As part of our contest on to help raise money for getting GBO Hawai’i, the green economy board game, published and printed, we offered anyone who gave at least a $5 contribution a finger-typed email (not copy/paste), with a sustainability joke, as a thank you for their contribution. Below are some of the jokes people liked the most:


For Marc Uhlmann, contributor from Switzerland:

What does the sign for mile marker 3 along the Joke Trail in Switzerland say?

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Exxon Mobil proudly supports nature, continuing our long tradition of commitment to environmental preservation.
All rights to unfound oil reserves and future drilling on this spot are hereby property of ExxonMobil



For Kirsten Moller of Global Exchange:

What was Monsanto’s official response to Global Exchange’s petition that the company stop suing organic farmers for collecting their own seeds as opposed to buying Monsanto’s Frankenfoods-brand genetically modified (GMO) seeds?

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Dear Global Exchange. As advocates for Fair Trade, we believe in supporting the little guy and developing nations. That’s why we’ve spent the last fifty years trying to help people in the developing world get the vital nutrients that organic foods simply don’t offer, such as dimethyl carcinogenium, Residuous Roundupicus, and horse genome 126-A extract. It is exactly because organic farms can’t offer these nutrients that our staff scientists believe are the building blocks of human dignity, that we’re offering farmers the chance to settle out of court and reform their wicked ways, joining us in providing the right stuff for humanity. Now that’s what we call a Fair Trade! Win-win, right?


For Chelsea Harder, Robotics specialist of the Honolulu County Schools District:

A robot walks into a drug store. The pharmacists says, “what can I get you?”

The robot looks up, looking morose, and replies, “A soul.”

The pharmacists thinks for a minute and says, “We’re sorry…they’re on backorder because the Board of Directors at Shell apparently heard the world was ending. Can you come back next week?”

For Liz Makarra of the Honolulu Design Center:

An interior designer comes back from an appointment at the dentist, looking a little groggy. A coworker asks, “Did you use that dentist that advertised on Groupon?”

“Yes,” replies the interior designer.

“Half off dentistry? I don’t know…sounds like a bad idea,” says the coworker.

“The cleaning was fine,” replies the designer. “It was the wallpaper in that place that killed me.”


For Matthew Lynch of Permablitz Hawai’i:

Permaculture the word was derived from “permanent” and “agriculture”. By creating systems adapted well to local biological, climate and nutrient systems, permaculture aims to provide habitat, food, carbon sequestration, and pollinators. So what’s the biggest challenge in permaculture?

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If it works, the whole thing takes care of itself and you’re out of a job!


For Leeann Holley, Speech Therapist of the San Francisco Unified Schools District:

A solar sales professional goes to see his speech therapist to work on his stammering issues in the hopes of better improving sales conversions. He says, “I he-he-heearrd that…tha…that youu..youu…can me?”

“Of course,” says the speech therapist. “Have a seat, take a deep breath, and just count to ten, nice and slowly.”

“wu-wu-one, tuh-tuh..two, thre, three, f……” he begins, but by the time he gets to the end, he’s got it. “….nine, ten! Amazing!”

“Terrific!” says the speech therapist. “Now explain solar financing to me.”

“Well, the payback period is quite short, about 6 years, and the rest is gravy. You’ll be earning $50 per month in electricity you sell back to the grid after that.”

“Nice! Six months of that can pay the tab you owe me for today!” she says.

“Wuh, wuh…wah…what-t-t?”




For Bronson Chang of Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha:

On his Christmas vacation, President Barack Obama goes to his home state of Hawai’i and heads directly to Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha for the best shave ice on the island. First his daughters order some pineapple shave ice, then his wife Michelle orders guava. The President, thinking about how Americans might read headlines tomorrow questioning his patriotism if he doesn’t put mom and apple pie first, asks for an apple shave ice. 

“We don’t have apple, Mr. President,” one of the employees says, looking embarassed. “They don’t grow here locally.”

“Wait, this is actual fruit, grown locally that you serve?” asks the President.

“Yes, Mr. President, we pride ourselves on serving local and natural here at the House of Pure Aloha.”

The President turned and shot a glance at a man in a black suit, dark sunglasses and an earpiece behind him. “I thought you said that was the stuff of fairy tales and unicorns,” he whispered to the man.

The man pulled a docket out of his briefcase and presented a 32 page printout to the employee behind the counter.

“What’s this?” the employee asked, looking baffled.

