Eleditor’s note: Elephant is a diverse community of sixteen million readers and hundreds of writers (you can write too!). We are reader-created. Many blogs here are experience or opinion, and while we too love to love love and heal through others’ tales of heartbreak, grief, or anxiety, we also crave your eco content. Consider this an open call for writing about the green things you’re seeing in this world. Agree with this Op-Ed or opinion? Share your take here. Let’s make Elephant green again.
Put the words magic, addiction, f*ck, or sex in the title and it seems there’re thousands of clicks in a heartbeat.
I wonder how to do the same with sustainable agriculture, the environmental impact of flying, and tree planting, to name a few green topics.
Those aren’t particularly sexy reads, are they? But neither is racial justice and yet after the murder of Black American, George Floyd, many Black and white writers said we all must be anti-racists and “do the work” to eliminate racism from our societies.
White people, in particular, were called to respond and if we kept our white mouths shut, we were seen as complicit of our racist world.
Couldn’t we argue the same about climate justice and say we all must be climate warriors and fight to protect our environment, which is on the verge of a total breakdown?
Couldn’t we say that we need to “do the work,” not only for one day, but every damn day?
What happened to the green heart of Elephant? Is it me, or can I hardly find any new articles on this topic?
Indeed, relationships, (self)love, spirituality, health, and anti-racism are all essential topics in a mindful, human life. Most of these subjects are what we might call “sexy” and are therefore loved by readers.
Astrology is yet another popular topic on Elephant, always generating a high number of reads as visible through the publication’s EcoSystem scoring.
In general, it seems that readers would rather click on articles they can relate to, and apparently green articles don’t have that magic. Could that be the reason for this “green silence?”
Even famous environmentalists, such as Joaquin Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio and Harrison Ford, all actors, who use their celebrity status to advocate for a healthy environment and to fight climate change, can’t seem to add a touch of “sexy” to the meaningful, enlightening green content submitted to and published on the site.
But let’s face it: nobody likes to read how one flight from London to New York (and return) has the same negative environmental impact as eating a Big Mac a day, for almost three years.
Nobody wants to read about the forest fires that rage across the continents of the world. It makes us uncomfortable and sick to our stomachs, doesn’t it?
And what about the calculation by scientists that in 2050 this tiny, West European country, the Netherlands, where I was born, will start to sink due to the rising sea level as a result of global warming.
A case where being wet isn’t sexy!
We’d rather bury our heads in the sand—for however long there is sand left on our shores in which to do this.
How can we change this? How can we make green, environmental stories more relatable to readers?
We’ve got to forget about “sexy.” Forget about stories of tough warrior men and tender hearts. These are not going to save us; they’re just distractions.
Instead, let us read articles about compassion, care, and, most of all, urgent action for our planet.
Instead of “How to Give Great F*cking Head,” Maybe let us write stories of inspiration to do better?
Let us write “How to Make Great F*cking Compost,” or whatever else it takes to move toward a more sustainable lifestyle while keeping it real.
Yes, I could do that. You could, too.
In the meantime, I would love to hear from you, whether or not you would like to read green articles on Elephant Journal. What should we discuss?