February's challenge is to start a blog. How is that going to save the planet? Because it influences other people. Something I wrote persuaded 32 people to buy a battery recharger and use it. Maybe more - perhaps some people bought a charger but didn't vote in the poll. That's pretty incredible.
When I started blogging about 18 months ago I just wanted to keep an allotment journal, and like a true geek I thought it might as well be an online journal. To my great surprise it turned into much more than that. I found myself part of an online community of bloggers about allotments, bloggers about the environment, bloggers about crafts, frugality, gardening, cooking and lots of other topics. They commented on my posts, and linked to them from their own blogs. I then visited their blogs to leave comments and read their posts, and often found interesting things to write about myself, and of course to link back to the original source.
Some of the things I do, in the back of my mind I'm thinking "There could be a good blog post in this". Maybe I'd have said "no" to some of these things if it wasn't for the extra incentive of writing about it on Bean Sprouts. So blogging has introduced me to new experiences. And some of the things I do have sprung directly from blogging, such as buying two colonies of bees and beekeeping equipment from Ally (who writes the blog Ducking for Apples).
I think the blogosphere is something really important (well I would, wouldn't I)? But seriously - not so long ago you had to be Rupert Murdoch to publish something that could be read by millions of people worldwide. Not that millions of people read Bean Sprouts. But they could. They're on the internet so this content is freely available to them. And they could read your thoughts and opinions too.
Your thoughts and opinions don't have to be earth-shattering. It doesn't matter. But they're yours, so write them down and put them out there in cyberspace. If people like what you write, your readership will grow. If they don't like what you write, well, it didn't cost you anything anyway (blogging is free unless you choose a service that charges). But there are so many people on the internet, there's bound to be someone who likes what you do.
If you're shy, you can be anonymous. There isn't really someone called Marvin the Magnificent. That's a pen name (surely it is ...) Just one warning - even if you use a pen name, I still wouldn't advise bitching about your company.
You don't have to write about the environment. I'm not telling you what to write about. If you want to write about how Bean Sprouts is full of sh*t and climate change is a load of hooey, go ahead. Write about whatever is important to you, even if it seems very mundane. Write about what excites you. Write about whatever is meaningful for you.
So that's February's challenge. Start a blog. Please vote in the poll in the right-hand sidebar. And leave a comment telling me about your blog. I'll visit it, I promise, and I'll write a post linking to it later in the month.