Thought it was high time I mentioned the very interesting, and inspiring educational videos that were produced by Sustainable Gardening Australia, a wonderful organisation (entitled Footprint Flicks).
Well worth a viewing if you are a gardening officionado or aspirant or just wanting to know that your garden is ticking most of the boxes.
I also think these videos tick most of my Converse Conserve boxes, in that they are definitely eco-creative, and have an inspirational influence on behaviour change, in terms of social marketing.
What many people don't realise is that gardening with its 'holier than thou' healthy image is not always a benign activity, and that we can do much to improve our garden's health.
Footprint Flicks incorporate aspects of education, empathy, and action which I mention in my book, Green Spin - PGM.
Also, they are full of green fun, story-telling, well-ness and greening and loads of humour. Well done to every one at SGA.
So the question this month is to ask how do these make us feel? I think watching videos about gardening topics and sustainability make us feel that what we need to achieve is do-able, and also enjoyable. Great characteristics for any campaign.
I was out watching a sensational band called JK- RUFF in Brunswick, the night of Friday 21st September, 2012. I happened to be within a short bike ride's distance from Sydney Rd, where the most egregiously horrible offences and violations that can happen to a human being were about to occur, to a beautiful 29 year old Jillian Meagher. I too, like many other women could have been on foot, or on public transport (to save the planet!), but as it happened on this night, I was in my car, and was fortunate to get a park directly opposite the bar in Lygon St - North before I went inside to hear my favourite Melbourne band. Later on, I admit that I enjoyed the luxury, as a sober person, of then jumping in to my car and going up to Mc Donalds for a feed, which is just 2 kilometres across from Sydney Rd, where Jillian was last seen alive. That night there were too many symbols for me personally, which I wasn't yet aware of - I had discovered the band at a place called 'Paradise Hills' but this night the gig was on at the 'B-EAST'. Jillian was going to make her way down a very restless sounding 'Sydney' road, past 'Villains' and 'Impostors' to 'Hope St' and the road where her body was found was 'Black Hill' Rd, past 'Diggers Rest'. I always seem to read stuff in to place names and street names.
Nine days later, the city of Melbourne is reeling from this ghastly news about an abduction, rape and death of a young woman who worked for 774 Radio, in West Brunswick. When I think of the number of times it was late, and we had been having a few drinks, and we couldn't get a taxi or it was too late to get public transport, so I eventually had to split up from the people I was with, and had to climb aboard the Night Rider bus, and it was a long way home from the bus stop, albeit mostly down a main road. So yes, I too have walked back streets on my own at night. Going out in this city could become something you would have to plan days or even weeks in advance, if, as a single woman, you want to be 100 per cent guaranteed of personal safety (being accompanied) and safeguarding the environment as well.
So what is a woman to do? Unless she is guaranteed of having a husband or a friend to accompany her (and many women I know have husbands or partners who prefer not to come out with them!), is she meant to stay home? Are we to adopt the lifestyles of women whose customs and practices dictate they should only go out if they are accompanied by a group of women, or a man?
This is why hard-line environmental beliefs don't actually wash with me, because if you were to take a really firm view and never drive a car, then you would really be up Sh..t Creek in a paddle boat, when it comes to going out to hear live music, or comedy at night (and a paddle boat won't get you far in downtown melb). The trouble is that a lot of the night-life doesn't actually 'kick on' until the streets start to empty out, after 10 or 11pm. Catching a taxi run on gas is preferable to driving your own petrol-fuelled car (especially if you are having a few drinks), but the reality is they often just don't come when you need them, or they won't take you the distance.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to sustainability of the environmental or social kind. Even when out as a group or as a couple, we could always be ambushed by a group. If they want to abduct a person, a group of experienced men will always find a way.
I therefore don't wish to assert as so many do - it's a lesson to these women who go walking at night. You can try to minimise risks but you can only do the best you can, at the time. And besides I am one of those women who has taken far too many risks. I know I would rather die, than live a paranoid, reclusive life.
