Climate change has been and remains a top priority for the United Nations, whether it is for promoting concerted global action, bringing solutions that help people cope with climate impacts, or in finding out the best climate science available. But the UN is more than just its 192 member countries. Its staff members—many of them who care deeply about the climate—are also moving to make a difference on their own.
Led by few motivated people, a grassroots initiative emerged among UN staff to take action on their own and soon, hundreds of staff from different UN Departments based in New York became involved.
Raising awareness while reducing emissions
With the aim of joining the 350 global events held on 10/10/10, the organising team arranged a swap of 350 incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs, which uses 75 per cent less energy than a regular incandescent bulb, and lasts up to six times longer. It is expected that this change alone would save around 93 tonnes of CO2 throughout the lifetime of the 350 CFL bulbs.
In order to further limit waste, the incandescent bulbs have been reused to build a big 350 sign that will be displayed for several weeks to build even more staff awareness and support for the need to reduce emissions. Besides, all elements used to build and finalize the panel were all recycled and/or second-hand materials!
Once the ‘artwork’ was finalised, most of the participants gathered to take a collective picture using the sunlight to power their smiles!
Who said that ‘bureaucrats’ don’t act?!