World War 1 and World War 2 both saw salvage and energy saving drives that are uncanny parallels of modern initiatives like ‘Pull the Plug’, the Pole To Pole challenge set up by EAZA European Zoos.
Encouraging positive behaviour change is nothing new, as we can see from these interesting items in our collection:
From the days before Twitter and Facebook, there are many examples from WW1 and WW2 of mini-messaging from bookmarks and bus tickets to big broadcast messaging through posters (‘weapons on the wall’) and numerous information films.
Posters are a great wartime study resource and the primary history Inspire Curriculum Year 6 WW2 unit suggest a poster design session to mix Art and Design with History.
You can see the WVS website for posters and Imperial War Museum for wartime poster examples. There’s a COGS poster, the Squanderbug, etc all downloadable for classroom use. You can also buy great reproduction Wartime Posters through the IWM shop, I use these posters in our Year 6 wartime zoo schools workshops.
The Squanderbug is another of my wartime cartoon favourites.
Mini Eco- messaging examples 1940s style on 1940s bus and tram tickets.
Save Steel – An encouragement to reuse rather than recycle, with Vicky Victory The Hair Aid Warden (USA).
Salvage was not all as glamorous as Vicky Victory in the beauty salon. It could involve, as the WVS did, dragging village ponds for abandoned tyres as rubber became more scarce after December 1941 with the war spreading in the Far East .
Energy saving became not only thrifty and money saving but also a patriotic duty in wartime. This was recycling at gunpoint!
Reduce Reuse Recycle is a modern way of looking at Make Do and Mend, involving zoo scrounging and recycling materials in unusual ways.
Chester Zoo still had visible in 2011 wartime concrete road blocks sold as Government Surplus to George Mottershead to build enclosures when building materials were scarce in the 1940s.
Our Modern Energy Saving Challenge
The parallels between wartime and peacetime challenges are explored in the interesting New Home Front reports including their poster competition modern ‘wartime’ propaganda posters http://www.newhomefront.org/
Energy saving is now a big challenge in peacetime for a modern Zoo or Botanic Garden – how to look after our rare animals and plants in the most environmentally friendly way, and how to involve our visitors in positive behavioural change for wildlife.
Recently throughout 2014/15 many zoos have run ‘Pole to Pole’ activities as part of this EAZA European Zoo Association campaign.
We have got through thousands of leaflets to visitors, amongst other activities, as well as continuing our ongoing energy audit which is part of our past Green Tourism Gold award and current ISO 14001 accreditation. You can learn more about this here on our Newquay Zoo website page. and some good links on our Paignton Zoo website page.
The Two Degrees is the Limit Campaign 2015
Scientists are clear about the devastating effects on human well-being, the natural world and its biodiversity that man made global warming above 2⁰C will have. As part of the Pole to Pole Campaign of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, website and zoo visitors signed the petition to demand the commitment of our national governments and the European Union to support all measures which help keep global warming under the 2⁰C limit, and to work towards a binding global agreement at the intergovernmental meeting on climate change in Paris in December 2015.
Posted by Mark Norris, World War Zoo Gardens project, Newquay Zoo.