almost by definition, we’re constantly looking for ways to get our message its proverbial 15 minutes in the limelight. Often, we’re lucky to grab 15 seconds of someone’s attention, so our message better damn well be clear.
At SafeLawns.org, founded in Maine and Washington, D.C., in 2006 to reduce the toxic load on our backyard lawns, business and college campuses and public parks, we’ve taken many of our cues from a lone Canadian doctor. A quarter century ago, when Dr. June Irwin, a dermatologist, heard the renowned author and activist Gordon Sinclair say that “letters to the editor are free,” she took it to heart.Continue Reading