We only joined Facebook earlier this year, and as you know it is hardest to get to the first 150-200 likes as people tend to be tentative and just, follow the leader. So, if you have enjoyed looking at our Website, don't forget to also have a look at our Facebook Page and Click the Like Button -
Here are some of the posts we've done in recent weeks/ months -
This is the second post in the series of what kind of environmental messages work effectively to draw in the widest possible audience. I had to start with a photo of the gorgeous Jackie Eco, eco comedienne looking fabulous. Jackie I'm waiting for you to get back to me with a campaign I can add in for 2013.
The last post concerned some tips for making your environmental tweets, or captions more captivating! In this post, I am putting together my list of some of the TOP GREEN CAMPAIGNS well from my perspective for 2013, in terms of their creativity, and not merely their ability to convey information.
1) Banksy's Siren of the Lambs
Whether you are a carnivore (such as myself!), whether you are child or grown-up, this video of performance art by Banksy - street artist carries a potent environmental message. Sirens of the Lambs is powerful in its message because of the simplicity in the way it is executed - a truck driving around Manhattan emitting a gentle squealing sound - which is the plaintive cry of the animals on the way to their abbatoiresque doom. It is powerful because it fires up our senses, and every emotion (despair, hope, and the animals heads bobbing up and down is kind of funny too), rouses you to think about whether you might eat the odd vegetarian meal (or embrace Meatless Mondays!), and is a real campaign conversation starter. I already wrote about it on my Converse Conserve blog last year.
This highlights the importance of the visual image in conveying ideas about the environment and behaviour change which brings us to the next campaign.
2) The Art of Visualising Climate Change
This is a video that highlights the ways that scientists and artists can use Infographics to create a more compelling visual story through font size and font emphasis, to conjure up the right imagery, and convey the effects of climate change. For eg in one caption the words are shaped to look like ice or the cracking ocean. Words are conveyed using appropriate fonts, depending on the meaning that's intended. The commentator refers to the process as 'taking the data and bringing it to life visually'. Then there is discussion about 'the polar game' that deals with sea levels rising and preventing a major city from becoming submerged. It's designed in such a way as to make climate change a more engaging topic. Great stuff.
Another one well worth a viewing.
3) Follow the Frog
This video doesn't need to be elaborated upon in great depth except to say that it's released by Rainbow Alliance, and is reminding the average viewer (plus the extreemie greeenie) that you don't need to quit your job, and go off and do a whole lot of excessive things - to save the rain forest whereupon you'll probably end up in a jail without your passport ... you just need to Follow the Frog - by buying products with the Rainbow Alliance frog logo - showing they are approved rainforest friendly, products. It's very memorable, and effective and definitely deserves to be in the top 5 creative campaigns.
4) A Brief History of the 5 Cent Bag Tax
This is another clever video that lifts the very boring topic of a tax on plastic bags out of the doldrums and by incorporating some slapstick and humour helps the average viewer realise the worth of something as simple as a small tax to help people remember their reusable bags.
5) Make it Possible Video
This is probably the most powerful of all of the videos I've seen in terms of engaging our emotions - so none of these are campaigns are named in any particular order. The singing animals do stir you to want to do more for this cause - either eat less or no meat, or to eat only free range produce or RSPCA approved. Certainly it would make most people want to always avoid battery hen (cage raised) eggs, or pork from stalled sows.
6) How to Scare a Shark
This one by Rohan Chakravarty - master environmental cartoonist from India, is wonderful for its simplicity in the cartoon message and I also love that Rohan always gives a heartfelt explanation beneath his cartoons. It never occurred to me that sharks can't swim without their fins - not that I've ever been one to swim with sharks, or a shark fin soup fan.
Keep them coming Rohan and continuing to educate us.
7) Bank Watch
This is Bill Oddie (of the Goodies ilk) and he weaves a witty and insightful commentary around the phenomenon of HSBC, the banking institution which according to Oddie, has been the financier behind all manner of deforestation projects in Sarawak/Borneo, Malaysia. It's an entertaining video which would prompt a lot of us to sign the 38 Degrees petition which can be signed here.
8) The Water Cycle Boogie
I just had to add one in for the littlies, who generally like to jiggle about and sing a song. This one doesn't bear any further commentary, as most of us have had rules about water wasteage, drummed in to us.
So what do all these eco-creative videos have in common? They were all released in 2013 and are all in my view informative and entertaining. They all hold out some form of emotional appeal to a wider audience, and don't saturate the audience with too much information.
9) Last Stand of the Orangutan
I belatedly discovered this wonderful video of the In your Palm campaign. Pardon the pun , but the message in this video speaks for itself, in that there is an orangutan speaking in sign language with a young girl also signing about what foods they eat and orangutan habitat destruction. It's an inspiring and touching video, worthy of checking out.
Australian eco-creatives, I only see you mentioned once amongst this list at Number 5)! So it's time us Aussies lifted our game! It's time to appeal to some local comedians and film-makers to up the ante - and get more eco-creative in our campaigns.
Please feel free to post a comment with any campaigns that you think deserve to be on this list and I will look at adding them.
