Archive for category CO2 Events

Carnival of the Green # 199

Hello all, and welcome to the 199th edition of the Carnival of the Green, a weekly round-up of eco-news on the web, co-ordinated by Treehugger.com.

The Carnival of the Green

Things have been a little interrupted lately with the Carnival, so my thanks go to not last week’s poster, but last month’s poster, Victoria Klein, all the way back on 29th September (and what’s more she stepped in last minute!). Let’s hope to get things back on the rails again, and do check out next week’s Carnival to be hosted on October 26th by Greenstockscentral.

Anyway, on with this week’s show:

Allyn presents How to Grow Huge Pumpkins posted on E-how. Very seasonal methinks, though something for next year’s plans!

‘How would it feel if you found out that you were wasting 80% of your time doing things that weren’t getting you any closer to your goals?’ This is the question that Tyler asks in her excellent article Quit Worrying About 80% of Your Life posted on Frugally Green. As someone who is easily distracted, I think these tips are excellent, and totally in tune with the whole ’simplify your life’ green message too.

Have you heard of Solar Cookers? I have to admit I hadn’t until I read this excellent article from Solarshack: Why Solar Cookers Are Important for the Environment, Human Health and Safety posted on Applied Solar Technology. This looks like a solution to follow - simple, cheap, and above all green!

Elena the Ecodiva takes on a different subject - how to keep your mouth clean having eaten food of course cooked on a solar cooker, with her article on How to make your own green mouthwash, posted on Bargaineering.com. It actually sounds quite tasty to me, though no good if you happen to be teetotal…

Case Ernsting presents a fascinating take on the thrifiness for which the Shakers have always been famous in Going Green: How To Recycle and Reuse Like the Shakers | Home and Decor posted on The Amish furniture design and decor blog. Some great recycling ideas here!

Guffly is a one product per day online store and community featuring eco friendly products and fair trade lifestyle goods like home, pet, clothing, office and personal accessories. Here they present Fashion + Eco-Friendly = Fierce | Guffly posted at Guffly - a review of Green stuff at the Spring 2010 fashion week.

Powwownow do conference calling (I wonder is that greener than smoke signals?) - any way to avoid having to travel to a meeting. In The Little Guy versus the Big Problem they ask the question: is it better to wait for the big solutions, or to continue working on every little solution? Posted on their Life Behind Blog. This is one of our favourite subjects here on Reduce your CO2, and we believe that every action counts.

The Digerati Life used Blog Action day 2009 to talk about Climate Change, and to ask whether or not we are really listening to Mother Nature: Reflecting On Climate Change on Blog Action Day posted on The Digerati Life. Their message applies to all of us, however concerned we are about the future of our planet: in the end it doesn’t matter how disasters are caused. The important thing is to be prepared for them, and right now this is often not the case.

Finally, Annette Berlin of Craft Stew presents 20 Crafty Ways To Reuse Plastic Bottles. I’m off to try them out tonight, especially as someone has hidden our offical bag for recycled plastics, which means the bin men probably won’t pick up our plastic tomorrow morning!

That’s it for this week. Thanks for all your submissions, it’s been a pleasure to have you round!

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Today is World Environment Day, but don’t expect the Media to tell us about it

One of my favourite and most despairing rants over the last couple of years has been about how little attention we pay in the UK to the official days set up to raise awareness about environmental issues. Maybe it’s a reaction to the fact that many such past ‘events’ have just gone ‘phutttt’ and not had the desired or expected effect (in this country at any rate), but whatever the reason, the media pretty much never seems to support these events, which in itself means that they never have the effect they could have.

Today is World Environment day. I put this in my diary a year ago so that I wouldn’t forget to see if anything had changed over the last 12 months. Last year I commented that in the UK little or no noise had been made or was being made on the day - in fact it was hardly possible to find a mention in the newspapers. I even contacted the guys at UNEP to ask them whether they felt there was a good reaction to it here in the UK. They replied that there had been unprecedented interest at a ground roots level, but I was still surprised by the lack of mention in the media.

This morning, every hopeful, I therefore did a tour of the websites of our beloved newspapers. This is what I found:

  • The Times: no mention on the home page, no mention on the Environment home page
  • The Guardian: ditto
  • The Telegraph: Nothing that I could find
  • The Independent: same again
  • The Daily Mail: ha ha….
  • The Sun: wait a minute, I’ve found something! Of all the papers to actually take notice, the good old ‘currant bun’ has picked up on it with a link from the home page, and even an image, leading to this article. Ok, so it’s typically tongue in cheek, but at least they’ve atually sat up and taken notice!

But that’s it… A sorry state of affairs as far as I’m concerned, because I truly believe that we need to shout about the environment whenever possible, and that every time we do shout, we pick up a few more people willing to do their bit and work on reducing our CO2 emissions. Without the support of the media, the task of shouting becomes that much more difficult.

So I will once more put World Environment Day in my diary for next year, but this time I’m going to put in a warning one week before, and I’m going to shout about it. In fact I’m going to shout about it to all of the newspapers, and maybe, just maybe, even my little voice will have an effect. Here’s hoping.

