Readers of my wibblettes over the years may have got the impression that I’m not exactly a fan of advertising (and that would be right). Even when such ‘communications’ give an honest portrayal of the product or service on offer, all advertisers share one feature upon which they all rely: repetition, repetition, repetition. They insert jingles in our heads to promote their brands, pervert memes such as ‘sustainability’ and ‘green’, and, utterly cynically, employ psychology and their thorough understanding of human nature to persuade us to buy their stuff.
It’s said that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” And I can believe it: on my litter-picking walks I’ve collected a great many cans, bottles, coffee cups and assorted packaging, all of which bear proud logos of their respective hawkers. How is it that the vendors aren’t ashamed that their litter is everwhere? It seems to me that the answer to that is simply that whenever a passer-by sees yet another logo, even on dirty trash in the streets, it reinforces that same repetition, repetition, repetition.
Perhaps we need to fight fire with fire. To turn the climate crisis ship around, those of us who care could take a leaf from the advertisers’ book and use the same ideas to inject green memes into the minds of the, let’s face it, mostly unthinking masses.
There are many things we can do. For the last couple of months, I’ve taken to doing a daily word puzzle, ‘A Greener Worldle‘. I figure that it kills two birds with one stone: I get a bit of brain exercise, and by posting my result on Twitter I’m doing my tiny bit to promote the drip-drip-drip of the green meme.
Other examples are the annual Earth Day (22 April) and Earth Hour (26 March) events. It’s true that turning off the lights all over the world (or at least in as many places as possible) for just one hour a year doesn’t save much energy; it’s a drop in the ocean. But that’s not the point; it’s about constantly reminding ourselves of the need to tread more lightly on our wonderful planet.
I’ve just added annually recurring entries into my dumbphone calendar for both Earth Day and Earth Hour. Can I persuade you to do the same?
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Earth Hour 2022 (26 March)
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Earth Day 2022 (22 April)