I didn’t write this blog post

by May 23, 2023

Shelton Stat of the Week

An average of 61% of people in 12 countries around the world want to be seen as someone who buys eco-friendly products.
Eco Pulse®, 2023 (Global)

We’re all hearing a lot about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT in particular. So, my curiosity got the better of me … I signed up for a ChatGPT account and typed into the query bar: Write a blog post from Suzanne Shelton.

The following is what it created — in like 10 seconds right before my eyes. And while it misses the mark on my tone of voice, gives advice that’s not actually what I would give, and doesn’t include the consumer insights/stats typical for my posts, it captures some of my key themes quite well.

So, what’s the point of this little experiment? In time, tools like this could help companies avoid greenwashing. Imagine being able to submit a sustainability report or social media post to some sort of AI tool which could flag it for greenwashing and help you make corrections to ensure you’re compliant with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guidelines and various reporting frameworks. (I actually typed in: How to avoid greenwashing, and what it recommended was pretty accurate. You should try it.)

As it stands now, there are a lot of concerns around using AI for content production and publication. Since it is pulling from existing materials on the web, users face intellectual property and plagiarism concerns, a lack of originality, and have to fill in the human touch that can provide an accurate tone of voice and contextual intellect, such as external research and data input that usually is considered by humans during the creation process. And, judging from what you’ll see below, it’s clear that AI tools won’t eliminate the need for creative teams like those at Shelton Group. (I also typed in, “write a script for a commercial telling people to recycle,” and what it wrote was really terrible and disjointed.) But one day, if we can minimize the horror of this kind of technology and use it in the right ways, the upside looks really cool for ensuring companies can both avoid greenwashing AND greenhushing.

[The following was generated by ChatGPT]

Title: Harnessing the Power of Sustainable Choices: A Path to a Better Future


Dear readers,

Today, I want to take a moment to reflect on the transformative power of sustainable choices and their profound impact on our journey towards a better future. In an era where environmental concerns have become more urgent than ever, it is imperative that we all embrace our collective responsibility to protect our planet. As a passionate advocate for sustainability, I have witnessed firsthand the remarkable progress we can achieve when we make conscious choices to support a greener, more sustainable world.

1. A Mindset Shift:
At the heart of the sustainable movement lies a fundamental shift in our mindset—a realization that our individual actions ripple across the globe. It begins with recognizing that each choice we make has consequences, whether it’s the products we consume, the energy we use, or the way we travel. Embracing a sustainable mindset empowers us to be conscious consumers, enabling us to align our values with our actions.

2. Sustainable Energy Solutions:
One of the most crucial aspects of building a sustainable future is transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources. The remarkable advancements in solar, wind, and hydro power have opened up new possibilities for reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Embracing sustainable energy solutions not only helps combat climate change but also creates new job opportunities and drives economic growth. By investing in renewable energy, we pave the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.

3. Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems:
The way we produce and consume food has a profound impact on both our health and the environment. Embracing sustainable agriculture practices, such as organic farming, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture, allows us to nurture the soil, preserve biodiversity, and reduce the use of harmful chemicals. Additionally, choosing locally sourced, seasonal, and plant-based foods can significantly reduce our carbon footprint and promote a healthier lifestyle.

4. Circular Economy and Waste Reduction:
The linear “take-make-dispose” model of consumption is no longer sustainable in a world with finite resources. Adopting a circular economy approach, where resources are kept in use for as long as possible, promotes recycling, upcycling, and the reduction of waste. By embracing sustainable consumption patterns, we can reduce the strain on the environment and foster a more resilient and resource-efficient society.

5. The Power of Collective Action:
While individual choices matter, the power of collective action cannot be underestimated. By joining forces with like-minded individuals, organizations, and communities, we amplify our impact and inspire others to follow suit. Grassroots movements, advocacy campaigns, and community initiatives play a vital role in creating a groundswell of change, driving policy reforms, and holding businesses accountable for their environmental impact.

As I conclude this blog post, I want to emphasize that each of us has the power to shape the future we want to see. By making sustainable choices in our daily lives, supporting renewable energy, promoting sustainable agriculture, embracing circular economy principles, and coming together as a collective force, we can create a world that is more resilient, equitable, and abundant.
Let us seize this opportunity to redefine our relationship with the planet and pave the way for a brighter future. The time for action is now, and together, we can make a significant difference. Join me on this journey towards sustainability, and let us build a world we can be proud to leave behind for future generations.

In solidarity,

Suzanne Shelton

News of the Week
Regulators dust off rule books to tackle generative AI like ChatGPT

Regulators dust off rule books to tackle generative AI like ChatGPT

With the flood of controversy over AI-generated content, we all knew AI regulation was coming. This Reuters article covers the first steps countries in the EU have already taken and where they could potentially be headed.

Read more…

Today’s AI boom will amplify social problems if we don’t act now, says AI ethicist
Today’s AI boom will amplify social problems if we don’t act now, says AI ethicist

While the excitement of generative AI tools is rampant, now is the time to build in equity and eliminate biases. This ZDNET article discusses how generative AI can promote objectivity while addressing the needs of all users equally.

Read more…

Buzz On Buzzwords

Our latest research shows that Americans are becoming more engaged when it comes to sustainability; at the same time, their skepticism around certain words and phrases is growing. This means that for brands to connect with their ideal audience, build trust and remain competitive, attention to language is critical.

Find out what Americans think about sustainability, what different “green” words mean to them and how they interpret and respond to the jargon you may be using.

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About the Author

Suzanne Shelton

Where Suzanne sees opportunity, you can bet results will follow. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of both the advertising world and the energy and environment arena, Suzanne provides unparalleled strategic insights to our clients and to audiences around North America. Suzanne is a guest columnist in multiple publications and websites, such as GreenBiz, and she speaks at around 20 conferences a year, including Sustainable Brands, Fortune Brainstorm E and Green Build.