1-2-3 Campaign Against Global Warming

Summary

The 1-2-3 Global Warming Campaign was initiated in the 1st Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon in January 2001 to inform people about the dangers of global warming and spur them into action to do something about it. Congregants were asked to 1) reduce their household thermostats by 1 degree in the heating season 2) reduce their driving speeds by 2 miles per hour from the speed they'd normally drive when traveling 60 m.p.h. or more and 3) replace 3 regular light bulbs used extensively at home with compact fluorescents. These three actions would reduce carbon dioxide generation by 1,300 pounds per year and save the average household about $90 (U.S.) annually. Participants who signed pledge forms, had the flexibility to take any or all of the three actions. The Campaign featured a Kickoff program, mailing to all households, public support from the ministers, and weekly compact fluorescent light bulb demonstrations and church bulletin updates.

Results

The program exceeded every expectation. In all, 412 households pledged, reducing annual CO 2 generation by approximately 580,000 pounds. To gauge results, a professional pollster helped design a survey/evaluation form, which 46% of the participants filled out. Ninety-eight per cent of the households fulfilled all (55%) or some (43%) of their pledges. Ninety-five per cent planned to continue their actions. Even more promising, 63% took additional actions against global warming on their own, specifically citing what they had done. Finally, 60% told others about the program, with 16% telling four or more people. The 1-2-3 Program is now being considered by other Unitarian churches and denominations. There is also a possibility it may be piloted in workplaces (without religious references). It is easily adaptable and a complete how-to packet is available to anyone.

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