I previously wrote an article on how I wasn’t going to give up air travel, subsequently getting slammed with online trolls personally attacking me. This wasn’t helpful, it didn’t engage in intelligent conversation; it was eco-bullying. I was being shamed for being honest on something that many others struggle with. I wanted to use my honesty to spark intelligent debates on what we could do together to make flying environmentally better. Instead, eco-bullies shut down any further communication and just pissed me off.
I think we all need to adapt our communication around the environment to ensure there are no ‘sides’. I’m not talking about the few people that are a no-hope; the climate deniers that refuse to listen to credible evidence. I’m talking about the general population that is inundated with information from multiple angles and confused about everything (aren’t we all?).
Here’s how we can change communication to stop ‘eco-bullying’
Have honest conversations
It can be difficult to admit faults or lack of knowledge on something, but it’s crucial to have open and honest communication. This was my aim with my article about how I wasn’t going to stop flying. I was admitting my selfish faults; I love to travel and I try my hardest to avoid pointless flying but ultimately I won’t stop. I think I am with the general population in this mindset. I wanted to hear about how people reduce their footprint whilst flying and what airlines are doing. For example, Qantas has pretty impressive carbon targets by 2050.
It’s essential to share information openly and honestly. Don’t know how to stop your online shopping addiction? Share and ask. Do you love eating steaks but want to know how to reduce your meat intake? Share and ask. Failed Plastic Free July? Share so others can learn and not feel alone. Nobody is a perfect environmentalist.