Not quite on the ball enough to post this yesterday, but all of you with calendars will know that yesterday was the 10th of October, or 10.10 as the kids say.
And other than being my Auntie’s birthday (Happy Birthday Auntie Jane) it is also the day that the carbon cutting group 10:10 choose to celebrate all the wonderful things that people around the world are doing to cut their carbon footprints.
If you haven’t heard of them before, 10:10 was launched in 2009, with the aim of getting individuals, schools and organisations to cut their carbon emissions by 10% every year.
This is apparently what we need to do to achieve the 80% cuts by 2050, that many policy holders talk about, but while 80% seems quite an overwhelming, a little teeny 10% a year, seems quite achievable.
Over 100,000 people have signed up including Delia Smith, Sara Cox, Vivienne Westwood and Colin Firth; along with over 4,500 businesses, including Royal Mail, O2, Adidas and Tottenham Hotspur FC; over 2,000 schools, colleges and universities including Edinburgh University, King’s College London, York University and Liverpool University; and other organisations including the National Union of Students, the Womens’ Institute and local councils representing over 24m people.
Sign up, you know you want to…!
Each year, they do a round up of all the inspirational stories and the things that have been acheived throughout the year. This is such a great way of counter-acting the “well no-one else is doing it, so what’s the point in me doing it” and the “well I’m just one person, what difference can I make”. You can see the difference that just one person can make, and then the collective difference that all those “just one person”s can make.
It’s awesome. It’s inspiring. It’s happening.
So, to belatedly celebrate 10.10, here are my Top 10, Make Do and Mend, Carbon Cutting Tips, that every single “just one person” can do, with very little effort.
1) Turn your thermostat down. Just by one degree. Or maybe two if you’re feeling crazy. You probably won’t notice a big difference and it will save you money. Win win.
2) Aim to make at least half of your journeys under two miles by foot or public transport instead of by car.
I’m really trying with this one. For us, it means when we go into town, or round to my mother in laws, and actually, going into town is easier on foot as you don’t need to worry about trying to park. But it is hard if it’s raining/we’re in a rush. It is work in progress…
3) Make a draught excluder from the leg of an old pair of jeans-stuff with old jumpers and sew/safety pin/glue up the ends
4) Only fill your kettle up with the amount of water that you need
5) Turn your things off standby
6) Turn off the lights! I distinctly remember my parents going nuts at us when we were little for leaving lights on. Well now that’s me. And I am ten times worse. I am the light monitor of your nightmares.
7) And talking of lights-switch to LED and energy saving bulbs
8) Make use of your local library. These are wonderful facilities and they are FREE. And by borrowing a book that other people can then borrow, you have saved the carbon and resources needed to make another copy
9) Meat Free Monday, or even actually Meaty Monday, and make the rest of the week meat-free. I like eating meat, but I do try to eat less, and eat better quality. To spend a bit extra on free-range, British meat. And enjoy it.
10) And lastly, buy by no means least, Buy Nothing New! Or at least buy less, and buy better. Or buy secondhand. Whatever you choose, but just be more mindful about what you are consuming. All the new stuff has to be made. And not to point out the bleedin’ obvious, that means using resources and energy (Carbon). Less stuff, less resources used, lower Carbon footprint. It’s not rocket science.
So what are your top tips for consuming less and saving more?
And will you be signing up for 10:10?