From hazards, I want to move to positives. CC disaster messages are unhelpful and depressing (I paraphrased!) when no solutions for helping are provided. I want to look at some innovative initiatives for green changes.
I’m starting with the launch of a new Australian initiative, Safe Climate Australia (http://www.safeclimateaustralia.org/) , that was launched on the 20th of July this year. Al Gore was the keynote speaker at this launch. The mission of Safe Climate Australia is to “mobilise Australia’s extensive technological, economic and political expertise and resources in planning the transition of the Australian economy to zero net carbon, the sequestering of dangerous levels of existing carbon from the atmosphere, and in assisting the building of a global consensus for restoring a safe climate”. Their board of directors includes ex-coal industry directors, ecological experts, marine biologists, business and economics experts and marketing directors. So far I could not find many initiatives on the website, but there is a ‘Run for Climate’ event coming up..
Another initiative is the Green Awards 2009, an Australian scheme exposing and rewarding great green schemes each year. The results are shown here, http://www.news.com.au/features/0,,5019059,00.html, with some incredibly admirable invention and behaviour change ideas. A notable runner up for the ‘green town’ award went to Bundanoon – a town that is banning water sold in plastic bottles! Wow! They’re introducing bubblers all over town instead, and encouraging refilling reusable bottles. The ‘green invention’ this year went to a Brisbanite’s biodegradable bamboo toothbrush invention.
The next initiative that is involving everyone and stirring motivation overseas is 10:10 (http://www.1010uk.org/1010/what_is_1010). This project aims to help everyone, including businesses and schools, cut 10% of their emissions by 2010. This scheme has not been without controversy – some politicians in the UK in one particular party have been dragging their feet on voting yes to legislation that will encourage emission cuts. But what I like about the scheme is that it empowers people with simple tips, a snazzy website that’s very interactive, creates a community of involved people and businesses and encourages every small step. Some people joke about adding tasks to to-do lists that have already been completed, so they feel better about their achievements – I say, why not? This website is a good example. You can tick what you already do/have done, and feel good about it.
And wouldn’t feeling good about our efforts so far be a further motivator?
Incidentally, I would love to use this gadget (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/09/charge-electrical-device-while-riding-bike.php) to charge stuff up, just by riding my bike. Yes please! Then I can feel good about using less electricity and about getting fitter too!