Monday, 16 November 2009

Mum's Monday: one family's response to 10:10

I have always been interested in recycling way before it became a hot topic and a part of every day life. It just seemed like a no brainer but then more recently I started receiving emails and facebook requests to join 10:10 and that seemed like an incredible challenge. How could we a family of four cut back our carbon emissions by 10% in 2010? I also felt torn though in that for the sake of my children I thought that I ought to be signing up for it. Thinking about my coaching training which indicated that when we use COWS (could have, ought to, would or should) then there is something forced in what we are aiming to do, I ignored all the calls to action for at least a month. Then I had a light bulb moment and it occurred to me that 10:10 is possible if one is creative about how one does it. So below are some of my thoughts on how to approach it as a family.

It is all about finding stuff that fits with your lifestyle. My small step for 10:10 was to throw myself into the North Herts NCT's toy sale this week. This meant sorting through the girls' toys and putting to one side those that they were too old for. The key to success with these sales is to get the pricing right so that items will go and you are not left with them at the end, whilst ensuring that you get a reasonable price for them especially the new-looking ones. This year I only brought about three items back and that was only because I had not indicated that unsold items could be donated to charity.

The whole process felt very cathartic because we were recycling some great toys and books, and I made about £100 from it. 30% of what a seller make goes to the NCT so that feels good too. Now there is some space at home for the Christmas deluge and I managed to buy quite a few Christmas presents whilst I was there. If all that sounds like far too much hard work, you can always advertise unwanted items via email on freecycle and people come to collect them from you at a mutually convenient time.

The more environmentally minded amongst you will probably notice that recycling toys is not the same as cutting one's carbon emissions but it is a start in the right direction and each small step leads to a bigger step. As a result of these thoughts I have now signed up to 10:10! So what are your thoughts about being my ecologically aware and taking some sort of action towards living a greener lifestyle?


  1. Great post Kate.

    It's a big challenge - and it has to be possible.

    I guess the possible action from the NCT sale would have been to buy some Christmas presents for your children instead of getting them new toys? They would probably need to get onboard with it all.

    Easiest ways to cut emissions are to buy less, or to buy second hand where possible.

    Good luck and good strategising for the target!


  2. Yes Rosalyn I did buy them secondhand toys for Christmas. It saves money and stops the more, more, more culture. It was amazing how much people bought for their kids though - got to see it because I was on the till.