December 25, 2011

One Person Can needs regional helpers!

Can you spare a little time? Would you like to be the One Person Can helper in your local area?

Imagine a time in which practically everyone is very aware that climate change threatens us all and they do everything possible to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Climate-friendly government policies become inevitable because the voices of millions of householders carry more weight than the voices of self-interested lobbyists. Unsustainable industries are replaced by climate-friendly ones simply because people choose to buy only sustainable products. In such a society, everyone would know that their individual actions and voices are making a difference because they can SEE that everyone else is taking similar actions. Visibility of climate-related actions might not be the only ingredient, but without wide visibility such as cultural shift would not be possible.

Hopefully a variety of means will increase the visibility of safe-climate actions. One Person Can attempts to do so by providing two main visibility mechanisms: the survey of actions and the graphs showing the results so far. For these mechanisms to "work", ideally everyone will be invited to take the survey, and everyone will see the accumulating results. To achieve that, One Person Can relies partly on word-of-mouth publicity and social media, but it also asks for the support of organisations that already have channels of communication that reach large numbers of householders. When requesting support, it helps if the person asking is local and/or has some sort of personal connection. Would you like to help One Person Can by championing the project in your local area?

Things you might do

- Talk to either a Councillor or the Environment Officer at your local council or shire and ask them to promote the survey to local residents and publicise its results.
- Talk to your local State and/or Federal MP and ask them to publicise the survey and its results within their electorate, perhaps via the newsletters they already send to all local residents.
- Arrange for an organisation that has lots of members to be listed as a "participating group", meaning that they ask all their members to nominate that group when they take the survey and have their own result graphs showing the numbers of actions taken by their members. This might be a school community, a sporting association, a community group, a university department, a professional association, or any other sort of group that you (or people you know) happen to be involved in.
- Speak with the Managers of companies that employ many people in your area and ask them to be listed as a "participating group", meaning that they promote the survey amongst their employees and have separate graphs showing their employees' results.
- Pin up One Person Can posters on community noticeboards.
- Anything else you can think of...

Of course anyone who shares the One Person Can vision can help by doing any of the above, and I originally had not thought of asking for people to volunteer as regional helpers, but a supporter from NSW recently put up his hand to take on the promotion of the project within his area of Sydney. This is wonderful! With a network of similar helpers all over the country, One Person Can could quickly become huge, and have a real chance of quickly building an effective level of response to climate change.

If you would like to help, please email me at the address shown in the blog header. Regional helpers could share promotion materials and tips, and we'll see what evolves!

December 12, 2011

Can you help One Person Can go viral?

Durban talks too little and too slow? Fortunately there are millions of "ordinary" people taking the bottom-up approach.

One Person Can needs 12 minutes of your time: 10 mins to take the OPC survey yourself to make your own safe-climate actions visible, and 2 mins to help OPC "go viral" (place a link, share on FB, or whatever works).

The already-converted (if you're reading this, that probably means you) are already doing plenty and don't need to see the One Person Can project in order to do what you do, but the almost-converted and slightly converted DO need to see the massive number of safe-climate actions already being taken - otherwise they'll probably continue to think that one person can't do anything about climate change, or continue to forget about climate change because they don't think anyone is doing anything.

Let's see how quickly the OPC counters and graphs grow!

Current count: 423 Australians are taking 10,076 safe-climate actions (as of 13/12/11)

November 23, 2011

Which 40 questions?

Perhaps you've just completed the survey of safe-climate actions on the One Person Can website -thank you! - and you might be thinking the survey would be better it it included a question about an action that is not there. Believe me, it was quite a challenge restricting the number of questions to 40. I originally aimed at having only 30 questions, but that was too hard!

I don't claim to have picked the perfect list of questions, but it's not possible to change the list at this stage without moving the goalposts on those who have already submitted answers. However, one role of this blog is to publish discussion about other worthwhile safe-climate actions. If you'd like to draw attention to a beneficial action that is not in the survey, please talk about it here! Either use the comment function to respond to this post, or start a new thread by emailing your text (to the email address in the header above) and it will be published here as a new post.

Even though this is a blog, the intention is that it should function as a forum. Feel free to email in text for new blog posts on anything related to achieving a safe climate.

IF there had been 41 questions, the 41st one might have been, "Do you take along a reusable cup/plate/cutlery rather than use disposable ones?"

Now THAT is a very easy action that costs nothing and saves an awful lot.

October 23, 2011

One Person Can is now in operation!

The "One Person Can..." website is now online. The survey of safe-climate actions is now in operation and the database is recording householders' actions so that we can give visibility to those actions.

Please take the survey and make YOUR climate-friendly actions visible! People are unlikely to do much to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions if they think they are the only one doing it. Help us show everyone just how much action is happening already!

The website has two main functions: collecting data by means of the survey, and displaying the "results so far..." via counters and bar-graphs. At the moment, the counters and graphs are still being programmed, so you won't see the results we have already just yet - sorry! - but the counters and graphs will be on the website soon. It would be great to have lots of actions already recorded in the database before then - we'd hate to give the impression that nobody is doing anything!

Quite a few people have taken the survey already, and we think we have now fixed all the bugs, but please email me (at the address in the blog header) if anything does not work the way you think it should so we can fix it.

Take care and stay safe!


July 9, 2011

Green Power as an indicator

posted by Margaret, SA

Listening to the popular media, one could be forgiven for thinking that Australians in general don't care much about climate change and are not willing to do anything that costs them money. Wrong!

According to the recently released Green Power audit for 2009, in that year there were over 900,000 Green Power customers (we don't have more recent figures yet). That's over 900,000 people who are willing to pay more for their electricity for the sake of our climate!

Surely Green Power customer figures are just the tip of the iceberg - most safe-climate actions that householders take, like switching off lights, growing their own vegies, and minimizing car use, are simply not visible to the wider public. In addition, there are the thousands who have installed solar panels and/or solar hot water.

I think we can safely assume that the number of people taking safe-climate actions is much, much higher than 900,000.

Website coming soon!

Fruit and veg swaps

posted by Margaret, SA

I notice fruit and veg swaps are popping up all over the place. I think they're wonderful, but so far there are none near me, and I've not yet managed to find time to start one myself. In the meantime, I figure that, as long as someone eats our spare produce rather than them buying the equivalent commercially-grown food (thus avoiding food miles, packaging, etc.), our spare produce is saving carbon emissions regardless of who eats it!

We just give away anything spare to whoever we happen to see - most visitors get something to take home, and my daughter's sports coaches and other athletes' parents get a share too simply because I can give it to them without anyone making a special trip. In fact, I think I might have "sown a seed". One person I give spare produce to used to say, "Why grow tomatoes? Just when they are ready to pick, there is a glut and they are cheap to buy anyway". After a couple of years of eating our tasty home-grown produce, the other day he confessed somewhat sheepishly that he is now growing some vegies himself.