Talking about Climate Change


In terms of coming across as authentic and not greenwashing, one important strategy is to look out for the specific types of greenwashing. For example, there’s the sin of no proof and the hidden trade-off. When leaders understand types of greenwashing, it would be easier to avoid it.

Make sure that you have measurable goals and metrics so that you can share progress — setting a goal without the intent to reach it or setting a goal and hiding that you have not reached it would be greenwashing. You could be transparent about barriers and what you’re doing to overcome them.

Jessica Reid, author of Planet Now: Effective Strategies for Communicating about the Environment

Hope-Based Marketing

You talk about hope-based marketing being more effective than fear-based marketing. Do you have any examples of successful hope-based marketing?

In terms of hope- and fear-based marketing, it’s important to find the right balance of hope and fear. It really depends on the audience and what the ask is for them because it’s critical to help people understand that climate change is not going to solve itself. And the way we solve it is by taking action. So, there’s hope, and we can do something about it.

If you make people feel fearful, they’ll be hopeless of a better future. If they think that there is no way the future could be better, then they’d continue on the path that they’re on.

I wanted to draw out a couple of examples of hope-based marketing. Patagonia had a hope-based marketing campaign using a reversible poem to raise awareness of the climate crisis. If you read it one way, it says that the future is hopeless. If you read it the other way, it shows hope, and we can do something about it. It calls attention that people can take action, such as buying a sustainable, long-lasting jacket, and bring people together to talk about how our actions can make the world better rather than worse.

Patagonia’s palindrome poem on climate change. The message is different from you read it starting from the top or starting from the bottom.
Green New Career quiz by Sunrise Movement to help people find careers to support the environment

Climate Change Polarization

It’s crucial to listen to their perspective and understand where they’re coming from, and not make automatic judgments about them. Some people could reasonably think climate change is not happening depending on the media they consume and the information they have access to.

Photo by Yelena Odintsova from Pexels

Connect on Shared Values

I can just go through a few examples of that. If they care about the economy or fiscal responsibility, you could talk about how taking climate action saves money over time how expensive and devastating climate disasters like hurricanes are. You could help people see that it is financially worth it over time to help the environment. In line with the economy, you could talk about the creation of new green jobs.

Jessica’s Planet Now blog which features practical strategies to create a positive impact

Who is Lynn?

Lynn Yap is the author of The Altruistic Capitalist and founder of Actv8 Network, an organization focused on increasing the inclusion of women in technology and innovation. She is passionate about working with businesses to do good for people and the planet. Follow her on Instagram @altruisticcapitalist or sign-up for updates at See her in action here:



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Founder of Actv8 Network to increase the inclusion of women in tech. Author of The Altruistic Capitalist, about creating sustainable and prosperous businesses.