10:10 The UK’s latest good cause

By Emma Brooks

After Make Poverty History, we now have a new cause to rally to: 10:10 the UK’s latest climate change campaign. By joining the 10:10 campaign, you commit to cutting your carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. Why? Because climate change, global warming and the destruction of the environment are problems that are looming in the distance, threatening to become bigger and bigger as time goes on if we continue to ignore them.

The idea for the campaign came to Franny Armstrong from “The Age of Stupid” crew. As she was on her way to a debate with the UK’s minister for climate change Ed Miliband, she was thinking of the issue and what could be done about it, and this was how 10:10 was born.

The campaign calls to individuals, businesses, schools and organizations, asking them all to commit to the 10:10 target. On the website you can find useful information designed to help you know more about how you can actually cut your emissions by 10%, and giving you the opportunity to commit to the cause directly online. It also lists a name of people, businesses, schools and organizations who have already committed to the cause, therefore promoting the good practices of those who have already joined and encouraging others to do so.

Like make poverty history, it also has its own “tags” for you to be able to show to everyone else that you have committed to the cause. The interesting fact is that the tags are made out of recycled pieces of airplanes. Great idea: they are emphasizing the importance of being environmentally friendly on a constant basis! They also have a list of FAQs, some of which we cannot help but wonder about, namely: “Aren’t individual efforts just a pointless drop in the ocean”.

In all honesty, this is the question I ask myself the most when faced with this kind of campaign. Yes, they are a good idea, and they bring the problems the world is faced with to the forefront of people’s minds, but will they really make a difference? When 2010 is over, will people go back to polluting as much as they did before? Will they remember their good practices? I think the point is that even if people revert to their old ways, campaigns like 10:10 will nevertheless have brought the cause to public attention, and people will remember the change in their lifestyles. A change which hopefully will have implanted itself and gradually become a habit, helping people to progressively move towards more environmentally friendly practices. And even if we are just individuals, we are still making a difference collectively. Not only that, but 10:10 is hoping to be able to export its idea to the rest of the world, if it is successful in the UK. So let’s hope to see an increase in campaigns like 10:10.

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