Category Archives: Thoughts

The exciting reason why I’ve been neglecting my blog

I’ll be honest – usually I hate these kind of posts. Which is why I haven’t done one until now.

I always think “in the time you took to write those monthly ‘sorry I haven’t blogged’ posts, you could have written one or two actual posts”. Plus they make a blog look dead.

But I’ve been well aware for some time now that this blog already looks dead, and I think it’s time to explain myself to any people who still read it.

There’s really 3 reasons (read: excuses) why I haven’t been blogging, and the third is the one that’s super exciting.

  1. I haven’t had the time/energy. Yep – crappy excuse first. I work full time, spreading myself across three part-time roles. I work as a social media manager for Sillman Thomas, as a marketing officer for Koru Architects and at the Post Growth Institute I manage the Post Growth Alliance and am also a co-director. Plus my work means I go to lots of workshops and talks and networking events in the evenings. Also I have actually been blogging – just not independently. I manage a blog as part of each of those three jobs. But this point wouldn’t be enough to stop me on its own.
  2. I’ve learnt so much that I’m overwhelmed. This is a bit of a weird one. During the last year since I graduated from uni and started working in digital marketing, (plus my own research from excellent resources like Problogger), I’ve learnt a dizzying amount about how to make a blog effective. From SEO to copywritng to CTAs to autoresponders, my head is full of best practices which are a million miles ahead of where this blog is. Having so much to update with so little time is kind of paralysing.
  3. I am planning a new blog. Here comes the exciting bit! If this wasn’t the case I could power through issues 1 and 2. But I have a new blog brewing. Well, more of an evolution of this one really. Refocused, rebranded and reborn. I’m not going to write much about it here, but it’s going to be a blog about the politics of one planet living. And by that I mean how party politics relates to sustainability, sustainability policy, but also the complex power relations around environmental issues. Basically a political ecology blog, but written in a casual accessible and hopefully entertaining style.

I’ve been percolating on this new blogging idea for some time. I’ve been brainstorming content ideas, researching the topics and researching blogging techniques.  I’ve got high hopes for starting this in the new year. So watch this space in 2017! 

Can Marketing Ever Be A Force For Good?

Can marketing be good for society? Or is it just about lies and capitalism?

woman-hand-smartphone-laptop

Can marketing be a socially beneficial occupation? Image from Pexels, CC0 license.

Then and Now: My Relationship With Marketing
A year ago, when I was a third year student writing my dissertation, if you told me that in 2016 I’d be working in marketing and social media, I’d never have believed you. Continue reading

Six Types of Citizen Power

We all know power is very unequally distributed in  UK society, and this concentration of power at the top of the socio-economic ladder is much more extreme at the global level. Many places are ruled by completely unaccountable violent dictators and militias. I’m lucky to live in a liberal democracy. But just because other parts of the world are so much less fortunate, doesn’t mean we in Britain and the West should be content with the watered down versions of “democracy” that actually aren’t that democratic. Or liberal, for that matter.

I can’t speak for other countries that I haven’t experienced, but I know that in the UK although we have democracy, our politicians are not obliged to do what we want, nor what they promise to do. Most of them (especially the ruling Conservatives) appear to be much more interested with lining the pockets of their corporate chums and, indirectly, themselves.

Big Business gets to scrounge off the state constantly with tax breaks, unchallenged tax avoidance, direct subsidies and indirect subsidies such as topping up poverty wages with benefits – while the poorest are vilified to legitimise the speedy erosion of their rights. Austerity for the poor and socialism for the rich. The injustice of it all is breathtaking, to anyone who bothers to look.

I know, it’s a bleak picture. And it’s easy to understand why so many people in this country have become hopeless and apathetic. It’s easy to take a glance at the corruption, hypocrisy and deceit and decide that the elite is all-powerful and normal everyday citizens (who aren’t politicians and don’t run a big company or a big news outlet) are powerless.

It’s easy to see why you might think that, because that’s what the powerful want us to think. Citizen apathy is in their favour, big time.

But it’s not true.

Reclaim the streets and flex your citizen muscles. From San Francisco Art Institute, creative commons licensing.

Reclaim the streets and flex your citizen muscles. From San Francisco Art Institute, creative commons licensing.

