Guest blog: Making a noise vs creating a Hubbub

Subjects: Rural economies & communities

Today, we’ve got a guest blog from our wonderful supporters, Hubbub! Hubbub takes a fresh approach to communicating environmental issues, focusing on people’s passions such as fashion, food, homes and sport. 

image

Knowing how to effect action on environmental issues is the great challenge of our time, and it’s not hard to understand why.

First off it’s an issue of communication. If you can’t shout loud and make your voice heard across the mob you may as well just go and eat worms. And those condemned to worm eating are often those who, no matter how passionate they are and how powerful their message, can’t afford mega phones and media gurus. Suffice to say, underfunded environmental communications fight an uphill battle.

But let’s just pretend that it is the eco minded worm eater’s lucky day, someone has offered them a leg up, they’ve made it to the hill top and they are shouting! Shouting loud. And people are listening. But it’s kind of cold out, and the phones of these people by the hill are buzzing, reminding them of all the other immediate concerns in their life; the state of their finances, relationships, job security. They drift away from the hill.

Given our hard wired psychology to prioritise the immediately tangible it is unsurprising that people find issues like climate change, often seeming far removed in space and time (from many of us in the UK that is!), hard to decipher and engage with.

But this is far from the final word on the matter. Hubbub, fresh out of the box London charity, is trialling a new approach to effecting lasting change. Tapping into mainstream interests like food, fashion and sport they aim to engage with people on common ground, and continue working with those people on the things that bring them joy. These interests are their ‘hubs.’

Phenomema such as Great British Bake Off and the rise of celebrity chefs have shown how much we value good food and flare.  The proliferation of magazines and fashion blogs has upped the game when it comes to personal style. Sport is a source of pride, loyalty and excitement for many. 

And so Hubbub feel that there’s huge potential to tie small positive behaviour changes into all of these areas; if activities and campaigns are simple, relevant and enjoyable, there’s no reason not to get involved. In short, they believe that a wealth of interest in these new elements can have the impact needed to vocally shift the social norms; to cause a Hubbub.

The first solid example of this came at Halloween, when Hubbub pinned the issue of food waste to the humble pumpkin, encouraging people to eat the edible bits of their Jack O’Lanterns. #pumpkinrescue trended on twitter and ran alongside a fabulous 10-day pumpkin festival in Oxford. A pop-up kitchen in the town centre fed over 800 people with free soup cooked from food surplus that would have otherwise gone to waste. Shoppers were taken aback that cutting household food waste could save them £60 a month, and natural outrage followed when attention was drawn to the kilo of rescued squash that would have otherwise rotted in a field. Three powerful minutes of footage can be found here.

Then came a ‘Refashioning Day’,10 hours of upcycling sessions, jewellery making and talks from fashion heroes such as Orsola de Castro in the belly of Somerset House, home of London Fashion week.

Next up Hubbub will be delivering a #FestiveFreeze campaign, fighting food waste around Christmas following Love Food Hate Waste’s gob smacking estimation that we bin 2 million turkeys and 74 million mince pies during the festive season. Get your Santa Claus into their recipes and stay tuned here