What can I do?
From 10,000 schools planting trees in Croatia and Russia to a carbon-cutting TV telethon in The Netherlands, sumo wrestlers cycling to training in Japan to solar installations on the homes of world leaders in India and The Maldives, thousands of events are planned. You could mark 10:10:10 with a low-carbon Sunday lunch, make your home or workplace more efficient, or plan something more ambitious.
Tips for 10:10:10, at home and away
If you do one thing for 10:10:10, take time out to tell ten friends about what you’ve been doing to reduce your emissions and the positive effect its had on your life. You can send them an email to help them to sign up here.
This is a great time to work out how much money you’ve saved on your energy bills since joining 10:10 and treat yourself with the proceeds.
Use this day to mark the day your family changes its approach to energy use. Maybe you could set yourself a family treat, like a day out, as a reward to aim for in three or six months’ time.
Home working is a great way to reduce your fuel consumption! Vivid Consultancy in Gloucestershire have a Work From Home Friday – why not give it a go?
Living in a draughty old building? Using a lit incense stick, search out the places where draughts are compromising your home’s energy efficiency and plug those gaps!
Make sure there’s less food going to waste by planning your family’s menus before going to the supermarket.
Reducing your meat intake is a great way to reduce your emissions, and thousands of people across the world will be eating a low-carbon lunch on Sunday, 10th October 2010. Check out the Meat-Free Mondays website for some great tips on reducing your meat intake.
At your work, school or organistion
Why not use the week of 10:10:10 to launch a cycle to work scheme? Look into offering employees interest-free loans on bicycles, install a bike rack for staff, give away cycling route maps and get a bike maintenance expert to come in and give a talk.
Take 20 minutes out so staff can race around your workplace, searching out areas where the office can be made more efficient. Have all the light bulbs been changed to energy-saving models? Are there machines left on during quiet times, evenings or weekends? Are there areas where air conditioning is battling with an open window? You could even reward the most energy-savvy staff member with a prize.
Create a lasting legacy after 10:10:10 by taking time out to put switch-off stickers on light switches, plugs and phone chargers.
If you’re about to start your second action year, why not challenge a neighbouring organisation in a similar building to spur both of you on?
If you dare to bare, why not take a leaf out of DECC and the Home Office’s book and publish your energy use online or on your staff intranet?
Hold an awards ceremony in your workplace where staff members who have helped change the culture of your organisation are recognised and rewarded.
We’ll be launching a very exciting 10:10:10 poster maker online which will enable you to tell everyone at your school, business, organisation – or even your family(!) – about the steps you’re taking to cut your emissions. Watch out for it launching soon!
After getting settled into the new school year, now is a great time to think about lift sharing and how you can team up with other parents to ferry each others’ kids to school. The free 10:10 liftshare scheme plugs into a 350,000-strong national network, so you’re bound to find someone going your way.
Take a leaf out of University College London Hospitals’ book and introduce a low-carbon menu in your staff canteen offering locally sourced, seasonal food.
Select a parking space at your workplace and, a la musical chairs, remove it by making it into a garden or allotment.
With the autumn/winter season approaching, freshen up your wardrobe for free with a Swishing event. Encourage staff to bring unwanted items of clothing in to swap.
Finished with your copy of How Bad Are Bananas? Then why not set up a green library in your workplace where staff can lend each other their environmental tomes? You could even lend out energy monitors so employees can do a quick audit at home and work out how they can cut energy use away from the office.
Why not organise a low-carbon school fete in the grounds of your school for 10:10:10? Use it to raise awareness of the great work your school is doing, and to encourage more families to sign up?
Veto that vending machine and go old school with a water fountain or kit everyone out with a reusable water bottle.
Is there a cafe near you that does a great job of sourcing local, seasonal food? Why not recommend them on your staff intranet?
10:10:10 is the ideal opportunity to rethink your approach to company travel. So why not commit to taking the train instead of making short-haul flights?
Celebrate all your hard work with a disCO2. OK, so it doesn’t reduce carbon – but it’s great for spreading the word!
Rather than all heading out for a sandwich, why not get each of your team to bring in a different salad ingredient and share lunch!
Follow the great example of businesses like The National Magazine Company and compost food waste created by your workplace. Food waste counts for as much as two tonnes of each person’s emissions.
Encourage printer awareness. Add a ‘Do you really need to print this?’ message to your corporate email footer, or, like Microsoft, install a system where staff members can only print if they’re standing next to the printer!
Are you a faith organisation signed up to 10:10? Maybe talk about your efforts to your congregation in a 10:10:10-themed service.
October is also a great month to switch off the aircon, which may well have been running all summer.
This is your day to show off all the great work you’ve been doing to cut your carbon this year. So upload videos, pictures, and case studies to the 10:10:10 site and we’ll add them to our global scrapbook.