“A court order to cease and desist serving local and organic,” replied the man. “Don’t you know the nutrients you’re robbing people of? Dimethyl carcinogenium? Horse genome extract 126-A? Try to find me organic produce that can provide these nutrients that our genetically modified corn syrup does.”

“Are you a Monsanto lobbyist?” the employee asked, bewildered.

“No…uh, no, um, wh-why on earth would you ask that. Pshah,” stuttered the man. Flashing perfectly aligned pearly whites, the man regathered his composure and said, “I’m with a non-profit organization known as People Opposing Organic Produce, Yay!  We’re just a grassroots organization looking to help people.”

President Obama turned back to the counter. “I’ll have the papaya, and if you know someone, I’m hiring a new administrative assistant that does better background checks.”




For Dan Heffernan of the political blog

How many liberal bloggers does it take to change a lightbulb?

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Ten. Six to post on Facebook asking their friends to sign a petition to change the bulb. One to send positive vibes to the bulb, hoping that it will realize its wayward ways and change itself through free choice. One to accept the bulb just as it is, knowing that the only path to change is through self-actualization. One to write a screenplay adapted for a novella about why the bulb must change, and one to ‘accidentally’ hit the bulb with a stick and pull out an LED from their back pocket to replace the broken one.


For Christopher Akin of Oahu Scavenger Hunts:

Answering the doorbell, an old man finds a young guy at his door with a list in his hand, and lugging a large bucket of random-looking things.

“Excuse me, sir, sorry to bother you,” the guy says, looking flushed and in a hurry, “I’m on a scavenger hunt and I need an LED lightbulb, a battery recharger, the owner’s manual for a 2009 Prius, some caulk, ….a water saving shower device…..” scanning down his long list and skipping over things he’d obviously already gather, the man couldn’t help but be really impressed by this young kid gathering such a wide array of items. Mentally, he was going over what he had to offer in his house, when the boy got to the bottom of the list and said, “oh! and a cup of organic coffee!”

“A cup of coffee!?! What kind of scavenger hunt is this?” the man asked.

“I don’t know… He was just some nerdy guy wearing a shirt that said “Green Hotel Association” on it. I was just walking through the Marriott lobby and they the guy just started handing out these lists to all these people and I love scavenger hunts, so I grabbed one of the lists and here I am!”

“Son, I think you’ve been had. Sounds like you’re helping some sustainability consultants green a hotel,” says the old man.

“OK, you’re right, I’m sorry,” the guy admits. “But I’m trying to get a job with them and in this economy, this is actually the job interview!”



For Jessica Higgins of the Humane Society:

Because I know that Jessica loves the Simpsons so much, a quote from one of the more famous greenies in the world (sadly): Lisa Simpson, when she becomes a vegetarian.

“Do we have any food that wasn’t brutally slaughtered?”

Homer: “Well, I think the veal died of loneliness.”


For Stuart Coleman of the Surfrider Foundation:

Father Coleman logs on and sees the surf report is double overhead on the North Shore. Though it’s Sunday, he simply cannot resist. So he calls in sick and asks another priest to cover for him, which the latter dutifully does. Saint Thomas, watching from above, asks God if He’s going to let Father Coleman get away with this. God grimaces and looks disappointed.

Father Coleman drives 3 hours so as to avoid any of his parishoners and paddles out on a deserted beach into smooth, clean waves 10-15 feet high. Immediately, he catches a double overhead wave and rides it seemingly forever, using every trick he knows.

Saint Thomas looks on and can’t believe his eyes. The whole time he’s expecting a shark or a rock or another surfer to drop in….but nothing! So he looks at God inquisitively and God simply replies, “Who’s he going to tell?”



For Ivory McClintock of the Blue Planet Foundation:

It’s 2050. The world has run out of oil. Two economists who were employed by Exxon Mobil and grew rich spending their careers publishing climate change skepticism white papers and publicly deriding peak oil studies find themselves locked in a dark dungeon with no windows or circulation. It’s impossible to tell time, given the darkness, but both agree it must be close to dinner time, just because they’re starting to get hungry. As both realize they’re getting hungry, their worries slip away and they exchange a smug glance.


Years later, their skeletons are discovered hunched against the wall. A shriveled note next to one of the skeletons had the following note:

“We are hungry. Very much so. But we are not worried. We know with absolute certainty that our demand for food will create the economic incentive for a supply to manifest before us.”



For Audrey Khuner, copywriter:

What did the board game developer say to the copywriter?

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Oh come on, I’m supposed to write a joke for you?!

