About Shel

About Green and Profitable Expert Shel Horowitz

Beginning with a one-toddler action against smokers at his parents’ party at about age three, Shel Horowitz has been involved in environmental and social change movements his whole life.

Shel Horowitz, green business profitability expert and best-selling author

Shel Horowitz, green business profitability expert and best-selling author

In 1972, at age 15, he was involved in a community group that opposed a nuclear power plant proposed for two miles north of New York City (a proposal that the utility company quickly withdrew). A veteran of the 1977 Seabrook occupation, his first book, written when he was only 22, was about why nuclear power makes no sense. Following the Fukushima disaster of 2011, Shel updated that book for the Japanese market.

Much more recently, Shel’s e-book, Painless Green: 111 Tips to Help the Environment, Lower Your Carbon Footprint, Cut Your Budget, and Improve Your Quality of Life-With No Negative Impact on Your Lifestyle, shows consumers easy and affordable ways to go green. His Down to Business webzine (established in 1997) was one of the first business publications to have a regular section on sustainability. His eighth book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet, was #1 Environmental category bestseller on Amazon, and made the category bestseller list at least 34 different months.

With the completion of his tenth book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, and his TEDx talk, “Impossible is a Dare (not a Fact),” Shel has moved in the direction of showing the business world how to make a profit while turning hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance comes out in March, 2016—with endorsements by Jack Canfield, Seth Godin, the founders of BNI and GreenBiz.com, the author of The New Rules of Green Marketing (among others), and essays from the authors of Unstoppable/Unstoppable Women (Cynthia Kersey) and Diet for a Small Planet (Frances Moore Lappé).

On the marketing side, Shel was still a teenager when he started doing publicity and marketing for grassroots environmental and community organizations with zero promotional budget. There wasn’t even money available for stamps, so he hand-delivered press releases on a three-speed bicycle. Trained as a journalist, he first became aware of the power of the news media when a local paper refused to print meeting notices he wrote for a controversial group—but gave extensive news coverage to its refusal. Now, for over thirty years, he’s helped businesses, nonprofits, and community groups identify their key message and get it out to the public with little or no expenditure. IN recent years, he’s developed an additional specialty in profitability for innovative green, socially conscious companies that want to elave the world a better place.

Living in Western Massachusetts since 1981, Shel has been married to novelist D. Dina Friedman since 1983. Daughter Alana was born in 1987, and son Rafael followed in 1992. Shel and Dina have lived since 1998 in a restored 1743 antique colonial farmhouse in Hadley, Massachusetts, which they solarized in 2001. Shel thinks it might be the oldest solar home in the country.

In his adopted community, Shel’s been active in numerous environmental, social justice/human rights, sensible development, electoral, and business activities throughout the Amherst/Northampton/Hadley area, including serving on at least four official government committees, shepherding several pieces of legislation to adoption, initiating the first nonsmokers’ rights regulations in Northampton, Massachusetts, and managing a successful campaign that unseated a three-term incumbent. And as an environmental and social justice activist since 1972, he’s donated his strategic marketing and copywriting skills for several environmental and social change organizations—especially Save the Mountain, the group he founded in 1999 that mobilized thousands of people (in a rural county) and rapidly beat back an “unstoppable” poorly-planned development on a mountain abutting a state park; this was a campaign that combined everything Shel knew about marketing and community organizing, and drew on the skills of many others he recruited into the organization.

Starting with Save the Mountain, Shel began actively combining his two lifelong passions: green, ethical business and living—and creative and effective marketing. As a speaker, writer, and marketing strategist, he has shown how to:

  • Go green
  • Market to the green sector
  • Take green products and services to nongreen audiences
  • Develop profitable new products and services that help make the world better


In his speaking, writing, and consulting, Shel emphasizes the crucial importance of honesty, integrity, and environmental sustainability for long-term business health. Shel says being green and ethical is not only the right thing to do, but is also a key success strategy that lowers cost and boosts revenue.

Not afraid to be called a “heretic,” Shel demonstrates that market share is often the wrong metric entirely…that green can be MORE affordable than nongreen…and that competitors can be among your best allies.

Six of his ten books have won awards and/or been republished in other countries; his eighth book,, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (John Wiley & Sons, 2010, co-authored with Mr. Guerrilla Marketing himself, Jay Conrad Levinson), was named a Groundbreaking Indie Book by Independent Publisher magazine and was a category best-seller for at least 34 months. His tenth book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World, is one of the last collaborations with Levinson, who passed away in the fall of 2013.

The books provide dozens of examples of companies large and small that have succeeded by putting people first: familiar names like Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Southwest Airlines as well as numerous entrepreneurs who are successful in their own niches, even if not widely known.

Shel is a popular speaker and media interviewee (including multiple appearances in the New York Times, Inc, Christian Science Monitor, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and many others) who loves to get the word out about this important new paradigm. A few among many venues where Shel has spoken:

  • Forum Davos, Davos, Switzerland
  • Bosphorus Conferences, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Sustainable Foods Summit
  • Green America/Global Exchange Green Festival
  • Solarfest (multiple appearances)
  • Go Green Expo
  • Boston Greenfest
  • American Society of Journalists and Authors
  • Book Expo America (multiple appearances)
  • Noteworthy USA National Convention Keynote
  • Public Relations Society of America International Conference
  • Infinity Publishing Author Conference Keynote
  • Publishers Marketing Association University (multiple appearances)
  • Ragan Strategic Media Conference
  • Regional writing and publishing associations in the Bay Area, Saint Louis, New York, and elsewhere (three with several repeat appearances)
  • University of Massachusetts Family Business Center (multiple appearances)
  • Business for Social Responsibility
  • Colleges and universities including Smith College, University of Vermont, Mount Holyoke College, others

Shel was inducted into the National Environmental Hall of Fame in 2011, and his consulting firm became the first business ever to achieve Green America’s rigorous Gold-level green business certification.

Contact him with this link, or call 413-586-2388 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m., US Eastern Time).

Listen to or read some of his many media interviews