This is a guest blog from Kate Monson of Good Energy, as featured on the Good Energy website. The country’s been experiencing classic Wimbledon weather recently – wet, wet and a bit more wet, with a few sunny spells to tantalise the tennis fans that are often too short to actually fit much tennis into. Consequently, those of us who chose last Friday to cycle to work as part of A Good Week were quick to turn our eyes to the sky when we woke that morning. But greeted with a smiling blue we donned our ‘lycra’ and set off.
The sun shone the whole way, making the journey entirely delightful from start to finish. Even the hills! And we all arrived at work before our 9am target. Special mention goes to Ed who was pleased to record a personal best time of 51 minutes from Westbury – that’s an average speed of over 20 miles an hour! Not bad at all. And ‘Super Sim’ who cycled both to and from work, racking up a grand total of 60 miles barely breaking a sweat. We asked members of the Good Energy team to show their support for the ride by pledging a DoAction via innovative new sponsoring site and Good Energy partner The DoNation. The brainchild of Hermione Taylor, it encourages people to support their friends’ challenges with carbon cutting actions, instead of money. The DoActions range from switching to a green electricity supplier to eating seasonably or draft proofing your house. Sponsors agree to carry out their pledge for two months and the carbon saving is automatically calculated. “I realised that unlike so many other causes, the environment doesn’t need people’s money as much as it needs people’s actions,” says Hermione. The idea came to her when she decided to take a break after completing her Masters in International Environmental Policy by cycling to Morocco with a friend. “We didn’t want to fly so cycling seemed like a fun way to get there. I wanted to take the opportunity to raise awareness and support for the environment and climate change but felt uncomfortable asking my friends – many of whom were poor students – for money. I got a phenomenal response and the impact it had was plain to see. I realised there was more potential in it than just the cycle ride so decided to step it up a bit.” The DoNation is still in its nascent stages and Hermione is literally learning on the job, working with just one other friend based out of her brother’s office (a Good Energy customer) in London. But the vision is ambitious and clear. “I’d love to see The DoNation being the main sponsorship platform for environmental causes, working with lots of affiliate companies but also with businesses and schools. So much of it is about education so connecting with young students is vital,” says Hermione. “I see huge potential there.” The Good Energy team committed to 1500kg of carbon savings in support of the cycle ride, which is fantastic. Pledges range from ‘Passion fashion’ – Lorna loves clothes so ensuring she only swaps, charity shops or ethically purchases proves her commitment to sustainable fashion – to avoiding unnecessary packaging with the ‘Fantastic un-plastic’ pledge. The DoNation is novel, powerful and very valuable, so next time you set yourself a challenge why not think about asking for behaviour change rather than spare change?
Good Energy are one of our partners, whenever a ‘doer’ switches their electricity supply to them, they will donate £50 to The DoNation. So go on, switch now! And please make sure to mention us when you do….