But we as a society, and as a group have learned from Jill's awful fate, who sacrificed her life, you could say so that the offender could be caught, and the streets of Melbourne rendered safer. She also sacrificed her life so many of us would be forced to think about our habits (congregating outside a bar and smoking leaves you more exposed to predators) A pretty girl who is popular as Jillian was, is likely to attract 'unwanted' attention, especially if she has been seen outside bars a lot. Parts of Brunswick West are seriously seedy and no go zones. But seedy or not seedy, I was foolish enough to walk a long way home along a well-lit main road, from a party in my 20's and I was followed home by a young man, but I managed to talk my way out of the situation (being a bit of a talkative type!). I was foolish, young and also extremely lucky. But it was a once off party, and I wasn't walking home that same way, week after week, so it wasn't a pattern which this man could have come to anticipate. f we are going to walk at night, then we can certainly make it our business, to not set up patterns of behaviour, that others might schedule their night-stalking around!
And if a complete stranger does something to you or attempts something serious, for heaven's sake REPORT IT AND PUBLICISE IT.
I would like someone 'cartoonly' to do a cartoon where you have a bug and a butterfly sitting outside under an arbour (hmm ... bugs don't usually hang out indoors) - looking around at all the paving and built up areas, saying:
'Errkchem .... you've got your room... And while we're on the subject, where did you put ours?'
A little bit of sarcasm is okay for green humourists, provided it's fairly good-natured, and the aim is to generate mostly good-will on behalf of the green movement, rather than the opposite!
I talk about the impact of the outdoor room phenomenon and the many ways these affect our local ecosystems at my blogspot - bloomingandbold.blogspot. From time to time there is a bit of humour, in the blog, though as with environmentalists, it is easy to diverge back on to the path of righteousness, a little too easily!
This is another term that has been coined to reflect the changing language, according to the ever-changing environmental playing field.
So what does eco-creativity mean?
It might just mean putting a pretty face on to an environmental brand, campaign or government programme, eg some designer leaves and twigs or a striking scenic backdrop, in your marketing information.
Or it might mean eco-cartoons (an image of a talking recycling bin), educational stickers, clever eco-advertising campaigns, and of course cool educational videos like those referred to in the blog, a few posts back. It could mean a reality TV show designed to inculcate new ways of thinking in the wider audience. Lateral thinking is always key.
It could include eco-games, or any thing involving some fun and competition, and reaching the desired environmental end.
It would include anything that equates with "eco-chic" - a quirky, bright and interesting riding ensemble with matching bike helmet. Ultimately, it will mean thinking creatively about how we communicate the environmental message and might involve a combination of the above.
My Green Spin book goes in to more examples of these eco-creativity possibilities.
Went to hear him speak last night, and what a sensation he was.
These are the 7 elements we need in our lives, so basic that we literally forget:
non stagnant air, sun, water (one glass an hour). walking, passion, non-toxic relationships, whole foods. Again, if we all opened up our windows more and spent time in the garden (go to my blog www.bloomingandbold.blogspot.com) how much better a place the earth would be.
(As to the whole foods - I have to say nothing will make me give up my green chicken curry dish which only has a few vegies in it, but I do note the interesting comparisons he draws between the shapes of vegetables and the parts of the body they nourish. I had never noticed how like a womb the avocado is!) I'm not sure that I can agree with everything Don says about the health system, but am willing to listen in and keep an open mind. There is no question recently I was at the dentist and said I had started taking odourless garlic, and the dentist was very surprised to hear the benefits in terms of my oral hygiene this was bringing about.
Anyway, am mainly writing this post as it's almost my birthday, 13th June, and I like to repeat the 'spin' he puts on the number thirteen, about the healers who were excommunicated and went to the United States, and there dubbed them the 13 colonies to compensate for the poor treatment of the number 13 which Don says arises out of this thing called Triskaidekaphobia. So all hail to the number 13.
Contributors to Converse Conserve.Com
Nicolle K., Peter Nesbit, (cartoonist) Chris Palmer (film-maker), Jackie Eco (comedienne),
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