Environmental Christmas illustration.
The illustration shows a Christmas tree decoration that looks like the earth.
A cartoon that comments on over-consumption at Christmas.
Drawn: July 2022
Cartoon reference number: a954
A cartoon featuring the earth in a waste skip as though it is being thrown away in a similar way that the normal items of consumer waste are thrown away in skips.
Skips are often used for builders’ rubble and the waste material when a house is being refitted or modified. The house can be thought of as a metaphor for the planet on which we and all other life lives.
Drawn: September 2022
Cartoon reference number: a924
Escape from the waste land cartoon
An environmental cartoon showing a builder’s skip being used as a boat to escape from a land covered in waste – a wasteland.
The illustration is concerned with the amount of waste and rubbish generated by our consumer society.
The people in the image are escaping from the polluted land by using a builder’s skip as a boat. Such skips are in my mind associated with over consumption, as they are often to be seen outside houses that are being refitted with more modern and fashionable fittings (especially in the kitchens and bathrooms).
This cartoon reflects my interest in environmental issues such as consumer waste and the climate emergency.
First version drawn: 1991
This square version: 2020
Cartoon reference number: a445b
A cartoon highlighting a problem with mass tourism – the destruction or degradation of the tourist destination due to the impact of the tourists themselves.
Here the tourist destination is a world heritage site – exactly the sort of place that is degraded by insensitive of excessive tourism.
Mass tourism, tourist, holidays, holiday destinations.
Original version drawn: 1990
Cartoon reference number: env123
The Beast That Ate the Earth
Environment cartoon book
Versions of many of the environmental cartoons on this site can be found in my book, The Beast That Ate the Earth.
I’ve been drawing cartoons on environmental matters since the early 1970s.
The book was published in 2004 and contains about a hundred cartoons in black and white.
The book is available through Amazon.
Such as at:
Cartoon about disposing of obsolete computers by sending them to developing countries.
Computers and electronic equipment shipped to India for disposal.
Original version created: 2016
Cartoon reference number: a683
A joke showing people being deceived by a special offer in a shop.
The customers see a sign with the special offer of “Two for the price of Three’ and they automatically think that this is a good deal due to the way that the offer is framed (interpreting it in the same way as “Two for the price of three”).
A cartoon about consumerism,marketing, persuasion, selling, manipulation, misleading offers.
Cartoon reference number: a697
A TV viewer wanting to ignore the evidence in a television programme as it would make him uncomfortable.
A cartoon depicting a person ignoring an inconvenient truth. (The cartoon doesn’t actually imply that all televisions are manufactured in exploitative sweatshop conditions – the use of a tv in the cartoon is because the tv in the image is, ironically, the conduit for the information to be made available).
Original version drawn: 2009
Cartoon reference number: a693
A cartoon showing Noah’s ark with consumer goods (cars, shipping containers etc) taking up valuable space. Noah is telling the two unicorns that are wanting to enter the ark that there is no room for them.
The cartoon is about the human race’s impact on wildlife (particularly as a result of our consumption of the earth’s resources, but also as a result of anthropogenic floods).
A cartoon about endangered species, unicorn extinction, wildlife in danger.
Original version. drawn: 1990
Cartoon reference number: a679
A cartoon showing a lorry crossing a traffic roundabout and destroying the playing arrangement on the roundabout.
The cartoon is a metaphor for the way that our consumer society and consumerism (represented by the lorryload of goods) is devastating the earth (represented by the flower planting in the form of a map of the world).
Original version created: 1991
Cartoon reference number: a454
An illustration showing coffee beans with currency symbols on them (£ and $) as a symbol of the profit-motivated production
This illustration was created to depict coffee grown by multinational companies primarily for the profit.
The image is to draw attention to fair trade crops and ethically produced food products
First published in Ethical Consumer magazine
Cartoon reference number: a675
A dumpster as a lifeboat – cartoon or illustration
A cartoon showing a dumpster or rubbish skip used as a lifeboat or escape vessel by a family escaping from somewhere – probably from all of the waste generated by the consumer society
First version drawn: 1991
Cartoon reference number: a445
Cartoon about art gallery and museum mechandising and funding.
Which works of art would look good on fridge magnets?
Cartoon showing artworks being considered for use in merchandising
Cartoon showing a meeting of staff responsible for acquiring artworks in an art gallery considering which works of art to buy, including evaluating the commercial, marketing and merchandising potential of the works of art under consideration.
The cartoon’s caption reads:
“It may indeed be a pivotially significant example of early 18th century Flemish art, but as head of merchandising I have to ask ‘What would it look like on a fridge magnet?’”
It is a cartoon about the commercialisation and commodification of artworks such as paintings and of museum artefacts. The cartoon illustrates the problem of funding art galleries and museums, and the increased reliance on museum gift shops and cafes.
Cartoon reference number: a152
A cartoon about environment-friendly materials.
A discarded polystyrene container talking to animals, saying that it likes nature so much that it’s decided to stay around for a long time.
An illustration about biodegradable packaging materials, litter, recycling, waste, consumerism, bio-decomposition, environmental impact
Cartoon reference number: env069b
Endangered species cartoon
A fish restaurant selling endangered species of fish
Over fishing is depleting fish stocks, with species such as cod and tuna being put on endangered species lists
A cartoon about food, resources, fishing quotas
Original version drawn: 2004
Reference number: a572
Environment cartoon – earth as a balloon
An illustration showing the earth as a passenger balloon, with people throwing consumer goods over the side in order to keep afloat.
