January’s Doer of the Month is by far and away our youngest yet: he’s just one year old! Being the pioneering eco warrior he is, for his first birthday Theo Hemmings asked for pledges instead of presents.
Ok, given Theo can’t speak yet, it was his mother Melanie who really earned the title – and the year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s (sorry Theo – not for you!).
Here Melanie, full time mum of three from Woking, tells her story…
I first heard about Do Nation at a talk Hermione gave in January at the WWF Living Planet Centre in Woking. Our son’s birthday was a few weeks after that, and as he is the fortunate recipient of plenty of hand-me-downs, we had been struggling to come up with gift ideas for him. So I thought we could use Do Nation as a kind of alternative gift list for his birthday – what better gift could there be than leaving the planet a better place for him to grow up in?!
We had a great response! The biggest single pledge was a family who switched to a green energy supplier, and I was surprised at how many people were enthusiastic about making small immediate changes to their lifestyles. The thing I kept hearing people say was ‘I’d never thought about it before!’
The birthday was a great time with family, and we had a lot of interesting conversations about the various pledges people had made and how it was going.
Going forward I have been inspired to set up an Instagram feed, waste_less_woking, sharing realistic ways to live more sustainably in our area, and championing local services and businesses who are helping people do that. As a family we plan to work through a lot more of the Do Nation pledges together.
As for gaining pledges, I think it was helpful to let people know their involvement was entirely optional, that it was an invitation rather than a pressure from us! Given the excellent information and tips on Do Nation, most people enjoyed being empowered to make positive changes to their lifestyles.
You can still make a pledge for Theo here.