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Tory hopeful's New Year Resolution: A Carbon Diet to Lose a Tonne of Weight

28th December 2006

Harriett Baldwin, Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate for West Worcestershire is going on a carbon diet in 2007 to "Lose a Tonne" of weight.

"I always go on a diet in January to lose weight, and this year is no exception, although in 2007 I'm also putting myself on a carbon diet to Lose a Tonne of Carbon."

The Conservatives Quality of Life Policy Group have issued a carbon challenge to MPs, PPCs and councillors to see what challenges they face as they make changes in their lives to improve their personal "carbon footprint".

Harriett Baldwin said, "In the past, I've used offsetting by planting trees to combat my impact on the planet. In 2007, my resolution is to try to reduce my carbon emissions as much as I can before offsetting the last few kilos.

The biggest impact I make is from all the travelling I do, so this is the first area I'm going to tackle and I'll be telecommuting quite a bit from the comfort of my home in Worcestershire using broadband."


For further information about the Carbon Challenge:

The Quality of Life Policy Group (www.qualityoflifechallenge.com) is one of six groups set up David Cameron. It is chaired by the Right Hon John Gummer MP and Zac Goldsmith.

One of the key policy areas is climate change, which is being led by Nick Hurd MP.

We believe that there is a disparity between peoples' concern about climate change and what they feel they can do about it. At the heart of the problem lies a low level of understanding about the personal contribution we make in terms of carbon emissions (at present 27% from the domestic sector).

The point is illustrated by a straw poll taken at the Quality of Life Fringe event at party conference when 75% of a 150 person audience listed climate change as a top five quality of life issue for them but only five could say how much carbon they emitted per year.


Initial participants will be drawn from a mix of MPs, PPCs, Approved Candidates, Councillors and activists representing different regions, age profiles and socio-economic groupings. They will be asked to take three simple steps:

1.Measure your carbon footprintThis is most effectively done through an online carbon calculator.

Our preferred option is the Carbon Footprint calculator at www.carbonfootprint.com. There is a UK average comparison on the table, which helps put results in perspective, and tips to reduce the footprint are offered with the results.

Alternatively, there is a simpler calculator available at www.ecologicalfootprint.com for those who would like only a basic breakdown of their carbon footprint.

There is also the RSA CarbonDaq at www.rsacarbonlimited.org which you may find of interest. The calculator is different to the one used on Carbon Footprint, and there is the opportunity of comparing your results with other users.

2.Receive advice on how to 'save a tonne'

A good site for a simple explanation of climate change is www.whatyoucando.co.uk which links people to the Carbon Footprint calculator and also to a Carbon Coach. "

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