Two puppets stage a commentary on just how ‘ green’  large-scale corporations and advertising agencies actually are.

Some of the false premises brought to light include:

  • do the images advertised match the ethos of the company?
  • does the advertisement present real facts?
  • 7 sins of “greenwashing” in  brand marketing: worshipping false labels, irrelevance, lesser of two evils, hidden trade-offs, no proof, vagueness, fibbing.

The puppets then launch into a satirical ‘green’ episode showing these greenwashing tactics in action:

  • employing ‘green’ buzzwords like ‘all-natural’, ‘preservative free’,  ‘sustainable’
  • unsubstantiated claims without offering proof
  • backgrounds of images of the natural world
  • promoting ‘new and improved’ changes where nothing has been changed!
  • false awards

The clip finishes with a strong message that the truth will always prevail, and provides websites to visit to make yourself more informed, like

This clip can be used for teaching school students about how to be internet and media savvy: Show  school students the clip, providing opportunity to ask questions for clarification. Perhaps find other advertisements that employ these ‘greenwashing’ tactics and see if students can spot them! The internet and the media are big places full of booby-traps. Equipping them to ‘smell a rat’ is the best way to ensure they stay well-informed and can protect themselves online.



New literacies are ever-evolving platforms for sharing information, communicating and negotiating meaning. They seem to be infinite and ever-changing from one day to the next. However Lankshear and Knobel (2012) argue that new literacies carry with them the legacies of historical ideas and are embedded in social, cultural and linguistic contexts. For example, a video-game can be a spoof of a literary work or popular culture reference.

The inextricable driver of new literacies is the Internet – the technology that allows new literacies to no longer fall within traditional parameters of spoken and written text. New literacies are multimodal, employing many of the senses in their presentation: Written, aural, visual and gestural –  from facial expression to image and movement (Houtman, 2013). Think memes, Wii games, blogs podcasts, tweets, wall posts, gifs, webinars and mashups.

The purpose of using new literacies is to experience and act upon the world. Exactly how we do this is dictated by social paradigms, which have shifted from being modern and industrial,  to postmodern, knowledge-based (Lankshear & Knobel, 2013). Modern paradigms emphasised a linear, fixed  and individualised trajectory, where people aimed to conform to the dominant type. Postmodern paradigms have become multifaceted, flexible and non-linear (Lankshear & Knobel, 2013).  As an example, an academic in the past shared their information in a peer-reviewed print journal, which was read and responded to by other academics who had paid, exclusive access to that specific journal. This was decidedly ‘modernist’. Now under a ‘postmodern’ paradigm, academics can share their information to a broader audience on both paid and open-source platforms. New literacies allow the purveyors of information to collaborate with a diverse, global and often anonymous community. Their information is reappropriated – for better or for worse, across the world with the click of a button.

Lankshear and Knobel (2013) delineate the ‘new ethos’ of  new literacies, as participatory (a lively thread on an anime fanpage), proprietary (the results pulled up on a Google search, which are determined, ultimately, by Google), or projective (watching DIY home renovations on YouTube). New literacies express the technical advancements of the day, but as Houtman (2013) highlights, new literacies also reflect the ’new ethos’ of literacy itself: what values are behind the presentation of information? Lankshear and Knobel (2013) anecdotally refer to a 3-year old child creating an animation and uploading it to YouTube with her father’s assistance. This use of new literacies may be contested by traditionalists who deem the 3-year old illiterate, but any parent with a toddler who can proficiently navigate an iPad will argue they are indeed literate or at least ‘enabled’ and ‘participating’ in making meaning.


Houtman, E. (2013). New literacies, learning, and libraries: How can frameworks from other fields help us think about the issues? In the Library with the Lead Pipe.  Retrieved from Accessed February 14th, 2014

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2012). ‘New’literacies: technologies and values. Teknokultura. Revista de Cultura Digital y Movimientos Sociales, 9(1), 45-71.  Retrieved from Accessed February, 2014

Digital badges

Image  —  Posted: March 19, 2014 in Uncategorized