For Jenna Long of Pacific Biodiesel:

Corn ethanol.  🙂



For Nicole Fisher of the Canadian Thanksgiving Foundation:

Why did Canada’s foreign minister pull the plug on the Tar Sands project, cutting off one of America’s biggest potential sources of oil?

scroll for answer….










What, are you kidding? He saw what those Yanks did to Saddam.


For Stewart Rassier, sustainability consultant:

A sustainability consultant dies and finds himself at the pearly gates. St. Peter turns him away and, assuming that St. Peter never makes a mistake, the consultant heads down to Hell and checks in at the front desk. Beelzebub asks him his occupation, and when he responds, the demon laughs uncontrollably. “This is global warming incarnate you hippy!” he says when he catches his breath.

The next day, the sustainability consultant is in the Hell mess hall with a serial murderer and an extortionist. The three begin discussing how awful the food is, and the serial murderer says that the food in prison is what made him mad enough to kill again when he got out. So the consultant plants a garden and starts composting the Hell mess hall kitchen scraps into usable soil, and before you know it, the mess hall starts serving real food.

That night, unable to sleep from the heat, the consultant installs a solar attic fan, and the following night everyone sleeps well.

The next day, the consultant notes that the license plate making machine is missing a key pollution prevention device, so he McGyver’s one from spare parts in the Hellish utility closet. Then he plants a few trees around the perimeter to help clean the air from existing pollution.

Before you know it, productivity is up and the minions are happy in their work. The consultant has moved up and is now Satan’s right hand man.

When God hears about this, he calls the Hellish phone line, where an unusually chipper receptionist directly patches him in to talk with Satan, then says, “Have a great day!”  God tells Satan, “It was a mistake…St. Peter was supposed to let him in!”

Satan replies, “Sorry…you can’t have him back. He’s really turned this place around and he’s loving the corner office. He loves the great view of the brimstone there”.

“Give him to us, or we’ll sue your butts back to the Stone Age!” God demands.

Satan laughs and says, “Riiiiight….and you’re going to find a lawyer where?”



For Linda Durr, retired Librarian:

A man walks into a bar and orders a drink, settling in on a barstool next to a fetching young woman. He turns to the woman and says, “What do you do?”

“I’m a reference librarian,” she says.

“Oh,” he smiles, “I’ve got a joke for you. How many reference librarians does it take to change a compact fluorescent light bulb?”

The woman looks perplexed. “Well, I don’t know off hand, sir, but I know a few places we can probably find that answer for you.”



For Shari Rosenzweig of the San Francisco Unified Schools District:

An old man on a flight to New York City was sitting next to a younger man, and happened to notice the man had a very bad stutter when he tried to talk to the flight attendant. “First time going to New York?” the older man said slowly.



“J-j-j-job int-inter-intervie-view.”

“Oh? That’s terrific! Who is it with?”

“F-F-F-Foxx N-N-News,” the young man replied.

The older man sat back, impressed. He’d always considered Fox News to be an evil propaganda machine churning out misinformation to the benefit of large corporations and right wing politicians. But perhaps, if they were taking a chance on someone with an obvious disability, he was wrong about them.

“How wonderful,” the older man replied. “What’s the position?”

“Of-Of-O-Offish-Official L-L-Lib-Liberal Po-Poin-Point of V-V-View.”

“Ah,” the old man sighed. Flagging the stewardess, he said, “Ma’am, another round of cocktails for me, my friend, and another for me, please. Oh, and if there’s a sidecar for that second drink of mine, I’ll take that, too.”


For James McCay of Revolusun:

Did you know that President Bush really tried to take global warming seriously? Yeah, one of the initiatives that he had that was shot down in committee was an aggressive anti-climate change action. Unfortunately, sending 50,000 troops to fight the sun had logistical challenges that Colin Powell couldn’t solve, so they killed it in committee.



For Orion Walker of Mendocino College:

What was Monsanto’s official response to Mendocino County banning genetically modified foods?

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We at Monsanto are sorry to hear that Mendocino County, which needs non-marijuana related jobs, is turning down the opportunity to become a leader in the GloFish industry. GloFish are a golden opportunity for Mendocino, and we’re very disheartened to hear that their political leaders are putting ill-informed, politically motivated decisions ahead of the needs of their people to grow GloFish, the beautiful genetically modified fish that is all at once a pretty pet and a way to see your keys at night.



For Kim Ryle of Illumined Connections:

A planet goes into a bar and takes a seat on a barstool. The planet next to him seems to be sort of sagging over the bar and looks a little pale.

“You ok?” he says to the sickly looking planet.

“No…not so good,” replies the planet.

