Sweater #selfies for a cause
By Linda Hoang
The World Wildlife Fund Canada is hoping to tap into the popularity of the ‘selfie’ in the fight against climate change.
WWF-Canada is calling on Canadians to turn down the thermostats and share a sweater #selfie on social media this Thursday (National Sweater Day) to engage in a conversation around climate change.
“The main objective of the campaign is to re-think energy usage, and cultivating dialogue and community online are important ways of meeting that objective,” says David Miller, president and CEO of WWF-Canada.
“We want people to learn more about energy and where it comes from, and part of how we accomplish that is designing a meaningful, relevant and celebratory experience through National Sweater Day.”
Miller says National Sweater Day lends itself “naturally” to selfies. Participants were taking sweater selfies for a cause before the word was ever coined.
“Every year we receive photos from our supporters and online audience bringing National Sweater Day to life through their fun, funky sweaters,” he says.
This year, each time a #selfie is uploaded to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus, that includes the hashtag #SweaterDay, a piece of a virtual sweater at www.sweaterday.ca is knit in real-time.
It’s all meant to spark conversation about energy conversation and climate change.
While this year’s campaign has a social media focus, awareness about action on climate change is also being spread through traditional platforms as well.
WWF-Canada is connecting with schools, teachers, businesses, local communities and cities to encourage participation on Feb. 6 National Sweater Day.
“At the end of the day, it’s about putting on a sweater and using National Sweater Day as an opportunity to think about climate change and our energy use,” Miller says.
According to a report released in 2013 by Environment Canada, the country is set to reach only half of its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions targets.
Miller says there are practical and actionable solutions anyone can do in their day to day choices that can help.
- Retrofit it: Making it easier and more affordable for people to invest in older homes and buildings to make them more energy efficient.
- Build it smarter: Setting higher efficiency standards for new homes and offices along with consumer appliances (like refrigerators, dryers, and TVs) that you use every day.
- Sustainable transportation: Making more efficient transportation options accessible for all commuters, from public transit to cycling to electric vehicles.
“We know that wearing a sweater won’t solve climate change – nor will the energy saved on one day. But the campaign can be a way of sparking further dialogue about climate change and energy,” Miller says.
“It can be a way of showing support for decision makers to make structural changes in Canada’s energy landscape. Individual actions need to be connected to a bigger conversation about how we conserve, invest in renewable energy sources, and ensure efficiency regulations are in place.”
So, what will your #OOTD (outfit of the day) be on Feb. 6?
WWF-Canada hopes it’s a sweater for a cause.