Happy 10/10 Day... Win a 15k eco makeover
Happy 10/10 Day,
Whilst Team Stupid have been busying themselves with the small matter of launching some film or other simultaneously in 63 countries ("all in a sticky-tape and scissors rocket" - Angus, Italy), Team 10:10 have been hatching a genuinely brilliant competition to mark this, the 10th day of the 10th month...
Yes, one very lucky Ten Tenner is going to win a complete green makeover of their home, worth at least £15,000, courtesy of the Great British Refurb.
Here's the blarb: At 10.10am on November 10th, we'll draw five names at random from the 10:10 database to receive a visit from our crack team of analysts. Each shortlisted home will receive a carbon consultation worth up to £500, including state-of-the-art thermal imaging, an Energy Performance Certificate and expert advice on how to stop their building from wasting energy. In the final round, our panel of judges will choose the most suitable property from the shortlist to undergo a total energy overhaul, comprising a ground-up retrofit of all the latest energy-saving technologies as the winning house is transformed into the 10:10 Home of the Future. Whichever technologies suit the winning house best, the 10:10 upgrade will halve the energy bills, halve the energy use and halve the carbon pollution of a typical family home. What’s more, with up to £10k of solar electric technology fitted thanks to SolarCentury, the 10:10 Home of the Future will even earn money for its owner each year as it generates and pumps clean, carbon-free electricity back to the grid.
If you've already signed up to 10:10 - ie have committed to cut your emissions by 10% next year - then you've already entered the draw. Put your feet up. (Or, better, persuade 10 friends, your workplace and your kids' school to join 10:10 too. "We're all in this together", as High School Musical would say.)
If you haven't yet signed up, there is still time for you to get your hands on Kevin McCloud, I mean the eco-makeover... enter the competition here: http://www.1010uk.org
10:10's favourite cheerleaders have done us double proud this time, with a special 10:10 Guardian supplement to mark 10/10 Day. Best is their selection of ten-tenners snaking round the pages... Accenture, Achordus Inc, Adnams Brewery, Aecom Europe, African Cultural Awareness, Alertme.com, Ali Smith, Alistair Darling, Ambler Primary School, Andrew Motion, Anish Kapoor, Anthony Horowitz, Antony Beevor, Antony Gormley, Architecture Foundation, Arcola Theatre, Arts Council England, Aston University, Atkins Global, Aviva, Ayers Explorer Scout Unit, Aylesbury High School, B&Q.... and on and on...
Then Kevin McCloud (he of Grand Designs / the Great British Refurb / great spontaneous wrap-up speech at 10:10 Tate Modern launch) wrote a really touching article: "10% is the first stage on a journey where we begin to judge our lives less in terms of "standard of living" – which has come to embody the ideas of speed, convenience and the value of material goods like cars and televisions – and more in terms of "quality of life", which might be expressed in terms of happiness, sociability and a sense of well-being. I can't think of a more obvious example than the 10:10 commandment: "Fly less, holiday more.""
And then they asked some Ten Tenners how they plan to cut their emissions next year. A small selection below - get your hankies at the ready - and lots more here. Meanwhile, Comic Relief (love their red nose-meets-10:10-tags-pic attached) have made a snazzy 10:10 animation and just over 150MPs (from a total of 350, I think) have now signed up. If you haven't bugged your MP yet, please use this easy online form to do so.
Back to Stupid... Lizzie was on Sky News this morning on a show talking about the failure of British independent film... They only went and used Age of Stupid as the example of the film which has broken the mold and is not a complete flop... Apparently in the same breath as Trainspotting and Four Weddings.... You've gotta laugh.... If only they could see our bank balance, we'd have been moved swiftly over into the reject pile.... Still, all spin is good spin.
PS. My dreams of making a feature film - after we've solved climate change, of course - have been blown out of the water by Creation. There's my movie right there. Hats off to Creation writer John Collee, who also made the best joke of the night at the Stupid Aussie premiere (I forget exactly what... something about the people dressed as penguins being climate refugees.... will have to rewatch the tapes some time....)
