Online ‘sustainability TV’ – streaming green message to your screen

A free internet TV channel focusing on global sustainability is now online, with videos on everything from climate change to corporate ethics to green spirituality, following its launch on Monday.

Big Picture TV offers viewers a growing library with 330 searchable clips so far, starting with Annie Lennox’s views on ethical consumerism in the headline launch video.

Viewers can see top climate change experts, politicians, economists or journalists discussing all aspects of sustainability and offering practical solutions in short clips lasting around five minutes. Contributors include Nelson Mandela, the Prince of Wales and Nobel prize-winning Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai.

While all the content is free to view onsite, a membership fee of £1.50 a month enables viewers to download clips. The channel aims to reach everyone from schoolchildren to eco-aware business leaders.

London-based founder Marcus Morrell first had the idea to launch “online sustainability TV” at the beginning of the millennium when, living in New York, he experienced the events of September 11th first hand. “It was a time when there was a lot of negativity following 9/11 and the concept of sustainability struck me as very forward-looking and full of hope,” he told edie.

Morrell quickly realised that there were “plenty of speakers who could put the sustainability message across,” and that with streaming technology it would be “both cheap and possible to provide a platform for that talent and vision and reach an international audience,” he said.

Morrell funded the venture using his private inheritance money, the costs kept to a minimum with the voluntary help of contributors like Lennox.

The project also received the backing of many high-profile figures from the media and the environmental movement, such as Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper who sits on the channel’s advisory board.

British television journalist and documentary maker Jonathan Dimbleby welcomed the launch saying Big Picture TV “is especially valuable as so much of the mainstream media treats these issues in a spasmodic or superficial way.”

Marcus Morrell hopes that Big Picture TV “will help people see the world today in a broader and more positive context.

“Problems such as climate chaos, rising sea levels and species extinction are all too familiar but they are only half the story. The big picture is about pragmatic solutions, recognising that the crises we face bring with them opportunities to rethink, innovate and progress.”

Big Picture TV can be accessed here.

Goska Romanowicz

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