Published: May 1, 2020 By

Communicating Serious Content in Fun Online Forms

One of my great pleasures that is part of my research and creative work is working with a group of Boulder middle and high school girls known as Young Women’s Voices for Climate. We meet weekly and use arts-based methods for climate action and vocal empowerment through SPEAK, which I co-founded with Chelsea Hackett.

Students from Beth's class participate in a zoom session dressed as fruits and vegetablesAlong with CU students Lianna Nixon, Jeneé LeBlanc, and Sarah Fahmy, we worked together to create an online gallery exhibit entitled Recipes for Change, which was originally designed to be displayed at the Boulder Public Library Canyon Gallery in May 2020, now moved to an online platform due to the library closure because of the pandemic. Don’t forget to check out the music video of them as rapping fruits and vegetables at the end!

As the Faculty Advisor for ASSETT, I share this example of an online gallery to help spark ways you might guide students in creating an online platform for whatever you are teaching. BuffsCreate could be used as a platform for this type of a project. We used this exhibit to share arts-based approaches focused on food to help reverse global warming. It may seem a bit frivolous when perusing the exhibit, but this online platform is being used to creatively communicate a solution that can ensure our survivability as a species. 

By partnering with Project Drawdown, we are focusing on top climate solutions. The term “drawdown” refers to “the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline (The Drawdown Review, page 2).” According to Drawdown’s 2020 revised list of the top solutions for reversing global warming, Reduced Food Waste is the #1 solution and a Plant-Rich Diet is #3. (For the scenario that seeks to reach drawdown in 2060, see The Drawdown Review, page 86, available for free download at In scenario number two (The Drawdown Review, page 88) in which projections of top solutions are based on achieving drawdown by the mid-2040s, Reduce Food Waste is #3 and Plant-Rich Diets is #4. By adding the total CO2 and equivalent greenhouse gases reduced and/or sequestered by these two solutions--according to either scenario-- focusing on food is clearly the number one solution for reversing global warming!

Online platforms that feature fun and creative communication strategies can effectively communicate important content. I wish all of you and yours good health and a vibrant adjustment to whatever integration of online learning we employ in the future.

*Read more about Young Women’s Voices for Climate in HowlRound.