What does environmental communication look like?

Mark Meisner's picture

Warning: This is going to get a bit meta.

Ever since launching the IECA website 7 years ago, one question has pursued me. What does environmental communication look like?

Visitors to the site will be very familiar with the image of the green phone box in the countryside that decorates the home page. You might even be a bit tired of it :-)

Well, change is coming. We will soon be working on an overdue update to the IECA website. We will be re-theming (changing the look) of the site. And we will be making it mobile-friendly by using a responsive design. At the same time, we want to add some new images.

So, how can we show environmental communication in action? I don't mean how to show environmental issues like climate change, air pollution, forest plunder, etc. No, this is meta. How can we show communication about those and other environmental issues and/or their solutions?

If you look on stock photo sites or just Google images, you can find lots of pictures of "communication": people talking to each other, public meetings, newspaper headlines, old TV sets, computers, satellite dishes, etc. And you can find plenty of pretty images of nature. You can also find pictures of clearcuts, dams, solar panels, electric cars, windmills, and many other things that relate to environmental issues and how to address them.

This is the sign you've been looking forBut how can we portray communication about environmental issues or solutions in a single image? A green phone box in the countryside? OK, that sort of works on a metaphorical level. But what else? Environmental protests featuring signs with environmental messages? That fits. But we all know environmental communication is more than that.

So I'm looking for your help finding royalty-free images that portray "environmental communication." If you don't know of any specific images, but you have some ideas of what might work, I would would like to hear those as well.

And please feel free to let me know if there is anything you would like to see changed or fixed with the website update.

You can post your suggestions (descriptions and links) here as comments (must be logged-in members), send them to me by email, use the site's contact form, or tweet to me @MarkMeisner.

I look forward to hearing what you think.

Thanks everyone for being part of The IECA.

Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

About the Author: 

Mark Meisner is the Executive Director of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA).