Recently I have been reading about the growth of the environmental movement after the 2nd World War and how ordinary British people began to care.
What struck me was how much public and government bodies were on board and played a part in winning hearts and minds and how much more these same organisations could be doing now to raise awareness about the climate crisis and other ills threatening life on earth.
Back in the fifties and sixties the Post Office produced stamps about animals in danger. Government Bodies ran educational programmes in schools and commercial companies ran promotions which raised people’s awareness of the natural world. Even local vicars got in on the craze, running a series of Wildlife Sundays where they delivered sermons on environmental issues.
Why doesn’t this happen now? True the BBC still champions nature as it has always done but surely more could be done by other organisations to imbed concern about the climate emergency and what ordinary people can do to limit the damage. Stamps on wildlife being extinguished in the fires in Australia. Stamps on recycling your litter and buying less plastic. Those little Brook Bond Tea bag cards I so loved to collect as a child could be revitalised and collected. McDonalds could stop giving kids plastic junk and give them booklets which they could get stamped each time they did something positive for the environment and collect a reusable lunch box at the end.
I know we are in the world of Social Media but on social media you have to search for these issues and you only do that if you care in the first place. Why can’t we put them right under people’s noses?
Why isn’t the government putting climate change at the top of every curriculum? Why does the media so often portray environmental campaigners as cranks and weirdos? The message that things need to change has to be at the heart of everything we do. Not in a, “we’re all doomed, give up now,” way but in a, “support the marchers and say no to plastic kind of way.”
Not everyone wants to glue themselves to the top of a tube train and sometimes this action can alienate ordinary people who are just trying to get to work but there is a place for less radical environmentalists to work with the establishment to get the message out there to every breakfast table in Britain.