Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Pledge to Tread Lightly - join The Guardian's low carbon diet and save the world!

I got an email this week, and it read as follows:

Hi Tractorboy,

My name's N***** and I work for Outside Line, a digital PR agency.

At this moment in time we are currently working with The Guardian to promote their new Tread Lightly campaign:


As one of the top 20 Green Bloggers, I am contacting you today as I thought your readers may be interested in reading about the Guardian’s ‘Tread Lightly’ initiative and learning more about how they themselves could making a real difference to this campaign.

Guardian Tread lightly is a new community site, which aims to encourage online communities into reducing their CO2 emissions through making weekly pledges and recording their actions against their pledges.

The idea is that every pledge is simple, straightforward, and something that everyone can do, so that people who are normally put off doing environmental things because it sounds like a lot of effort will find Tread Lightly a good solution to easing their carbon conscience.

A large part of what we are trying to achieve is to get community and online evangelists in the subject, such as yourself, to help us help educate and motivate the online community into taking those first small steps that make the big difference.

We have campaign outlines and a blogger’s button that we can supply you with, plus the Guardian weekly blog will make mention of key bloggers helping in the campaign, and we really hope you will consider being one of them.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you require any more information on this, if you aren’t interested then thank you for taking the time to read this and we wont bother you again.

Many Thanks
N***** P******

It was a bit of a surprise to be described as an "online evangelist" on matters green!

Not sure I deserve this. Just trying to listen to my conscience and do the right thing when and where I can.

There are loads of these pledge-based groups around and I may do a post collecting some of the better ones I have found and subscribed to.

The Tread Lightly community seems worthy of a mention and I will add a link to the site on my blogroll.

Whether you are green, orange, red, blue or some sort of rainbow in terms of your politics, there is some good stuff here that goes beyond the standard Guardian readership.

Do have a look and maybe get involved. The issues go beyond politics and are about trying live a good life and cause as little harm as possible.

Even better, tell your mates as well and encourage them to live a low carbon lifestyle so that we can each save our little bits of the world. These bits could add up to a lot of planet.

Another incentive is that you could win a G-Wiz car in the New Year, or at least get a free cotton bag so you can stop using all those platic bags! :-)

If you want even more info, I asked for more from the PR company and received this:

Guardian Tread Lightly

Guardian Tread lightly is a new community site developed by Guardian environment that aims to encourage people into a low carbon lifestyle so that they come together to save the planet.

The idea is that people can go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/treadlightly?CMP=OTCTreadLightly1
where they will find a different pledge every week that, if they take an act on, will help them reduce their CO2 emissions. The pledges will all be quite simple, achievable things, so the first one will be change your light bulbs for energy efficient ones, and this will be followed by things like: take showers not baths, recycle all of your newspapers this week, turn down your heating by one degree and recycle your glass this week. The idea is that every pledge is straightforward, simple and something that everyone can do, so that people who are normally put off doing environmental things because it sounds like quite a lot of effort will find Tread Lightly a good solution to easing their carbon conscience.

Once a user has registered with Tread Lightly and clicked on Take the pledge, they will be sent an email reminding them of what they have said they will do and this will be followed at the end of the week with reminder to go back to the site and say whether you fulfilled the pledge or not and what the next weeks pledge is.

The user will then get a personal profile page that will show them what pledges they have taken, how much CO2 they have personally saved and how much it equates to (5 less cars on the road for a day at rush hour etc).

The community aspect of the site will include a message board / blog where people can share tips on how to achieve that weeks target, a little bar chart showing how much CO2 the community has saved so far (in kg) and what this equates to (big things hopefully, like a coal powered power station being turned off for 2 minutes), and users will be invited to write in and give suggestions of other pledges.

With a big community, it’s hoped that when all of the individual carbon savings
are added up over time, the users will have made a real difference to the environment.

The launch will be supported by a competition to win a G-Wiz car and a free bag giveaway. Anyone who completes a pledge by the end of November will be automatically entered into a competition to win a G-Wiz electric car. Anyone who completes 12 pledges by the end of February 2008 will be sent a free Tread lightly cotton shopping bag. .

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