City residents and businesses are being asked to make a personal pledge to 'march forth' for the environment next week, by taking part in the city’s first ever Climate Action Day.
The March Forth For the Environment event - held on Wednesday 4 March - invites everyone in Peterborough to make a personal pledge to change one aspect of their daily routine for a full 24 hours to reduce their carbon emissions. This could be anything from going vegan for the day, walking to work or using zero plastic.
Participants can choose to complete their pledge in private, or to shout their success from the rooftops on social media, using the #PboroMarchForth hashtag and copy in @PeterboroughCC so we can share your posts. Already signed up to take part is Leader of Peterborough City Council councillor John Holdich, and cabinet members and directors, including councillor Marco Cereste, cabinet member for the environment and Gillian Beasley, chief executive.
Councillor Cereste, who has pledged to go vegetarian for the day, said: "By challenging people to have a go at reducing their climate emissions for just 24 hours, we want to show just how easy it is to implement small lifestyle changes and hopefully inspire some residents to continue their pledges either long-term or for a couple of days a week over the next year.
"Going vegetarian or vegan for the day or cycling to work might not seem like a lot, but if everyone in Peterborough committed to doing this just one day a week for the next year, the carbon reduction would be huge."
Peterborough City Council was one of many councils to declare a Climate Emergency last year and has made a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030. It later set up a cross party climate working group, looking at different activities, projects and awareness raising events that could help us achieve a reduction in the council's own carbon emissions and influence a reduction in the wider city's carbon emissions.
The Climate Action Day is one of the suggestions that came out of this group along with a Carbon Management Action Plan - which was signed off by cabinet last month - which includes 20 actions for the council in 2020/21. These include replacing the mayor's car with an ultra-low emissions vehicle by January 2021, continuing to plant new trees, considering leasing out additional office space to reduce energy demands and amending the council's electricity and gas contracts where possible to 100% renewable energy tariffs and 100% carbon off-set gas tariffs. Further actions to help the council get to net zero carbon emissions by 2030 will be announced shortly.
Suggestions for personal pledges for city residents and businesses to complete are below:
- Travel - Ditch your car for the day and either walk, cycle or use public transport
- Energy - Switch to a renewable household energy tariff, or turn your heating right down for the day (if it's safe to do so) and put on an extra jumper.
- Trees - Plant a tree in your garden. The Woodland Trust provides helpful information to help you make the right choice
- Shop differently - Try to go the whole day without purchasing any plastic items. Make a packed lunch and don't buy takeaway coffee unless you use a renewable mug
- Eat differently - Make a commitment to go vegan or vegetarian for the day
- Something else - Did you know the average city resident produces an average of 5.1 tonnes of CO2 each year? Use an online tool like Footprint Calculator to assess your own carbon footprint and receive practical and individual suggestions on how you could reduce this
Sign up and make your own personal pledge to reduce your carbon emissions for 24 hours on Wednesday 4 March by either posting images or content on your own social media channels using the hashtag #PboroMarchForth and copy in @PeterboroughCC so we can share your posts, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you are taking part.