While I wait for Netflix to introduce Petflix, I spend many evening's watching TV with my human. Mostly, I see the same culprits littering the screen: coffee in disposable cups, fast fashion glorified, and plastic-packaged takeaway as the norm, to name only a few.
It's as if the shows and characters are set in a parallel universe where the climate crisis doesn't exist.
Research from the non-profit Good Energy found that just 2.8% of scripts featured climate crisis keywords or phrases.
And isn't it time we replaced product placement with planet placement?
Let's see our prime-time characters carrying keep cups, singing about shorter showers, vegging out with vegan meals, and rocking the rewear.
We know it works. A popular character sips a particular drink, and sales of that drink jump 24%.
If our favourite stars model and normalise climate-conscious behaviour, we'll surely see a positive impact on real-life behaviour.
The folk at Good Energy agree. That's why they've created a resource to help the entertainment industry represent the climate crisis in movies and TV shows.
We just need the entertainment industry to act on it.
Give us the superhero in second-hand green tights. The 300-year-old vampire begrudging plastic for living as long as she has, and the socialites who track their carbon footprint, not just their sleep.
And, of course, let us see characters bringing their own containers for doggy bags at restaurants.
DID YOU KNOW...
Have you ever noticed how the most expensive items in the supermarket are at eye level?
Or how companies always require you to opt out of receiving their promos, rather than opt in?
Or how Netflix will automatically play the next episode of your favourite show as the previous one ends?
This is called choice architecture: presenting options in a specific way to subtly sway your choice. It’s not about forcing people to do things, just making a particular choice the easy one.
Economists including Richard Thaler are talking about using choice architecture to create a change in environmental behaviours and close that value-action gap. (The difference between what people say and what people do about the environment).
So, whether it’s making carbon-heavy things more expensive or defaulting to double sided printing in the office, Thaler believes nudging the little behaviours will add up to make a big impact on climate change.
THE DIRT WORTH ROLLING IN...
- Bye-bye, bones. Study suggests plant-based pooches are healthiest
- The activists taking down airline advertising with their high-drama protest billboards
- Wince while you wait: A city’s weekly climate targets displayed on bus stops
ANDRE HUNTS DOWN THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
'Andre, I'm vegan. Can Indie my puppy be vegan too?'
You’re not alone in wanting to raise your mutt meat-free! Around half of pet owners would consider putting their pooch on a plant-based diet.
And if you ask Lewis Hamilton, it’s a brilliant idea. The Formula One legend only has good things to say since his furry pal, Roscoe, went vegan.
It’s more than possible for Indie to be a happy, healthy pup while meat and dairy free. The vegan kibble market is booming. You can also fill Indie’s belly with carrots and broccoli, rice, lentils, beans and dark leafy greens.
If she’s used to meat-based food, start slowly by sprinkling vegan kibble on her usual meals. You can eventually switch to 50/50 before ditching the meat altogether. Always check with your vet before making any major dietary changes.
Lewis Hamilton reports that Roscoe feels healthier and younger. And Roscoe, mate, you’re certainly looking great to me.
HUMANS WHO PLAY NICE WITH THE PLANET™
Have you ever opened your fridge looking for something to spice up your salad or maybe something a little different to garnish your cocktail?
The answer may be in your backyard.
Diego Bonetto is an Italian-born wild food forager based in Australia. He teaches skills our ancestors would have grown up knowing. Skills which are becoming lost in today’s world.
His workshops are entertaining whilst encouraging people to engage and explore the environment to discover food and medicine in the landscape.
Diego would make the perfect prime-time character to model everyday behaviours on.
That's all for this month. I'm off to dig up some weeds for medicine in the garden.
See you in December.
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