Friday, June 23, 2006

Saving The Planet

This is a few ideas and thoughts based on questions asked by Asi Sharabi.

(I may revise/add to this over the coming few days)

The Problem:

The environment is one of the biggest challenges facing the earth and it's entire population. Many people speak of the need to act, but very few do. How can we persuade them to act using digital communication.


Lifestyle Balance

I think there is a strong question of balancing benefits and effect of lifestyle. People would like to give, but they cannot afford to keep giving away til they lose their disposable income. The environment is one worthy cause alongside charities for people, animals, education, food, etc; the environment suffers as a cause because there is very little direct impact. Its hard to quantify "You helped save the earth from 2 cubic foot of Carbon Dioxide pollution" etc.

There is a strong need to communicate what difference is made by a contribution. I think the way to go about this is to relate in bulk numbers. "If just 1000 people donated we could ..." This helps quantify a very asbstract result.


The lack of urgency many people have about environment issues is surprising considering just how vital it is to act now. People assume because they can't see anything that everything is ok. The effects of not acting need to be made clearly visible, and in a way that relates to people. This could be a type of shock tactic "There is a 50% chance your grandchildren will die of cancer caused by failure to help the environment now." or the positive spin "If we act now, then we could help save the lives of over 100 people a day" etc.

By having a quantifiable result and direct message of urgency we should be able to increase the response.


I think this is probably the single most important aspect of this campaign in terms of bringing results.

If we want people to donate, give them a text number. Make it quick, simple and minimize the disruption it will cause to their lives. If we want people to act, tell them easy and quick ways to act that (again) minimize the disruption to their lifestyle.

The traditional "We need to change everything we do to save the world" approach will create impact but is unlikely to create results. Ten simple tips, ten one minute actions for a better world, how you can act without spending any extra money; this will create interest and spark moments of persuation and inspiration to act.


The human race is guilty of inflicting pollution on every species in existence (or not as the case may now be). However, people hate feeling guilty (as you'd expect). We don't need to make peope feel bad anymore, we need to inspire them to act. Constructive, positively looking guilt or none at all: "This is happening but we can make it better".

Inpiration doesn't come from punishment, it comes from ideas, from sparks, from tiny things that start a chain reaction.

1 comment:

Asi said...

Great thinking Rob, thanks so much.