The P word

I don’t think I’m the only person who has issues with the use of the ‘P’ word in environmental communications.

I’m talking about Planet.

A la: Our planet is in peril. We need Captain Planet’s help!

Captain Planet, he’s our hero, gonna take pollution down to zero. Gonna help us, put asunder, bad guys who like to loot and plunder. *Kapow!* (BTW, I wrote that without needing to google the lines… it’s engrained on my memory!)

Is it me, or does planet sound dated? It reminds me of being 15 and playing ‘F’ – the Fluoro in CFCs (there were two ‘C’ parts as well) – in a school skit of Captain Planet.

To me, the word planet conjures up other-worldly images. It feels alien, not real world. Like we need to be superheroes to save the planet. It sounds extreme and sensationalist: Plunder the planet at your peril!!! (It also necessitates the overuse of exclamation marks).

How about the words: ‘world’, ‘earth’, ‘communities’, ‘local’ and ‘environment’? Isn’t that what we’re talking about?

I think these organisations have got it right:

Do the Green Thing


World Changing

What do you think about the perils of the P word? Am I totally barking up the wrong tree? Or is it a wise approach to stay away from Planet Hollywood and Planet of the Apes connotations when we’re talking about making positive and local green decisions?


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