TAG: Community

Tricks of the Trade – 4

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article See Part 2 of this article See Part 3 of this article There’s a lot of talk about changing people’s behaviour.Talk about recycling and waste management. Talk about local economies and food production. Talk about public transport and greening community spaces. Talk, talk talk. For some reason, a great many social change programs have relied on information as the principle weapon for mass distraction – distraction from the everyday activities that otherwise keep people glued to existing and typically unsustainable behaviours.  The problem, however, is that information alone is not a particularly effective weapon…. read more

Tricks of the Trade – 3

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article See Part 2 of this article  Some people describe themselves as “commitment-phobic”. Others rush headlong toward commitment as if their life depended on it. What’s curious in human behaviour is – irrespective of how we feel about commitment in personal relationships – when an individual (even better a group) commits to a small request it almost always invariably leads to the likelihood of them agreeing to something bigger and better. Get someone to sign a petition and you’ve got their love for life. That’s the theory anyway. As McKenzie-Mohr & Smith outline in their… read more

Tricks of the Trade – 2

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article “Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex than our subsequent explanations of them.” (Fyodor Dostoevsky) Ever wondered why people litter? Ever wondered why people buy pre-packaged microwave meals? Ever wondered why people buy oversized fuel-guzzling SUVs?  Chances are you’ve had a hunch or two as to why people do the weird things they do. When it comes to developing public programs for social change, however, gut feelings are not quite enough. This is not least because human beings are infinitely more complex than we often give… read more

Tricks of the Trade – 1

Social change marketing

For a few years now, “community-based social marketing” has been a buzz phrase for behaviour change programs.  Espoused by Doug McKenzie-Mohr and Will Smith (1999) in their book Fostering Sustainable Behaviour, community-based social marketing offers tools to help environmentalists to appeal to large segments of the population. The goal is to deliver programs that remove the barriers and enhance the benefits for widespread social change. Social change campaigns are therefore underpinned by a clear identification of the barriers to behaviour change (eg. people who do not grow food in their backyards may perceive it to be hard work and expensive)…. read more

Waste into Art

Waste into art

Everyone has heard the saying “Someone’s trash is another person’s treasure”. Well, it has never been more relevant. The world over, we are seeing ordinary people, students and professional artists transform waste into art. There are competitions about the subject and it becoming very cool to re-invent the wheel. So to speak… “Unknown Quantity” is an Australian, independent label and design entity, which focusses on  repurposing, upcycling, vintage, obscure, and obsolete components and materials. Their products include apparel and accessories, artworks, decoupage, upcycled and repurposed objects. You can also take pre-existing garments and after a consult have them reconfigured to… read more

Keeping Arts & Crafts Alive

Swaziland's arts and crafts

Arts and crafts constitute the most popular tourist attraction in Swaziland. Tourists from lands near and far are a regular sighting at the many market places shopping for Swazi culture inspired souvenirs to take back home after their holiday is done. The traditional arts community relies heavily on the natural environment to create their art pieces. Many of these art pieces are made from raw materials found in nature such as trees, clay soil, animal hide, different types of grass, and varying types of stone. Like all manufacturers and producers that rely heavily on nature for their products, the art… read more

The Bookshelf

The Bookshelf

On the corner of my street is a bookshelf, and it’s always full of books. Children’s books, chick lit, travel books, autobiographies, non-fiction, political tomes, books in different languages – every kind of book. There’s often someone kneeling or squatting before it, perusing the titles and making a small pile on the footpath, tucking one under an arm, or popping one into a bag. Bev, who owns Ben Buckler Cellars around the corner, put the shelf there. The rule is that you swap what you take for your own books. I’ve taken one or two dog-eared Jane Austen paperbacks, a chick… read more

A Better Place for Books

Library for homeless

We all know how to recycle. It has been implemented over the last few decades and I believe, fully embraced in the last few years. Nowadays, there’s a bin for almost every category of trash. Composts, paper, glass, plastics. You name it, it can be recycled. Even the simple teabag could be separated into three categories. Paper, aluminium and food scraps. All of this awareness and organisation is wonderful. The councils that implement these policies and the community that embrace them are to be lauded. Perhaps, however, an even more sustainable way to recycle products is available to us, and one… read more

Urban Farming

Urban farming

Would it ever be possible for people to walk down their own street and instead of seeing bare land in the landscape visualize urban farms filled with fresh vegetables grown by a community and shared by that same community? Regardless of whether it is a small cluster of herbs or a larger space covered in fruits and vegetables, it creates the idea of food sustainability within a community. Not only does it spread the ideology of food sustainability, it composes the thought that community collaboration is essential. Urban farming can have a major impact on climate change as well. If… read more