Sustainable Marlborough’s January 2023 social – do small carbon savings in your home really make a difference?

Note: please see the separate Sustainable Marlborough page on the Penny Post website for more recent reports of the group’s activities.

Sustainable Marlborough’s social this month was all about its 2023 challenge, a ‘Carbon-saving Spree for 2023’. Anyone can take part (you don’t need to live in Marlborough) and it doesn’t cost a penny, in fact, it could well save you money. All you have to do is pledge to make a small change for a couple of months on Sustainable Marlborough’s Do Nation page.

So what’s Do Nation? It’s a brilliant online platform helping people to change habits and behaviours to reduce CO2. Their pledge platform is powered off three fundamental beliefs:

  • First, that small sustainable lifestyle changes don’t just cut carbon, they lead to happier, healthier, more productive lives – at home, at work and everywhere in between.
  • Second, that even though it doesn’t always feel like it – small actions really do add up. And we’re not just talking about tonnes of carbon! When lots of us commit to taking action for the environment it sends a powerful message to businesses, government and other decision makers about our collective commitment to change.
  • And third, that given the right conditions people can change. For the better, and for good.

Pledges are collected and once completed the carbon savings are logged and added together. People’s individual pledges on their platform alone are currently saving a whopping 16,360,837kg of CO2 per year – that’s 272,681 flights from London to Paris!

When you’re plugging away on your own, it can often feel hopeless. Does your washing clothes at a lower temperature or eating a bit less meat and dairy really make any difference to the huge global problem of solving climate change?

Well, YES! Do Nation is showing that together, we can and do make a difference. It’s encouraging and inspiring to see how our seemingly small efforts really do add up to something big and great. Research from The Jump and UK government shows that almost a third of the required savings in emissions need to come from individual behaviour changes – so we all have an important role to play. But where to start?

The idea of changing your lifestyle might seem daunting, overwhelming, irritating or at best inconvenient. This is where Do Nation is so good. The pledges offer inspiration as well as a clear idea of how much impact your action will have, enabling you to balance ease against impact. Each pledge is for two months, which helps with motivation as well as giving you a chance to try out changes to see what works for you.

As well as making your own pledges, you can ask friends and family to pledge as a gift to you or in lieu of monetary sponsorship for a personal challenge such as a 10k run that you may be completing. What a great way to increase your impact and start conversations about sustainability.

So, what do the pledges involve? There seems to be something for everyone – from educating yourself on climate change to large-scale projects like installing solar panels and almost everything in between. Every little helps.

We were all inspired to get pledging – what about you?

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