SOLTRAIN
SOLTRAIN:
The Solar Thermal Training & Demonstration Initiative

BBCDC’s ‘Green Lantern’ - Marketing for hearts and minds

Written/submitted by Ivan Yaholnitsky on 22 July 2018
BBCDC's Green Lantern shining brightly

In December, BBCDC put up a large advertising sign in Mohales Hoek at the site of BBCDC’s solar energy  sales  operation. The  sign  is just next to the main southern highway and enhances the exposure of SOLTRAIN and our solar energy products and services. We call it a ‘Green Lantern’.

In one of their recent newsletters, The Climate Reality Project gave these four suggestions for action on Climate Change, drawing on the work of professional psychologists studying change processes in a systematic way:

  • Connect the climate crisis to what’s happening in real communities to reduce psychological distance.
  • Make climate action a  group  experience to promote social norms.
  • Talk about what we’re gaining, not what we’re losing, to avoid loss aversion.
  • Give your friends real ways to take action to prevent “environmental melancholia.”

I think they are useful, especially in regard to the broader mission of the SDGs and future work of SOLTRAIN in Lesotho and regionally.

We hope the Green Lantern fits this pattern. We need to get SOLTRAIN into each and every far flung community in Lesotho, and demonstrate that cost effective lifestyle and hygiene solutions are available and feasible. Positive social activities and processes will drive adoption and innovation. It is true that we need to lead with benefits and qualitative enhancements rather than costs.

Finally, we need to provide opportunities for more participation. When a solar water heater is put up on a roof, it should not be done by one or two people. Rather assemble a crowd and let everyone pitch in. Throw a party with hot dogs grilled in a solar cooker. Music and food create lasting memories. I call on my colleagues and friends in SOLTRAIN to embrace the above. Let us go out and win it. The Green Lantern is meant to herald of much better times. Hope for humanity.