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World Environment Day - a reply

As I mentioned in my last article on World Environment Day, I posted a question on the United Nations Environment Programme web site voicing my disappointment on the media coverage for WED in the UK, and asking about media support for such events.

Here is my question, and also the reply I received from Naomi Poulton, who was actively involved in the organisation of WED:

Hi Naomi

I only learned about WED today, and find that the coverage of such an important day has still been ‘underwhelming’ - at least in the UK Media. I’m disappointed I didn’t know sooner as I would have found an active way to take part.

Do you find that you get the support you need from the media in communicating about this event, or is it still a battle to get the coverage you deserve?

 Here’s Naomi’s answer:
 
I am sorry you have found the coverage of World Environment Day ‘underwhelming’ in the UK. We have actually found that this year there has been unprecedented interest in the theme, ‘Kick the Habit. Towards a Low Carbon Economy’ and that the interest has been global. Long before the actual day, we have had individuals, companies and communities anxious to use our WED logo and promotional material and to support our activities in many ways. If you look at the WED site under activities around the world you will see some of the interest. The UK, for example, has about 40 entries nationwide. Indeed, although the main event was held in Wellington, New Zealand this year, we have had coverage by most of the major wires such as Reuters, AFP, Bloomberg and AP and in relation to the UK, there has been pick-up by the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent, and we hope many others.
I think that we will see more coverage once the ‘magazine’ and radio media undertake feature articles on some of the European WED events that have taken place in Paris, Vienna, Bonn and Geneva to supplement the Wellington event. I do believe we may lose some coverage in that the media pick up on the theme of WED and don’t necessarily refer to UNEP at the same time. The connection to UNEP or the UN is occasionally not made but we are pleased if the ‘message’ gets out.Finally, although you may have missed out on activities on the DAY, you have the rest of your life to work towards reducing your own carbon footprint and to encouraging others to work towards a low carbon lifestyle. Thank you.

A reasonable reply, and I’m happy to see that Naomi backs up the title of my last article: Every Day is World Environment Day. Still, I’m not sure if she fully picked up on the key point I was making, which was that there is not enough ‘teasing’ of these events. There was good coverage on the day, and I have even seen some since, but what you really need to see is what you get when a new film comes out or a new music cd - articles all about the ‘event’ as much as a month before, building up awareness, getting more people involved, etc. I read at least 3 different newspapers on a daily basis as well as regularly browsing the BBC, and I saw nothing about WED until the day.

Anyway as I said, it’s in the diary now for next year, with a week’s warning too, so I at any rate will start teasing it in. In fact, I think I’m going to build up a diary of all ‘Environment’ events and set up a free teaser service. If I can get word out there, it might start to make a difference, so do let me know about any events I should note down.

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Today is World Environment Day… but so is every day

Today is World Environment Day, another day, another attempt to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and to get people and governments to take action. Awareness? Once more I didn’t know a thing about it until….. today!

I learnt about the event at around 9.15 am this morning when reading one of the free papers on the tube on the way into work. Just a small article, and nothing telling me how I could get involved, or if I could get involved. On looking it up on the web from work this lunchtime I discovered that the day is being hosted by New Zealand. Or should I say was, because of course in New Zealand, the day is already over!

I also learnt that WED has been going for a long time - since 1972 in fact, and that there are events taking place all over the world, and quite a few in the UK, to mark it. What surprises me, however, is that I knew absolutely nothing about it, and I am an avid consumer of all things media, especially if it’s about the environment. There has been no lead up to the day, no-one has contacted me, my friends and family, or my company about doing something, and now it’s too late.

I have two thoughts arising from this:

  1. The environment has become an almost daily topic of discussion for almost everyone. We are all beginning to understand that it is important that we all do our bit, whether we believe that the world is in trouble or not. It’s just common sense. Days like World Environment Day are an opportunity to raise awareness even further, but they are just not getting the publicity they need, even when organised by powerful global organisations such as the United Nations. This needs to change, and the people responsible for communications within these organisations need to look at the reasons why the message is not yet getting out there as it should. Maybe they should worry less about the ‘official’ media channels, and make use of other powerful communications such as the blogosphere?
  2. On the other hand, shouldn’t every day be World Environment Day? I am of course a fan of any event that gets the CO2 reduction message out to as many people as possible, but to me this message, and the simple things we can do to reduce emissions, should become a part of our everyday lives. If we keep a few basic actions in mind at all times, it becomes so easy to make a difference - and to save money too, and then these ‘event’ days become about something else: a chance for all the people who understand the issue to place more pressure on their governments who still seem reluctant to take the necessary action.

Anyway, now I know about it, I’ll put it in the diary for next year (done - that’s the wonder of digital diaries). In the meantime, if you want to know more, why not visit the official World Environment Day site. I’ve also posted a question for Naomi Poulton, a member of UNEP who is answering questions about the day. I’ve asked her whether she feels they get the media support they need to publicise WED and other events. I will update this article with her reply as and when I get it.

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