“Green Memes” – The Best of 2012

Protecting the environment from harm is a serious issue, but sometimes it takes a humorous or quirky approach to eco-friendly issues to make people sit up and take notice. As 2012 draws to a close, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting, high-impact “green memes” shared online by Sustainable.co.za and fellow environmentalists this past year.

Why are you Littering?

This hard-hitting billboard, spotted outside Cresta Shopping Centre in Johannesburg this September, was an initiative from Guerrilla IMC, and it wasn’t long before their message went viral. To date, the photo of the billboard on the Sustainable.co.za Facebook page has been shared 1059 times, attracting 223 Likes and 46 comments.

Australia’s “Green Memes”

The Australian Green Party – also known as The Green Alternative or simply The Greens – are eco-activists with a sense of humour. The Green Memes Facebook page is a place where party supporters can poke fun at themselves and their critics with memes and political cartoons, effectively encouraging viral sharing and in-depth online discussions. Here’s our favourite, posted in July this year:

Statue in the Sun

The effects of global warming are enough to make even the Statue of Liberty shed her dignified clothing for some scanty summer garb – we certainly hope she’s wearing sunscreen! This green meme serves as a reminder not only to those in the US, but to communities all over the globe, of the potentially disastrous effects of global warming. As an internationally recognised symbol, it’s hardly surprising that the image of Lady Liberty has been used time and again to illustrate the threat posed to our planet by global warming; over the years, we’ve seen her submerged beneath rising sea levels, or sporting a surgical mask as protection against pollution. A large percentage of the online community found this latest, seemingly light-hearted image clever and funny – but let’s hope the message behind it doesn’t get lost.

Green Goes Mainstream

Some of the most successful memes in modern pop culture are now being used to spread more serious messages; take a look at this green blog for a few excellent examples. From the “Y U No” Guy to Disaster Girl, all the best-known meme characters have started spreading the word about environmental protection. Our top choice has got to be the ever-popular “One does not simply…” meme (see above).

Nice Day

The “solar energy spill” billboard is another popular eco meme, giving consumers yet another reason to switch to solar energy – the clean, safe and renewable alternative power source. We look forward to the day when solar power is considered the obvious choice rather than the alternative now that will be a nice day for all of us! On a serious note, the holiday season is always a period of high consumption and high carbon emissions. Making more eco-friendly choices and investing in green technology will help you shrink your carbon footprint and enjoy a sustainable festive season. You’ll be giving future generations the greatest gift of all – a healthy environment. To see and share more green memes, including our light-hearted “Friday Funnies” and thought-provoking “Wordless Wednesdays”, visit the Sustainable.co.za Facebook fan page.