TAG: Environmental communication

The Human Touch

Environmental education

It might seem obvious, but because environmentalists frequently focus on big issues relating to the non-human world, it’s sometimes easy to neglect the human element in our work as environmental educators and communicators. This “human touch” is best expressed in our people skills – our interpersonal (or relationship-building) skills and our ability to work effectively with groups. Most university degrees in biological science or environmental management tend not to emphasise knowledge, skills and practice in effective group work. And yet – in the big bad world beyond the hallowed halls – much of our environmental efforts operate within communities of… read more

One Step At A Time

Finding Our Feet

Certain words and phrases have become catch-cries for the green movement. “Action for sustainability”, “social change”, “environmental advocacy” – all are examples of language that needs to find solid ground in a world of proliferated rhetoric. As environmental communicators and sustainability educators, how can “walk the talk”? How can we do good work that moves beyond lip-service? How can we target measureable action for sustainability, meaningful social change and environmental advocacy with political and economic efficacy? The short answer is there is no short answer. What there are, however, are a series of questions we can ask ourselves as we… read more

The Leadership Challenge

volunteering in leadership

Time and again, people assert that strong national leadership is what we need to move toward a sustainable future. It could certainly be argued that our political leaders are yet to “step up” to the responsibilities of effectively navigating a healthy and prosperous future for people and planet alike. But what about personal leadership? What about the leadership required within our communities, our neighbourhoods, our homes? What about the leadership required of each and every one of us? From a social change perspective, “leadership” isn’t necessarily the job of a single person within a group. Within environmental or community groups,… read more

Talk It. Live It. Love It…Please

Is this sustainable Development??

Enough of the talk already. Isn’t it time to do something? Or maybe it’s time to rethink what we say so we can talk differently about what we need to do. Jeez…more talk, is that what this is about? Or maybe it’s about the right talk, meaningful talk, the kind of talk that actually leads to change? For more than thirty years our international leaders have been talking their way into supposedly global agreements on the need for action. Across the world, various models of sustainable development have been proposed as the panacea to our ills. Some twenty-five years ago,… read more

It’s A Career For Our Future

Environmental Communication

Having recently been asked what I do as an “environmental communicator”, I thought I’d pen a few words to help clarify the role for people who might be interested in this fascinating field. Basically, an environmental communicator puts excellent writing and speaking skills to use in the development and delivery of organisational or public-facing communication strategies. There is always a clear objective in our work, for example, we may be asked to develop a complex media campaign or simple communication tool that aims to garner community support to protect local waterways, lush rainforests or threatened ecosystems. We might be asked… read more

Take A Different Approach

Environmental communication

There’s a magic trick in environmental and sustainability communication. It’s the slight-of-hand that brings into people’s vision something that otherwise might remain unseen. Given many people live in urban areas, some far removed from wild places, the natural environment is not always on people’s radar. Given much of the imperative for sustainability action (such as climate change) lives in the mysterious realm of the future, it’s not surprising that people don’t always see the need to act now. As environmental and sustainability communicators, we have to magically reveal that which is all too often concealed. Once you understand your audience,… read more

Hitting Your Target

Hitting Your Target

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa The audience is king. Whether we like it or not, as environmental and sustainability communicators, we have a duty to serve the one true god – our target audience. Whether we want to raise awareness about international trade in endangered species, or attract new members to our NGO; whether we want to engage people in a weekend permaculture blitz, or widen our Transition Towns… read more

Is The Green Drinks Movement At Your Local?

Green Drinks International

Green Drinks International is a not for profit organisation which attracts like minded people to meet once a month and share their views about environmental issues over a couple of drinks. The brainchild behind the concept is Edwin Datschefski. In 1989 he was at a pub in North London with his green design colleagues Yorick Benjamin and Paul Scott. At the table next to him was another eco-conscious friend so they joined the tables together and the Green Drinks movement was born. It is now a global phenomenon in more than 700 cities around the world. Here’s how it works. Each… read more

Eco Education – An Important Subject

Eco Education

Once upon a time, exemplary education involved an “expert” imparting words of wisdom upon the passive student who simply listened to, and processed new information and ideas. Dissemination was the key to learning, and learning happened by default. Thankfully, the world of education has changed…at least in principle. Today, amid increased awareness of the importance of education in social change for sustainability, learners are now viewed as active participants in their own development (and the development of their local communities). Today, educators need to be facilitators more-so than the traditional “sage on stage”. Within environmental education for sustainability, the focus has… read more

Top 5 Must-See Films With An Environmental Message

Poster from the film

Every now and again, we need to be reminded that the earth is still worth saving. Sometimes we need that message to come via a medium we all know and appreciate: the movie theater. Once in a blue moon, a film will come through that we’d hardly consider an “environmental film”, because in all honesty, unless it’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, we probably wouldn’t pay to see it. This is why some filmmakers insert a slightly undertoned message about saving the planet. This list represents those silent voices, and are definitely worth viewing for both the entertainment value, and the message… read more