Basic information about the campaign
The 10:10 campaign was founded by Franny Armstrong, director of the climate change blockbuster The Age of Stupid. The idea came to Franny while walking through Regent’s Park in London on her way to a debate with UK Climate & Energy Secretary Ed Miliband.
Two things sprang to mind: a recent George Monbiot article had laid out the kind of policies we’d need to cut the UK’s emissions very quickly, none of which sounded impossible. And the Climate Safety report had identified a 10% cut in the developed world’s emissions by the end of 2010 as the kind of target we should be aiming for to maximise our chances of avoiding a climate catastrophe.
10% in 2010 also seemed a far more tangible aim than the far-off targets – such as 80% by 2050 – so beloved of policymakers who know they won’t be in office for long enough to worry about whether the targets will be met.
Soon after, Franny and the Age of Stupid team gathered for a brainstorming session in the countryside. Everyone loved the 10:10 concept as it was simple, catchy, meaningful and something that everyone could get involved in – from businesses and hospitals to schools and families. Within weeks, the 10:10 idea had rippled out across the nation, picking up support wherever it went. Local authorities, individual, celebrities, faith leaders, economists, universities – virtually everyone who heard the plan wanted to be part of it. 10:10 was formally launched on 1 September, 2009, when it took over Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall (and the whole of the Guardian newpaper’s G2 supplement). In those first frantic 72 hours more than 10,000 individuals, businesses, schools and organisations signed up.
Here are just some of the things that have happened since that launch:
The unusual suspects… 10:10 was designed to bring new faces into the carbon-cutting fold – and it soon proved to be working. From Spurs FC to Sony UK, the British Embassy in Dubai to Snugburys Ice Cream in Cheshire, the campaign started making sure the climate conversation popped up where you least expect it.
Energy bills: now with 123% off… To celebrate October 10th (10/10) we teamed up with some heroic partners to give one lucky 10:10er a bells-and-whistles green-home makeover. William in Bristol won the prize, which reduced his energy bills by more than 120%, giving us an amazing case study to show the world what’s possible.
Taking over Parliament… In late October, the Lib Dems submitted an Opposition Day motion proposing that the entire public sector signs up to 10:10. In 48 hours, 10,000 people contacted their MP urging them to vote in favour. Although we came up a few votes short, the Tories and Lib Dems subsequently made it party policy to cut 10% across the government estate.
New direction… Eugenie Harvey, the mastermind behind the ‘I’m Not a Plastic Bag’ phenomenon, came on board as Campaign Director late last year and has deftly steered 10:10 from strength to strength through a period of rapid expansion.
Going global… The first one arrived just hours into launch day. “Hi, I’m interested in starting a 10:10 campaign here in Malaysia. Can you help?” Before long, we’d had over 100 enquiries from 27 countries. After months of having to respond to this enthusiasm with some polite variant on ‘please hold’, 10:10 Global finally got off the ground in April 2010.
Ubiquity… On the tabard of an animatronic polar bear at Dublin Zoo. In the UCLH window opposite Warren Street tube. Bolted to the Sage in Gateshead. Around Tamsin Greig’s neck on BBC Breakfast. Pitchside at an FA Cup game. In the windows of 500 car club vehicles nationwide. If you can think of it, the 10:10 logo’s probably been on it.
Stadium-sized… Polly Holbrook from London became our 50,000th 10:10er, pushing us over the line into Premier League stadium territory.
The right kind of public sector cuts… In these tight times, councils love us. Long-suffering sustainability managers tell us that the momentum behind 10:10 has re-energised the carbon-cutting agenda and helped them make the case for more ambitious action. 136 councils have come on board already, which means that over 45% of the UK population now get lower-carbon local services.
What are carbon emissions?
Carbon emissions (more accurately greenhouse gas emissions) are the cause of global warming. They are released when fuels are burned in vehicles, homes, power stations and factories. For more on emissions and global warming, we recommend the Met Office’s quick guide to climate change.
Why 10% in 2010?
Big tasks are easier if broken up into smaller, manageable pieces – and 10% this year is much more tangible and achievable than, say, 80% by 2050. Two studies conducted by the Tyndall Centre (summarised in PIRC’s Climate Safety Report) suggest that 10% in a year starting this year is the kind of target that will give us the best chance of a safe future for our children and grandchildren. Cutting our carbon by 10% in 2010 is just the first step, of course, but it puts us on the right track.
Who’s signed up so far?
88,121 people including Delia Smith, Sara Cox, Vivienne Westwood and Colin Firth
3,281 businesses including Royal Mail, O2, Adidas and Tottenham Hotspur FC
1,865 schools, colleges and universities including Edinburgh University, King’s College London, York University and Liverpool University
2,019 organisations including the National Union of Students, the Womens’ Institute and 155 local councils representing over 24m people
This post is also available in: Spanish