Continue reading

Unclaimed Carbon

I already knew that national carbon accounting does not include the emissions embedded in imported goods. Those emissions are attributed to the country that produces the goods. Which is why many post-industrial countries can claim to have reduced emissions, while pointing accusing fingers at China and other emerging economies that now make all our stuff. What I didn’t know until Naomi Klein’s fantastic new book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate enlightened me, is that the emissions from international shipping are not attributed to any country.

Massive container ship. Creative Commons copyright.

Massive container ship. Creative Commons copyright.

Continue reading

One Year Dies, and Another is Born

Hello lovely readers, I hope you’ve all been having a gorgeous festive time.

As 2014 draws to a close and the new bubba year is just a couple of days away, I’d like to take this opportunity to write about some of the big deals in sustainability from the last year, sustainability-related things I’ve been doing personally, and some of the things I’m eagerly and nervously awaiting from 2015. I think it’s going to be a big year.

This is a UK-centric post as that’s where I’m based. If you live in another country, please feel free to leave a comment telling me what the big sustainability news from your neck of the woods has been in 2014!
Continue reading

War, Peace & Sustainability

Sustainability is about everyone living well, as far into the future as possible. War is about the most brutish form of conflict resolution we know.

It’s not hard to see how these two things are at odds. War kills people, injures people, rips apart families, communities and whole societies. It destroys critical infrastructure and homes. It also damages land, causes pollution and wastes resources and insane sums of money. Basically, while sustainability aims for a shared, ecologically-feasible and lasting prosperity, war fucks everything up.

You can’t have a sustainable society that is at war. The two cancel each other out.

So, my question is, do we need to first achieve world peace before we can fully get down to sustainabilityContinue reading

Universal Citizen’s Income

Have you heard of the universal citizen’s income?

Otherwise known as universal basic income, it refers to this (so far) theoretical policy where every citizen in a country is given enough money to cover their basic needs. It doesn’t matter if they’re working or not, how much they earn, what their health status is, – as long as they’re an adult and a national citizen, they get the same amount. Everyone does.

Do you think it sounds crazy? I kind of do too. But this article by the ever knowledgeable Another Angry Voice has made me doubt my initial incredulousness.  Continue reading

Environmental Communication & Journalism

Good evening lovelies.

My latest episode of Future Focus is now online and can be listened to here. This one’s on environmental communication, and features an interview with the design coordinator of the Greenpeace field at Glastonbury Festival 2014, the wonderful and talented Tabitha Pope. The episode discusses the many forms environmental communication can take, and how important it is in a society that increasingly relies on the media. Please give it a listen, and tell me what you think. And if you like it, please get on the link-love and share, share, share!  Continue reading

Monkeys in the trees, Peruvian rainforest. Not my image.

I Bought a Rainforest

Have you seen the new BBC documentary series called I Bought a Rainforest?

I’ve watched the first two episodes. It’s about a wildlife photographer called Charlie who spontaneously buys 100 acres of the Amazon, in Peru, in order to protect it from illegal loggers.  His patch is strategically placed next to a national park, at the end of the only road for many miles. Loggers are felling trees in the national park, despite it being a protected area. Charlie plans to stop them.

So far, so simple, right? The animal-loving camera-man is the goodie and the illegal loggers who are killing the rainforest – the lungs of the planet and one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world – are undoubtedly the baddies.

But no. It would be very naive to assume real life is like a story of good vs evil. Much to Charlie’s dismay, it turns out the nasty loggers decimating the protected forest are really just cripplingly poor locals who have no other way to feed their families. One of them has a disabled daughter who isn’t getting the care she needs and can’t go to school.  Continue reading

Screenshot from the program. Not my image.

A Political Ramble

It’s the European elections in twelve days. It’s the UK general election next year.

Politics is really on my mind at the moment. It’s a mixture of excitement at exercising my voting ability for the first time (the last general election was just before my 18th birthday), hope that things may get better after this, and anxiety as UKIP fever sweeps the nation.

Whether it’s misguided praise or spitting rage, everyone seems to be talking about this new extreme-right party, and the BBC have been granting it’s leader an outrageous chunk of airtime. What I’m most baffled about is that, according to the polls, many people are voting for them because they are sick of the traditional parties and want to ”stick to the man”, as it were.

This is ludicrous. Continue reading