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article imageNew website offers environmentally friendly sponsorship Special

By Lynn Morris     Jun 14, 2011 in Environment
A new website allows you to sponsor friends with action rather than money.
The DoNation, which launched last month, provides an alternative sponsorship model allowing people to pledge certain actions which reduce their carbon footprint rather than money.
The innovative idea was thought up by Hermione Taylor when she was planning to cycle to Morocco and wanted to get support from her friends in deeds not money. Initially, the project was called Just Saving.
She explained the DoNation’s mission: “We want to motivate people to do fantastic and inspiring challenges, and to help them raise sponsorship without emptying their friend’s wallets.
“But most of all, we want to encourage everyone in the nation to do simple, meaningful things in their day-to-day lives to help protect our planet.”
It works like other sponsorship websites, people undertaking a challenge register online and encourage their friends to sponsor them but in this case with action rather than money.
Supporters of the DoNation
Supporters of the DoNation
Photo courtesy of Hermione Taylor
The carbon saving actions include cycling to work, switching to a green energy supplier, air drying your clothes, composting food waste, taking less flights and recycling. The amount of carbon each action is displayed.
Although the carbon calculations are tailored to the UK most of it applies through out the world. And so far the site has been used by people as far a field as New Zealand, Ethiopia and Slovenia.
Of course, it is difficult to know if people who pledge to do these actions will actually carry them out.
Taylor said: “It is largely based on trust. It is just a two month sponsorship at the end of which people can confirm how they got on.
“It is very public and everyone can see what they have said they would do so there is a bit of social peer pressure.”
The DoNation team
The DoNation team
Photo courtesy of Hermione Taylor
Taylor said that less than one percent of money donated to charity goes to environmental causes.
She said: “There are lots of people who want to support environmental causes but do not feel that money is the answer.”
She added that some of the people who advertise their challenges on her site are also raising money for a charity. Challenges listed on the site have included people walking up mountains, and even a 24 hour busking challenge.
To find out more about the DoNation or to list your challenge visit theDoNation.org.uk
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