Sunday, 23 May 2010

Lizz Roe's year of Eco Challenge

Lizz Roe is a colleague of mine at Woodbrooke – she and I were the team that created the Good Lives project. You can find her profile on the Tutors' page of our website. She is also on the steering group of the Faith and Climate Change project of Birmingham Friends of the Earth.

Lizz has been an environmental activist for many years, so when the 10:10 campaign was launched she started to think about how she could reduce her carbon emissions by 10%, given that she already does all the obvious things, lives a pretty low carbon lifestyle anyway, doesn’t own a car, and so on.

So, she started thinking about a new and different challenge – a range of actions relating to aspects of energy, climate change, sustainability, and so on, that would also be examples to help other people think about simple things they could all try.

She started asking other people: "what would you find really hard to do?" So, the year of Eco Challenge has emerged – the whole of this year, 2010, with a different challenge each month, suggested to Lizz by other people. Plus a monthly blog on the Faith and Climate Change website where people can read about what Lizz has been doing, and her reflections on it, and can also post comments with new suggestions for challenges.

Lizz’s first post was an introduction to herself and to the whole idea of the undertaking. She writes:
It’s January, I’ve settled into the year and have been thinking about this whole 2010 climate change stuff. I already have a pretty low footprint – no multi planet needed for meI think – at least not a few years ago – I better check! But I know there’s more I could do. Like so many people I need something to motivate myself.
Monthly Challenges: A few years ago I was part of a group where each month we set ourselves a challenge and would try and change our habits over the next 30 days or so. We’d then meet again, review progress have a good laugh and set ourselves a new challenge (whilst sometimes keeping the old challenge going too!) some of the group made big changes to their lives over that year and some just some little ones. It did really help knowing that others were up for it too!
Friends of the Earth Challenge: I had an interesting conversation with someone from ‘FoE’ which prompted me to remember the oomph I’d felt when doing this, and other similar challenges, so that’s what I propose to do this year – each month I’ll take on a suggested challenge and then let you know how I get on . . .
Read the whole introductory post.

The first two months of Lizz’s activity and reflection are on the website so far.

At the end of January, Lizz wrote:
This month in the end I’ve decided to go for sorting out the flat/life style – the flat is simply a kitchen, living room, bedroom, tiny bathroom, and hallway. Lifestyle stuff is more to do with money money money, exercise and getting out and about. I started by making a list of all the things I felt I could do. Most of the list was practical physical stuff . . .
 Read the whole January post.

And at the end of February, Lizz posted this:
The challenge for this month is to BUY NOTHING! I knew by the last week of January that this was the plan so I had to steel myself not to cheat and stockpile in advance! As well as not buying stuff – books, DVDs, clothes etc. I’ve decided not to buy any food until I’ve used what I’ve got – I’ll let myself forage (in February!) or go skip-picking (sometimes known as dumpster diving or freeganism) or gleaning (picking up after markets) but I won’t buy anything new if I can possibly help it. I should admit right now that I get lunch at work every day so I know I won’t end up with scurvy, or starve – and a friend has asked about food parcels and barter . . .
Read the whole February post.

You can keep up with developments in Lizz's year on her blog and I'll be featuring it again here from time to time during the year.
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1 comment:

  1. I have such admiration for Lizz... not just talking, but going the full hog with her walk... May God bless her continued efforts. In peace, Rianne