With environmentalism firmly in the mainstream, you don’t have to press your body against a sappy tree or show your toes in a pair of Birkenstocks to prove you care about protecting the planet. Campaigns can win over millions of voters with a politically neutral environment-friendly message.

Going green will distinguish you from your opponent and connect the campaign’s message to voters with an effective call to action. If you do it correctly, it’s an inexpensive and easy way to build support among your constituents. Many of the steps you take to harmonize your race with the environment will also save money, earn media attention and improve your relationship with supporters. However, do it incorrectly and your efforts will seem phony and effectively backfire.

Follow these nine rules and recommendations for the best results.

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