Since I began my journey in the environmental movement in Peru, the climate change field has resembled a war to me. On one side, big industries with huge shields sponsored by “the market system”, (do not feel upset, this is totally allowed. They say it is not corruption, it is “lobbying”). They are big in quantity but be careful most of them do not know that they are in war or for who they are fighting for, they are probably texting to the person next to them: “what is happening right now? #clueless #warfashion #lifeishardinthebattlefield”. On the other side, with less in quantity but with a lot of passion and determination, the green movement doing some Design Thinking to plan the next move and some tribute to Mother Earth before every step. Instead of bullets, they use seeds to tackle the enemy and plant a tree at the same time. Just efficiency!
Picturing this in my head and in my current position of soon to write a thesis for my Sustainability Master Studies, I was starting to feel the pressure of finding my corner from where to shoot trees. Hence, ACTION PLAN! After many hours of thinking and writing ideas, I re-discovered a corner that mixes two of my biggest passions: what about to use comedy as a tool to create environmental awareness in cities? Insane or cool, what do you think?
For the following step, I wanted to know more about comedy and the climate situation in cities. In that process, I found Youth Climate Leaders #YCL2019Immersion in which climate change and cities were the main topics. During it, we visited many organizations in Berlin and Bonn and developed a group project related to 4 components: urban planning, urban farming, energy, and mobility. From this experience, I learned some really important lessons: be respectful as a person but strong in our demands due to the urgent context, the increasing power and attention that youth is having right now thanks to movements like “Fridays for Future” and finally the disposition from this network to contribute and empower young leaders to transform demands into reality.
After this immersion, it was clear to me that maybe it sounds insane that comedy can have such an impact, but nowadays it is necessary to think out of the box and shoot trees and design thinking from every corner we can. In fact, comedy is being used in many countries to create awareness of different topics and succeed. For instance, in 2012 Metro Trains in Melbourne created a campaign to encourage rail safety called “Dumb ways to die”. It reached 181 million views on YouTube and reduced by 20% the death cases on train platforms and near misses at stations. Thus comedy is not only a tool of attracting attention and getting information, but it can also contribute to behavioral change. Therefore, with projections of a 60% increase in cities populations mix with the unsustainable way that they are growing, a behavioral change is fundamental and comedy can be one of the solutions for it. Insane and cool, no?
About Evelyn: Evelyn Salas is a bachelor in International Business. She had professional experience in Human Resources and Carbon footprint reduction in the private sector as well as years of a volunteer in NGO’s on topics related to poverty, food security and environmental awareness in her home country, Peru. Currently, she is Lund University global scholarship holder for the Master of Science in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science in Sweden. Connect with her via Linkedin.