The 2013 New England SAVE A TON tour. Tons of energy and logistics. The EcoMotion team is highly motivated to use our massive display to prove the value of the concept.
To make an impression, and to spur community action, we built the Emissions Time Bomb. Recently we had the opportunity to touch thousands of New England students during Earth Week. We made it a priority and did the unthinkable: road trip to New England.
Turned out to be a thrill, an honor, a validation of our best shot at climate change communications. We visit six campuses in a ten-day period, spreading the word and networking. Our batteries are recharged! From Colorado University in Boulder where it began in the snow, to Yale where the tour wrapped up in the splendor of spring in New Haven, it was clearly thumbs up for THE TON and its teachable moments.
The campaign is all about spurring students to take climate protection to heart, and to take small steps. Our message is simple: It’s about each of us saving a ton of CO2, and cutting our footprint by 5 – 10%. We use THE TON to begin the conversation, and then reach out, again and again.
THE TON makes clear our fundamental message: Emissions are huge. Some take that away, a photo, and no more. Our team strategically engages with those that want to go a step further. They ask how and we relate. “It’s thirds. Think thirds, and think about your own life.”
We explain that the first third is transportation: How to save 5 – 10%? Students know best. Plan better to minimize running errands. Walk, bike, take the bus. If you drive, change your routes to maximize right hand turns! That’s what UPS does to realize less idling, time savings, and increased safety.
The second third is buildings, on campus, at home, at work, where we worship, etc. If your parents or friends are building, encourage them to make efficiency investments today, tighten the shell, and leverage savings over time. Remodeling on campus offers enormous opportunities. Renting? All LEDs? CFLs, Energy Star appliances… How’s your plug load? Draw your drapes on hot summer days. Just being a bit more careful with your power consumption can cut your use by 5 – 10%.
The third third is stuff. Look in the mirror. We Americans buy a lot of stuff, embedded with energy and emissions. There’s energy and emissions in the rich food we buy, there’s emissions in new cars and TVs too. How can we SAVE A TON? You know best. Look inward and inventory we suggest. Buy locally, buy organic. Buy things that can be reused, repurposed, even re-gifted. What forms of community will fulfill us more than the next purchase?
What Timing:The climate problem is very like a ticking time bomb, we all agree. It’s out of sight, out of many minds, and growing in intensity. Its rage and fury are already being felt. Even the airlines now say we’re in for more turbulence. Our emissions threaten our lifestyle on Earth.
“EcoMotion’s taking the Emissions Time Bomb to Boston.” That’s what we said until the Boston Marathon Bombers did the unthinkable. It was just days before our planned visits to some of the nation’s most prestigious universities. Two universities cancel right away. They won’t be celebrating Earth Day, and certainly not with any form of “bomb” involved. The wounds are open, intense, and fresh for so many families and friends of victims. Understood.
So we purge our materials and language of the term BOMB, and now are THE TON, a display central to the SAVE A TON campaign. We can change our messaging, and we did, electing to move forward, heading to the epicenter of a sickening attack. Boston is the center of the universe, and it’s our destination. What timing.
Across the country are flags at half-staff. We follow storms east and a wave of concern.
The country is suffering; the killers at large as we push off. We’re going to Cambridge, a community on high alert. As we cross the plains we listen to the news, anxious for developments. Fortunately the Boston police catch and kill one, then days later they catch the other, just hours after a city-wide lock-down ends.
A meal at a roadhouse café in Atkinson, Illinois. It’s 5:30 AM, we’ve just crossed the swollen Mississippi, stares as we walk in. Lisa’s Café, clearly this farm-town’s favorite, is in a corner of a slaughterhouse. The restrooms down the hall are rank. But we bond with the group there, watching the breaking news from Boston together, commiserating together.
Finally the boat, and capture, and relief. Boston Strong.