This story first appeared on Benojo on 15 September 2015. Image courtesy of Be An Unfucker.
Be an Unfucker is a website that offers the well intended among us a gentle push towards being more environmentally conscious. It promotes – in a refreshingly straight-talking tone – the idea that making small changes in our everyday lives can make a big collective impact on climate change. We spoke to Vanessa Morrish, co-founder of the site, to learn more.
‘The planet’s fucked but we’re optimistic we can turn things around. Be An Unfucker and start by changing one un eco-friendly habit at a time’ – this is the philosophy behind The Unfuckers. It’s not hugely complex but simply encourage individuals to take action.
“The whole point of the site is not to say you have to change your whole life. It’s like when you have any big problem you break it down into small pieces – and that’s what we are proposing,” explains Vanessa Morrish, a writer, who co-founded the site with friend Caro Shields, an art director and designer, in September last year.
It’s a creative pairing that’s evident in the site’s look, feel and tone, something that Vanessa describes as “100% us and our aesthetic”. While the site uses colourful graphics, cool images and cheeky calls to action [like Cut the scrap, Go eco fool and Recycle responsibly, damn it), their messages are clear, no bullshit and backed by stats and research.
The action element of how to ‘Be an Unfucker’ is delivered through their weekly facts and blogs and shared across their growing social media communities (they currently have over 3,000 followers on Instagram and 10,000 on Facebook). A great example of how to inspire individuals into action with easy everyday tips and suggestions that aren’t hard to implement.
It’s the little things
“You choose one thing: ‘I’m not really good at recycling’, for example,” explains Vanessa on how to start Being an Unfucker. “So you learn what are the things that you can and can’t recycle – because if you don’t actually recycle properly, there’s no actual point in doing it in the first place. And once you’ve got a handle on that, you go: ‘What else can I do?’ Then you say: ‘Okay well I take really long showers and I know that that’s not great because it’s a waste of water and energy’. So you take shorter showers.”
She says: “The whole point of the site is to provide these small tips that people can take on, embrace in their life and go forward with.”
Making the impossible accessible
Vanessa highlights that while issues like climate change can seem overwhelming there is plenty, if many small things, that each of us can do to help address it.
“I think what we want to do is give more of a personal edge to climate change. When you read about it in the paper and you watch it on the news, it can feel quite far away and people think ‘I can’t do anything about that’. But I can start talking about it and making it more of a prominent issue among my friends. I can start being aware of it more in general and I can start by making small changes in my life,” says Vanessa on what Be an Unfucker hopes to achieve.
“We all have choices. It’s nice to bring it home, so it’s relevant in our lives and makes people feel empowered, like they can do something.”