I now work on problems related to the sustainability and web 2.0. I recently taped different terms related to sustainability on Google Trends service, which is a good indicator of the people’s attention (in our case it’s only for the english speaking people), and fund an interessing thing.
I used the terms’sustainability’, ‘ecology’, ‘pollution’ and ‘environment’ , from the most specific to the broadest I found. As you can see, in the figure below, we can maybe predict a future shift between the two terms ecology (red) and sustainability (blue). But there is a more obvious and surprising observation: a temporal pattern observed for all of these terms: People don’t pay too much attention about sustainability during the holidays (july,august) and specially during Christmas!
How explaining this social pattern?
From my point of view, one possible explanation is that this online pattern reflects the perception the people have about the notion of sustainability and its opposition with their own behavior during their holidays: the holidays are normally perceived as a period of consumption, of freedom whereas the sustainability is about restriction and the adoption of a moderate behavior. That’s why maybe people don’t want to pay attention to this subject when they are on holidays;-). (And I don’t think that’s because people spent generally less time on internet during Christmas: ‘sex’, which is a very popular word including all the people, has more search volume during Christmas!)
When you want start a campaign about sustainability don’t do it during the holidays and specially during Christmas because the people won’t be really receptive 🙂