Global Action Plan: Carbon Gym, Smoothie Bike and Driving Simulator

Global Action Plan supports schools, communities and businesses to take practical, environmental action to live and work as sustainably as possible.

As an Environmental Ambassador for an independent charity committed to engaging people in practical solutions to environmental and social problems, you get to travel across the UK and visit a whole lot of schools, universities and companies that wish to reduce their environmental impact at the same time as improving the health and wellbeing of their students or employees.

My task was to engage as many people in conversations about environmental and social justice as possible and to discuss simple and practical solutions to everyday issues such as recycling, transport, or energy consumption using a range of funky, hands-on gadgets.

The carbon gym allows you to lift weights that compare the carbon emission of various different diet choices, such as beef, pork, chicken and vegetables and fruit. The smoothie bike helps to experience how much energy i.e. electricity is required to use a common household item. Getting a smoothie at the end of the exercise makes the experience even more rewarding. The water wizard allows participants to quiz themselves on water usage and complete a series of surveys that help to reduce personal water and energy use through small changes such as switching electrical items off instead of using standby options or cutting the tap while toothbrushing.

Trying to engage people in a conversation about climate change, energy use and social and environmental responsibility can be tough busy university settings, but I learned a lot about the problems that policy makers, health and eco-psychologists and public health associates face when trying to change individual behaviour for a greater cause!