“What’s going on?”

“I’ve got a bad infection,” he replies.

“Oof. Tough. Sorry to hear that. MRSA? Ebola?”

“Homo sapiens.”

“Ouch. Sorry to hear that,” says the healthier planet. “Nasty one. The good news is it’ll run its course quickly and it usually clears itself up.”




For Vinita Goyal of Mytthra:

Climate scientists have recently begun asking that villagers in developing countries do their part to reduce climate change, especially with regard to their cook stoves emissions. The program has met with limited success, so to find out why, Exxon Mobil, as part of its pro-environment agenda, is sponsoring 10,000 volunteers to drive humvees out to each village around the world and educate people about their emissions and ask them to stop cooking so much.


For Jacqueline Arnoldy:

The last commercial whaling fleet was supposed to go out of business in 2011, as high levels of selenium, mercury, lead, chromium and other persistent pollutants that had worked their way through the food chain and were now making whales too toxic for human consumption in any form. But the company experienced a banner year and actually added several additional whaling vessels. Why?

scroll for answer, and no, this is not true….







Mining companies are running out of other sources of those minerals, and as part of their “corporate social responsibility”, they’re touting their use of “renewable” sources of lead and mercury….like toxic whales.


For Paul Maples of Penguino World:

Did you hear that Fox News is advocating for scientists?

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Yeah, they’re fighting for Anthropologists who say that there may be 25,000 Neanderthals well preserved in Arctic ice. Fox’s news release said, “Today more than ever, we need global warming so that these hard working scientists can unearth these specimens and advance the scientific community.”

For Thom Harrison of AlterEco Bamboo Cabinets:

A panda walks into a bar. Bartender asks him if he wants anything, and the Panda asks, “Are those liquor cabinets made of bamboo?”

The bartender doesn’t actually know, but he checks out the cabinet where his liquor is stored and shrugs. “Maybe, I’m not sure. Why do you ask?”

“Oh no reason. I’ll have a shot of tequila,” says the Panda.

Bartender pours him a shot of tequila and goes back to helping other customers. A few minutes later, the bartender returns to find the cabinet completely demolished…in shards. Bite marks are everywhere and most of the cabinet that’s still left has been chewed. The shot glass sitting on the bar was completely empty, too, and the Panda, alarmingly, was halfway out the door. Without paying!

So the bartender says, “Hey! What gives?”

The panda turns around and simply says, “I’m a panda, dummy. Look it up.”

Not willing to chase and confront a 600 pound bear over just some eaten cabinets and one unpaid for shot, the bartender instead turns to Google. This is the response he got for his search for “panda”:

Large bear mainly inhabitating forests in eastern Asia.
Characterized by distinctive black and white markings. Eats shoots and leaves.



For Shanah Trevenna, Engineer and Sustainability Trainer Johnson Controls:

An engineer has the window seat on a long flight to check on her company’s offshore wind farm. A restless physicist is seated next to her and clearly wants to chat. The engineer politely carries on a little conversation and then turns to the window to get some sleep. The physicists persists, though, and asks if the engineer would like to play a game.

“It’s wonderful, really intellectually stimulating,” he says. She politely declines, but clearly he wants to play and continues unabated.

“Here’s how it works. We test each other’s wit, see, and if we bet a little money to keep it interesting. If I can’t answer your question, I give you $10….and vice versa.”

She once again politely says no, but the man continues. “OK, OK, I’m confident I can answer most any question a clean tech engineer can throw my way, so how about this…if you ask a question I can’t answer, I’ll give you $50!”

“Fine,” she sighs. So he asks first.

“How many kilowatt hours can a 30 MW solar farm produce on a day with 70% humidity and 30% cloud cover?” he asks.

The engineer shrugs and reaches into her purse and hands the physicist $10. Clearly he’s disappointed that she didn’t even try, but excited to test his own knowledge against her question. “OK, now it’s your turn,” he says, and cracks his neck in both directions, then stretches his arms and cracks his knuckles.

“OK, what goes up a hill with four legs and comes down with only three?” she asks.

Perplexed, the physicist starts racking his brains. Clearly this has something to do with thermal conversion, or a Seawater Air Conditioning project…or….

About 10 minutes later, he pulls his head out of his hands and looks at her, chagrined. He pulls out $50 and hands it to the engineer.

“OK, my turn, and I just have to know the answer, so I’ll use the same question back to you….what goes up a hill with four legs and comes down with only three?”

The engineer pulls out her purse and hands the man $10 and rolls over to go to sleep.


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About The Author

Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

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