Renewable Girls Calendar Aims to Make Solar Sexy. Ugh.

Image credit: Renewable Girls

From Oily Cassandra's sexy dancing peak oil expose to the controversy over podium girls in professional cycling, we are not short of examples of sex being used to sell green living in one way or another. But a new calendar aimed at taking renewable energy to a new audience is more blatant about it than most.

I'm not sure I like it. The plan behind the Renewable Girls calendar is to "shift the public perception of renewable energy away from left leaning or crunchy", and instead making it mainstream, sexy and fun. On the surface of it, this is a laudable aim—and I certainly don't consider myself a prude. If using images of beautiful people is what it takes to take sustainability to the masses, then I am all for it.

The trouble is, the calendar—or at least the sample photos on the website—is ugly. The photos are cliched. The captions ("When her husband is away on business, Cynthia waits patiently by her solar powered phone.") are hackneyed to say the least. About the only thing I like about the site is the solar energy calculator, which allows homeowners to calculate just how much energy they could generate with an array on their roof.

Taste is, of course, a personal thing. Some people find blowing up climate skeptic school children funny, others think it's disgusting. Some people appreciate charity f-bomb-a-thons, others are turned off by all that cussing. So I am sure there are people who will love the Renewable Girls, and maybe one or two of them will install solar. We'll see...

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