Company News from yesinsurance
20 February 2007 Marathon runners to battle fire and ice as global warming campaign launches
A new campaign against global warming is launched today (20 February), as its two founders set off to compete in temperatures ranging from +40C down to -30C in the world’s hottest and coldest marathons – in the Sahara and at the North Pole.
EarthFireIce is the world’s first online campaign to drive awareness and action from individuals against global warming using pledges displayed on a specially designed Google Maps integration. The campaign, which aims to collect a minimum of a million pledges for action, has been founded by Londoner, Sean Cornwell, and South African, Ed Stumpf. People can make their pledges from today on the campaign’s website at www.earthfireice.com.
The EarthFireIce campaign will provide a ‘flag’ on the Google map for each individual pledger, together with a carbon value for their pledges. It can also feature pictures and text uploaded by each person, as part of a drive to compile ‘a million reasons to save the planet’ via a collage of photographs on the Google map. Pledgers will also be able to invite friends to join them on the map in a virtual network which is taking action against global warming.
Each visitor’s pledge, which may be for something as simple as walking to work, switching to low energy light bulbs, or insulating their home, can be supported by any unique text or pictures they wish to add and – most importantly – will be free.
In addition to the pledging programme, EarthFireIce will be promoting events such as concerts, comedy nights and fashion shows this summer, and will also be embarking on a global corporate partnership programme.
“We would like to involve organisations such as Virgin and Starbucks, so that the pledging campaign can gain extra momentum through promotion in retail outlets,” said Sean Cornwell.
“We will also be holding a series of signing events for high profile groups of people such as politicians and musicians, to enable them to set a lead by making their pledges,” he said.
Online insurance provider yesinsurance.co.uk signed up as a sponsor last week, and will be promoting the pledging campaign to its own customers. It is also providing financial support for the EarthFireIce campaign on global warming which is linked to the Sahara and North Pole marathons.
“EarthFireIce will spearhead a new movement among ordinary people around the world to reduce the effects of global warming by making simple pledges to reduce their own carbon footprint. Each step may be small, but the cumulative effect will be enormous,” said Ed Stumpf.
“At launch, pledges can be made in any language using the Roman alphabet but, longer-term, we are looking at including alternative scripts such as Chinese and Arabic. As the campaign gathers momentum, we will be running promotional campaigns in most major countries,” he said.
As part of the launch programme for the EarthFireIce initiative, the campaign’s founders, Sean Cornwell and Ed Stumpf, are leaving the UK this week to take part in the Sahara marathon, which takes place in Southern Algeria on 26 February. This will be followed by the North Pole marathon on 6 April. Both trips are being offset through Pure Trust, the carbon offsetting charity.
“The disappearance of the polar ice caps, a tragedy and danger in its own right, is also beginning to pose a real threat in many parts of the world, due to rising sea levels, whilst global warming is causing increasing areas of land to turn to desert,” said Sean Cornwell.
“We are doing both the Sahara and North Pole marathons as part of a programme of activity to focus attention on the kind of problems that global warming is causing,” he said.
The pair will also be instituting a number of projects in the Sahara through Practical Action, a charity which is helping poor communities around the world to adapt to the effects of climate change.
Thanks to technology supplied by Iridium, they will be blogging and uploading content to the EarthFireIce website from both marathons, and will be undertaking media interviews live by satellite telephone. A TV crew will also be making a documentary on EarthFireIce and its participation in the marathons.
Partner organisations linked to the EarthFireIce campaign include Global Cool – the recently launched movement backed by stars such as KT Tunstall and Josh Hartnett, which is running a 10-year campaign to inspire 1 billion individuals to reduce their CO2 emissions by 1 tonne with the help of some of the biggest international names in film and music – and Pure Trust, the first UK charity to fight climate change by carbon offsetting.
Examples of the types of pledges that can be made, together with an average annual amount of CO2 saved per person (so for a household, multiply by around 2.4) are:
- Blow dry your hair only at weekends: 10kg
- Wash clothes at 30 degrees instead of 60 degrees: 35kg
- Turn heating down by 1-2C: 165kg
- Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs: 180kg
- Air dry instead of tumble dry clothes: 300kg
- Recycle 25% of household waste: 500kg
- Avoid products with lots of packaging: 540kg
- Improve insulation of home (loft, windows, etc): 1,550kg (1.55 tonnes)
- Buy local, seasonal fruit and vegetables: 1,650kg (1.65 tonnes)
- Switch from a 4x4 to a small or hybrid car: 2,800kg (2.8 tonnes)