Nature is always making a come back
Ahh, the importance of language, and how we express our green messages, so I'm trying to be poetic or a little metaphorical in my gardening gabbling, as it's still spring for a few more days and with my sore wrist in hand (pardon the pun), one needs some inspiration to get back in the back garden and level it before laying pavers, mulch etc.
What living system can survive without its protection from the sun's deadly rays, its moisture retention, its detoxification, and its fuel and vitamins.
We can preach the concept of mulch as the garden’s moisturiser, in that bark, woodchips, straw, pebbles etc keep the moisture in and also act as a face lift, in preventing erosion!
The canopies are the sun-hats for the shade loving plants and local residents which help keep the urban heat island at bay.
The sediment control measures are the detox tablets (keeping the drains and ground water free of contaminants).
The organic fertiliser and compost are quite literally a food source and the vitamins.
The drought loving plants are teeny botanic camels, in their water storing splendour .....
Anyway, here is a recent, most insightful and in depth article from the UK on young people and their connectedness (or somewhat lack in this regard!) to nature. The comments by readers are also well worth a read.
Recently was on public transport and was listening to the way young people speak today - overhearing snippets of conversations such as when you have 'wrapped that up', 'no biggy' (meaning - no big deal - not exactly a favourite of mine), 'I'll buzz you later' ... etc.
Us greenies are slowly reconciling ourselves to the new lingo - one syllable, web friendly words are in, and being verbose is most certainly out. I speak a lot about the way we express ourselves as environmentalists, in my book Green Spin (Or) Promoting the Green Message.
These were my thoughts as I was bumping along on the tram noticing how the majority of the people on the tram, from a younger generation than I, were communicating. And as I rode along, I overheard some people who were saying that they were off to see the Sea Shepherd boats moored in Williamstown, Melbourne.
I don't recall whether these people used any especially contemporary jargon, but I made a note in my diary that my son and I would be visiting the Sea Shepherd boats (which assist in saving untold numbers of whales, other mammals each year) 'toute de suite'!
Being on public transport brings many benefits including overhearing interesting events about town (the other week I learned that the Open House weekend was on for free visits to buildings all over Melbourne), giving you a fantastic opportunity to learn a new language (dw i'n dysgu cmyraig - that's welsh for I'm learning this beautiful, ancient language), chat to people you wouldn't normally ever engage with, and of course help reduce oil consumption and carbon emissions. Then there is the running for the tram which keeps you fit. (Unquestionably, it's meant to be ideal for losing weight, as there are bursts of walking, running, resting which keep your metabolism fired up.) Of course, public transport reduces the gridlock overall, which helps keep the economy fired up as well.
So there really is no end to the benefits of public transport. To cap it off I will post a photo of myself in front of one of the Sea Shepherd boats - possibly the Bobby Barker (now that we have visited - I appear solo as my teenage son prefers not to be visible on this blog!). Catching a ride with one of these boats might be one of the next trips I take.
Been getting a few requests from people writing in to post more funny green videos, and also to post more about making sustainability fun.
Well, thought it was time to post some more music videos which combine music, humour (aka green humor) and sustainability messages.
Here's the Formidable Vegetable Sound System performing their highly amusing song about the benefits of permaculture, making sustainability fun and it's called 'Yield'.
Here's the link Mr Yielder - Charlie Mgee himself (who is apparently off to the Glastonbury Festival to perform) asked me to post up -
Speaking of funny permaculture videos, I have a blog - bloomingandbold blogspot having studied Sustainable Landscape Design, and have been in the business of promoting Footprint Flicks, the cute and funny videos which Sustainable Gardening Australia put out a while back. See link above to their site to view samples of these. With names like Mulch Ado About Nothing, Tank Girl and Weeds - Not in My Backyard, how can you go wrong!
Also, here's a link to Tim Minchin in his very popular You Tube video about canvas bags which definitely has comic moments (and some would call it a tad satirical). It takes a few minutes for the song to get going, so give it a chance, as the rewards are there for your patience. Tim Minchin has a wonderful talent for getting the audience roused as well as involved, and that is what we sustainability communicators want to achieve - isn't it!
There's quite a few videos on the internet which are purportedly humorous, which I don't find especially amusing, so I will endeavour to put just the very best ones up here, well from my perspective.
I go in to green humor and making sustainability fun in my book Green Spin (Or) Promoting the Green Message. If you like this site, then why not buy a copy of my book (US $2.75) as a sign of your support!
There are more funny videos throughout this blog under the tage of humour in green message.
So we want the viewer to consider the emotions that get aroused when you watch the videos. How do they make you feel? The next time you see some environmental messages - ask yourself the same question - think emotion, empathy, mirror neurons, emotion? Also, likewise when you see images and cartoons attached to some green communication ask how does it make the viewer feel? Unless we are always asking ourselves these questions, we are not being effective campaigners.
Contributors to Converse Conserve.Com
Nicolle K., Peter Nesbit, (cartoonist) Chris Palmer (film-maker), Jackie Eco (comedienne),
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