The idea is that the human race needs to jettison its dependence on consumer goods.
The concept behind the illustration is a little similar to the ‘spaceship earth’ metaphor
Cartoon reference number: a550
One of my environment cartoons – showing a man devouring the earth
The cartoon shows the earth in space as a globe, being eaten by the gigantic man
The image is an illustration of the way that the human race is destroying the planet by over consumption and over population. Over population is implied by the giant size of a single human who is devouring the earth’s resources.
Cartoon reference number: a513
Illustration – a product bar code in the form of a city skyline or city scape
Cartoon showing a bar code in the shape of a city’s financial sector.
A metaphor for commerce and finance
Cartoon reference number: a516
A cartoon about self-help books and over consumption
A cartoon of an overweight person trying to reach a self help manual about how to stop over consuming.
He can’t reach the book because he is too fat
This cartoon is about excessive consumption of all types – it depicts an obese person (an over consumer of food) to represent all types of over consumption. The point is that the obese person can’t reach the book because of his obesity.
The cartoon deals with the topics of consumerism, the consumer society, and addictive behaviour, amongst others
Cartoon reference number: a477
A cartoon about child development and shopping.
This joke was inspired by seeing children’s toys such as brightly coloured radios with words printed on them such as “My First Radio”
A humorous idea about nature or nurture, social attitudes, capitalism and social conditioning.
The expression “Born to shop” comes to mind
Cartoon reference number: a473
Over consumption cartoon – or the dangers of the consumer society
A cartoon showing a person vomiting consumer goods, having consumed too many of them
An illustration dealing with the consumer led market economy, the consumer lifestyle and materialism.
First version drawn: 1991
Cartoon reference number: a444
An environmental cartoon about the fur trade and fur coats
A cartoon of an affluent fashionable woman buying a fur coat. The shop sign above the coat reads “Rare furs”
The shop assistant is saying “And getting rarer by the day, madam!”
The message of the cartoon is that some people are totally intellectually divorced or disconnected from the environmental and ecological impact of their actions, with economic and other factors such as social status taking precedence over environmental factors.
In this case the woman and the man are only interested in the status of the fur coat as a fashion item and as a status symbol – to the point that they are actually pleased that they are contributing to the endangered species status of the animal that provided the fur for the coat, as the rarer the animal the more valuable the coat becomes – an economic argument (of very dubious merit) rather than an ecological one
Cartoon reference number: a468
Impulse buying cartoon
A cartoon showing an impulse buyer impulsively purchasing a self-help book about how to stop impulse buying
A cartoon about consumerism, the consumer society, self-help books, impulsive personality types, spending, consumption, marketing, the book trade, shopping
Cartoon reference number: a461
Is the human race heading for a mass extinction event?
A cartoon showing geological rock strata and fossils, including the iridium layer that appeared at the time of the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.
The rock strata also include a layer of manufactured waste that is directly above the layer of rock that contains fossils of humans
The implication is that while the event that created the iridium layer destroyed the dinosaurs, the event that created the layer of anthropogenic waste destroyed the human race.
The current geological era or epoch is sometimes referred to as the anthropocene, as the major influence on the environment is the human race.
An earlier version of this cartoon appeared in my book of environmental cartoons, When Humans Roamed the Earth, published by Earthscan/WWF in 1991
Cartoon reference number: a458
Non-recyclable packaging cartoon
Burger carton cartoon, where the burger bun represents the earth
A cartoon dealing with the problem of non-recyclable waste as illustrated by a polystyrene fast food carton
The burger bun has a pattern on it that resembles a map or globe, signifying the global environmental problem of waste management, pollution and pollutants
Cartoon reference number: a457
Fish stock depletion cartoon
Over fishing cartoon
Cartoon of a man fishing in a pond, and complaining that there aren’t any fish left to fish.
The pond is in the form of a map of the world
The pond in the cartoon is a metaphor for the oceans of the world.
The concept is that people have in the past (and even today) thought of the earth’s oceans as being almost endless and full of unlimited supplies of fish. While in fact the oceans are relatively small, especially when the rising human population puts so much pressure on the fish stocks
Cartoon reference number: a452
An environmental illustration about depleting the earth’s resources
Illustration showing pests eating the leaves on trees – however, the pests are humans and the trees are the countries of the world on a map
A cartoon about over consumption of the earth’s resources, consumerism, over population, resource depletion
Cartoon reference number: a450
Environment cartoon – global warming and consumerism.
An environmental cartoon showing executives in a firm that manufactures refrigerators discussing global warming.
They are saying that the more the world warms up, the more people will want to buy fridges
An illustration of the truth behind the expression It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good, and the way that capitalism can benefit from adversity.
The point of this cartoon is that to some extent the creators of global warming will benefit from it.
Maybe they even sponsor climate change denial research!
Original version drawn: 1991
Cartoon reference number: a441
Recycling plastic bags cartoon
Does recycling make a difference in our efforts to cut waste?
A cartoon showing a person who feels happy because she is ‘doing her bit to save the planet’ – although recycling plastic carrier bags is not enough.
A comment about token gestures towards environmentalism – the delusion that reusing carrier bags will make a difference or have a significant impact on consumption and waste.
The cartoon is also about the trend for natural cotton shopping bags that carry slogans – either of an environmental nature of as an advert for a shop (which by implication is working towards a better environment due to the natural cotton bag)