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Making the cut for 10:10
Thousands of individuals, companies and organisations have already pledged to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% next year. Here's how some of them plan to do it. Read the full article here.
Manchester city council
With a staff of 25,000 and 1,000 buildings, the challenge facing Manchester city council is substantial. But the 10:10 campaign is a perfect fit with its preparations for a radical, 10-year climate change action plan for Manchester which it will announce next month. The council will seek to slash its emissions by 2-5% through demolishing, closing or refitting energy-hungry buildings in its vast building portfolio. This, stresses Cowell, will be done in consultation with local people, with the emphasis on reusing buildings if possible. Refitting its town hall complex will help meet its second target of a 2%-3% emissions cut through saving on gas heating and a 2%-4% cut in its electricity bill. The council staff now has 800 volunteer "green champions" encouraging colleagues to cut their energy use in the office. "We want to be the UK's greenest city," says Cowell. "Manchester as a council is really up for this agenda."
Oliver Letwin MP
As the Conservative party's head of policy and the man responsible for writing the Tory manifesto for the upcoming general election, Letwin potentially holds the key to cutting the the entire UK's carbon emissions. But closer to home, he has already been making some big strides. It's been a while since the former shadow environment secretary last measured his carbon footprint – but, he says, any old figure would be incorrect anyway. "Since it was last done, I've moved to a hybrid car, replaced all bulbs with low-energy ones, started offsetting all air travel and walking to work."
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
The trust signed up to 10:10 for both moral and pragmatic reasons. "It is important for us to take responsibility for our carbon impact," says sustainability manager Alexandra Hammond. "But this is also going to save us a huge amount of money. It already is. We can put that money back into patient care." The biggest measure the trust has put in place – two new combined heat-and-power units, costing £10m – was in the works before 10:10 got off the ground last month, so the trust has decided to adopt an ambitious target: it wants to hack a fifth off its carbon emissions in 2010. The new CHP units will cut 11,300 tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to around a week's power output from the city of Newcastle. They will save more than £1.5m in energy costs each year. Hammond has also recruited 112 "energy representatives" among the trust's nearly 10,000 staff to help reduce energy wastage in their part of the organisation – for example, by fixing drafty windows, turning off computers at night and fixing dripping taps.
Rockingham race track
(Yup, a car racing track) "People must think we are barking mad to try and do it," says Cat Lund, head of operations at Rockingham, an FIA international-standard race circuit in Northamptonshire. Rockingham is a carbon reduction nightmare: it hosts British touring car, F3 and club racing, as well as track days for petrolheads to roar around on high-performance bikes and cars. But Lund is deadly serious about its 10:10 commitment. Shocked to discover the business alone – excluding the racing – produces 868 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, she and her staff of 20 set about reducing them. Last year Rockingham's office went carbon-neutral, saving 123 tonnes of CO2. They mothballed little-used offices, turned off lights, started a full recycling programme and curbed the use of office printers. "The next 10% for us is going to be tricky," Lund admits. "We're talking to Honda about putting solar panels on our grandstand, and we want to get wind power up here. But the elephant in the room for us is the cars."
"We see ourselves as having a role to play in changing the world. And you don't get a much bigger issue than saving the planet." That's how Darren Strange, head of environmental sustainability at Microsoft UK, sums up the company's decision to sign up to 10:10. It already has a target to reduce its emissions by 30% by 2012 compared with 2008, but now reckons it will have cut 15% by June next year. By the same point, it plans to have reduced company travel by 10%. The big-ticket items on Microsoft's carbon bill, as well as travel, are the energy used by its buildings and servers. It is redesigning new buildings so they use recycled water, more natural light and more efficient air conditioning, among other things. The company has also reduced paper use – for example, by only allowing people to print a document if they are standing next to the printer. Microsoft UK's new data centres consume half as much power as they did three years ago. The latest one, in Dublin, uses natural air flow rather than fans to cool it. The company has also cut business travel "massively", says Strange, by using more video-conferencing to conduct meetings, and is mobilising its 2,800 employees to sign up to 10:10 on an individual basis.