Getting involved with Zero Emissions Day

Author information: Helen Chapman , Senior front-end developer , Post information: 27 Sep 2022 , 3 min read ,
Related post categories: Culture ,

At Torchbox, we have five voice groups that you can join to share ideas and drive change on topics that you care about. I’m part of the Climate and Sustainability group, and to celebrate Zero Emissions Day last week, we encouraged everyone to make small eco-friendly changes and organised a fabulous clothes swap.

Clothes swap - Torchbox
Torchbox Clothes Swap promotional graphic

So, what is Zero Emissions Day?

September 21st is Zero Emissions Day, started in Novia Scotia, Canada, but marked around the world. The aim of the day is to encourage people to make more climate-friendly choices in their day-to-day lives, in order to reduce their carbon footprint. The recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report highlighted the importance of individuals making changes both to our lifestyles and what we demand from businesses, products and services. This will all contribute to the aim of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

As well as thinking about Zero Emissions Day, this month is also Second Hand September - organised by our much-loved client, Oxfam. The idea of Second Hand September is to encourage people to only buy second-hand items for the whole month of September to reduce the harmful effects of fast fashion.

We wanted to mark both these events, by encouraging everyone to make a small change in their daily lives on the 21st, e.g. walking or cycling to work, and organising an office clothes swap, and donating the proceeds to Oxfam.

The clothes swap

Clothes swapping in Charlbury

We all had a good rummage in our wardrobes before the day, and everyone brought up to five items into the Bristol and Charlbury offices. People kindly donated hangers and rails so we were able to display the clothes nicely, although in Charlbury the table tennis table had to stand in as an emergency extra clothes horse. Everyone had a good look through and tried things on, and we chose what we wanted to take home, after making a donation to Oxfam - I'm wearing a lovely green flowery dress that Jess brought in right now, and got some more great items that Gemma no longer wore. I'm not sure anyone went for my exciting white flared summer trousers, but any unclaimed clothes are being taken to charity, so nothing will go to waste.

Clothes swap bristol
An array of clothes to choose from in Bristol

Not to be outdone by people located near to the Bristol or Charlbury offices, our more remote workers also organised a clothes swap. Charlotte is based in Scotland, but she shared lots of items available to donate and post on a Trello board and invited others to do the same.

I hope we'll do another clothes swap soon as it was a definite success.

Zero Emissions Day

We didn't just mark the day with a clothes swap. We encouraged everyone at Torchbox to think about their day-to-day lives, and how they might make small changes, and share their stories of what they did - here are some of the things that people told us about :

I ‘hyper-miled’ on the way to Bristol today in my electric BMW i3. I emptied the crap i’ve been carrying around, pumped up my tyres, and drove at less than 60 (except when overtaking lorries) and used a third less (100% renewable) electricity than I normally do!

Olly Willans, Torchbox co-founder

I've not used my car today and instead got up a bit earlier to walk the dog. I also made lunch with things from the freezer instead of going to the shop and buying a sandwich

Rich George, front-end developer, Torchbox

These changes are small, of course, and in the context of the huge threat of climate change and global warming, it can sometimes seem that our individual efforts are insignificant and pointless. But making small changes can make a much bigger difference as more and more people adopt them. It all makes a difference!

Author information: Helen Chapman , Senior front-end developer , Post information: 27 Sep 2022 , 3 min read ,
Related post categories: Culture ,