From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published August 22, 2007 09:30 PM

Filmmakers Issue Challenge: Can 1 Million People Reduce Their Environmental Impact In 2008?

SEATTLE - They call it, the 11th Hour Challenge. The challenge provides an opportunity for individuals to educate themselves and make small, practical, lifestyle changes by the end of this year to decrease their energy usage and carbon output with a goal of reducing their emissions by ten percent in 2008.


It's been put togetehr by EarthLab.com, the leading climate crisis community. They have partnered with Warner Independent Pictures, Tree Media and the filmmakers to create The 11th Hour Challenge, timed to the release of "The 11th Hour" documentary, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.


If one million people in the U.S. meet the challenge, it can result in a net reduction of 2,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, which equals removing 280,000 US cars from the road. The average American is responsible for about 20 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, a far greater per capita number than any other industrialized country.


To participate in the challenge, people first calculate their personal carbon impact by answering questions on EarthLab.com's Earth Conservation Plan (ECP) Carbon and Lifestyle calculator. Upon completion of the three minute test, participants can then make pledges to reduce their impact and score. With each change and commitment into their everyday lives, scores are recalculated. The ECP calculator is the first carbon calculator to allow its users to save and track each calculation and pledge, so participants can refer to the data at any time -- while tracking their personal improvements over time.


In The 11th Hour, which debuted in four theaters last weekend in New York and Los Angeles and is opening across the U.S. and Canada this Friday, filmmakers Nadia Conners, Leila Conners Petersen and Leonardo DiCaprio set out to explore the larger story of the human experience on the planet. The film looks at how humanity has arrived at this moment; how we live, how we impact the earth's ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course. Featuring dialogues with more than 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who present the facts and discuss the most important issues that face our planet, the film examines the world economy, politics, personal transformation and environmental consciousness needed for our world to survive.


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"Regardless of who you are or what you do for a living, now is the time to identify how you can personally contribute to the issues at hand," said EarthLab creator, Duane Dahl. "We are proud to partner with The 11th Hour to help inspire action at every level. From individual action, up through our communities and to the state, national and international level, we want to help people translate this powerful documentary into action. Each of us can embed a green approach bit by bit into everyday living and greatly improve our community and earth."


EarthLab launched its first to market community on July 7, 2007 in conjunction with Live Earth. In less than seven weeks, the community has had over 700,000 people use the ECP calculator to track their personal carbon impact. The calculator is the first step for EarthLab members to become aware and make small earth-friendly lifestyle changes via easy-to-use tools and resources. The ECP calculator asks a short series of questions scientifically designed to analyze each individual's environmental footprint, and lets users compare their personal results to average scores by city, state, or country. Questions range from the size of residence to average utility bills, what kind of a car they drive, and personal energy habits.


The 11th Hour Challenge is now available through a link on The 11th Hour website http://www.11thhourfilm.com/ ("Reduce Your Score") and at http://www.earthlab.com/.


About EarthLab


EarthLab is the first and leading climate crisis community designed to be a voice and forum for people interested in leading a more earth-friendly, healthier and environmentally balanced lifestyle. EarthLab is a multi-platform media brand and gives a practical guide to green living. Via community interaction, content, surveys, and easy lifestyle tips to help the environment, EarthLab helps make a difference in your home, your neighborhood, your city, and the world.


Launched in conjunction with the historic Live Earth concert event on 7.07.07, EarthLab features the only carbon index and lifestyle profile that leads members through a personalized Earth Conservation Plan (ECP). The profile includes an easy-to-use survey that generates personal carbon output and ECP scores, and saves and tracks results. The creation of a personal and private strategy focused on environmentally friendly options provides an opportunity for individuals to educate and activate themselves while embedding a green approach to their lives. EarthLab members can make pledges to affect small changes in their lifestyles and habits to instill a green approach to living, which improves their score over time. EarthLab also offers exclusive Climate Crisis related content, advice from experts, and key analysis.


EarthLab maintains test and content accuracy by working closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Greenercars.org, Energy Information Administration (EIA), and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Test scores are directly linked to each member's ECP.


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