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Giki Zero

by Michael Ford last modified 23 Apr, 2021 08:27 PM

As we seek to safeguard the Earth for future generations, new tools are being developed. So what is 'Giki Zero'?

Associate Minister James Mercer explains:

"The Benefice of St Aldhelm offered the York Course ‘Caring for Creation’ programme as their 2021 Lent course. Following the course, there was an overwhelming desire by participants to find ways to reduce our individual carbon footprints. ‘Giki Zero’ has provided a way for us to do this individuals and households, across the Benefice."

What is Giki Zero? (Giki = Get Informed Know your Impact)

James says:

"Giki Zero is a step by step guide to a lighter footprint on the planet. It will help us discover our personal (or family) footprint, find steps to reduce it and celebrate your successes.

"The aim is for everyone who uses Giki Zero to take new steps to cut their environmental footprint. At the moment the average carbon footprint in high income countries is around 10 tonnes and by 2030 this needs to be 2.5 tonnes. It’s a big task but Giki Zero can help you with the steps you need to take to get there.

"Giki Zero helps you understand your personal footprint which is an important first step in discovering way to reduce it. It does this by guiding you through a series of easy to understand questions that will estimate the overall impact that you have where you can provide as little, or as much, information as you want. You will then be able to see your environmental footprint and understand how your home, transport, food, purchases and services all contribute. You can also see how planting trees can give you a boost as you look to reduce your footprint over time.

"With better information about your footprint you can then choose the steps which suit your lifestyle and budget to help reduce your impact over time. Decide on the steps you want to take, rated on impact and ease, and Giki Zero will help you turn those commitments into climate positive changes.

"There’s no sugar coating this one. Global carbon emissions are still rising, the world is getting hotter, animals are under threat and people around the world are already being affected by floods, droughts, fires and rising sea levels. We all need to live more sustainably and move towards Net Zero.

"You’ll be finding new steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. At the same time you’ll also find steps that can save you money, improve your health, protect animals, and reduce plastic use. You’ll also be able to share what you are doing with colleagues, friends and your family.

"Creating a sustainable life takes time. We’ve got until 2030 to dramatically cut our environmental impact and so we expect Giki Zero to take people months, and perhaps a few years, to get to the point where they are leading a sustainable lifestyle. However, because it takes time it also means that Giki Zero is not another app where we need to be constantly checking back in to measure your progress. You can take your time, make good decisions, and see you impact reduce month by month.

"Who is it for?

"Everyone in the UK! Giki Zero helps anyone who is wondering what they can do about environmental issues such as climate change, animal conservation and pollution but does not know where to start. It’s also designed for people who are already making changes to live more sustainably but who want more ideas to help them go further. By signing up you’ll be able to start doing whatever you can, as soon as you can, to help protect the environment and animals.

"There is an enormous amount of data available about the impact of our everyday actions and consumption on the world around us, but most of this is too detailed and complex for most of us to understand easily or be able to use in our everyday decision making. The tool aims to show information and steps to people in a simple and intuitive interface, displaying the relative impacts of different activities or lifestyle choices. The hope is that this will help people work towards an overall lifestyle footprint that is compatible with the aims of the Paris Climate Change Agreement to limit average global warming to 1.5 degrees centigrade.

"Moving to a more sustainable life takes time. We think it’s best to check in every week just to have a look at the steps you’re taking, see whether there are any news ones you are ready with and to see how your Giki score is doing. There’s no need to check in every day – this is a marathon not a sprint!

"Giki-Zero is an eye opener. It pulls no punches in revealing the carbon we all release at household level, but it does provide constructive and practical steps to reducing our carbon footprints. As a household we now know that we release 4,843 kg of carbon per year - and that’s after following the Giki-Zero actions. We still must do better!"

You can sign up to Giki-Zero by clicking here.

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