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10:10 Campaign

Sustainable Living

10:10 Campaign –What’s it all about?

Áine Mc Carthy, Environmental Awareness Officer with North Tipperary County Council gives an outline of a new national initiative that is being supported by the Department of Environment Heritage and Local Government called 10:10.

According to Ms Mc Carthy “10:10 is an ambitious project to unite every sector of Irish society behind one simple idea: that by working together we can achieve a 10% cut in Ireland's carbon emissions in 2010”. 10:10 is a campaign for people who feel powerless in the face of a huge problem like climate change but want to do something. The plan is simple: we work together to cut our carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. By uniting everyone around immediate, effective and achievable action we can make a meaningful difference.

Each month in 2010 the 10:10 team will have a theme to promote the campaign and January is ‘Own Your Emissions’. Before you can cut your emissions you have to know what they are – and not blame them on anyone else. Here are three examples:

Power Plants
The iconic image of smokestacks from a massive power plant belting out clouds of pollutants suggests that this is the polluter.
But in fact the emissions from a power plant are due to the use of power by people and businesses. The power plant will cut emissions when we cut power usage.

Turn off the lights when not in use; cut the wattage on the security lights and put them on sensors; unplug the mobile phone charger; don’t use standby on electronic devices when not in use.

Air Flights
Airports are the subject of much environmental criticism – new airports and airport extensions.
But in fact the emissions are caused by individuals flying. One transatlantic return flight causes as much carbon pollution as a year of driving by the average motorist in Ireland. Use electronic communications instead of flying. Make a flying ‘budget’ for the year based on last year’s trips.

Supermarket Biscuits
Globalisation of food with the massive lorries and distribution centres are often seen as symbols of global warming. But do the emissions caused by shipping in a package of biscuits – and all their constituents – belong to the Supermarkets??
They belong to the consumer. You can change your purchasing habits, however, to avoid foods flown around the world. Buy local and seasonal wherever possible.

The message of 10:10 is that YOU can make a difference.
Ms Mc Carthy advises anyone interested in the campaign to visit the website for checklists and a carbon calculator to help you figure out what your emissions are. Visitors to the website can sign up to become part of the 10:10 campaign.

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