M&S has been supporting the Women’s Institute’s carbon Challenge.  It has hit the halfway mark this week.

More than 5000 people have been taking the challenge, each pledging to reduce their carbon footprint by 20%.  That is the equivalent of 10,000 tonnes or enough to fill 10,000 hot air balloons.  The challenge uses an online footprint calculator especially designed by the WWF.  The challengers simply log in and answer a series of questions about their day-to-day life in order to receive tips on how to reduce their environmental impact.

Some of the challengers are at various stages- some just three weeks into the challenge while others have been involved for six months.  The challengers range from busy mums, young urbanites, over 50’s to the already eco-minded.

Caroline Wilde from Wilkesley in Cheshire said, “I signed up to the challenge six months ago when it began and it has made me much more aware of the little things I can change to make a real difference, such as not filling the kettle up every time I make a cuppa and fitting thermostats to all of my radiators.  My husband has been involved every step of the way and our next hurdle is to cut down on the number of car journeys we take.”

Fay Mansell, NFWI Chair has been encouraging people to sign up for the challenge.  Ms. Mansell said, “Start by making small changes that save you money rather than cause you inconvenience, because if we all don’t start making small changes now, we will be forced to make even bigger changes that will be much harder.

We’ve heard lots of really inspirational and often humorous stories from people just like Caroline, from escaped worms when the wormery lid has been left off , to seizing the eco balls back from the family cat.  It is great to hear that our challengers are also having a lot of fun and bringing their family and friends along with them.”

Mike Barry, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for M&S says, “As a responsible retailer, it is important for us to help our customers make informed choices in their day-to-day lives, from what goes into their shopping basket through to how they can reduce their own CO2 emissions by washing clothes at 30 degrees.  It all has an impact, and if we’re to make sure the Earth is in good shape for our grandchildren, we need to take action now.  That is why we have joined forces with the WI and the WWF.  Both organizations are remarkable ambassadors for climate change-an issue that is of growing importance for our customers-and we knew that by encouraging a meeting of the minds we could really deliver something of value.”




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