CC Pelmas and Sarah Lachance are as anxious to better the planet as the next greenie—but they’ve often found themselves turned off by the strident, sometimes dour, tone that the environmental movement can take on. “We really believe that there’s a majority of people out there who are feeling alienated by the environmental movement—immobilized by the lack of simple steps,” Pelmas explains. “There’s this sense that either I go vegan and always take the bus, or I don’t care about the health of the planet.”
Determined to provide themselves and others with a “starting point,” the Colorado-based mothers created Campaign Earth, which they describe as “a series of actions undertaken to achieve a sustainable future.” This spring they launched Campaign Earth, through which they issue simple monthly challenges that help ordinary people green up their lifestyles and lessen their oil dependency. The challenges are designed to ease people into feasible, accessible lifestyle changes such as recycling, minimizing junk mail, and swapping out conventional bulbs for compact fluorescents. The website charts how many people take the challenge each month, how much carbon dioxide their actions keep out of the atmosphere, and how much oil they save. In the near future, the site will allow people to talk to each other about what they’ve learned and how they’ve achieved their goals. Pelmas and Lachance hope to expand the group’s reach to schools and businesses and speak with many more individuals through informal gatherings across the country.