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First Green Britain Day launched to cut down Britain's carbon footprint before 2012

8th July 2009

Friday will be the first Green Britain Day in a hope to start the process of cutting our carbon footprint in time for the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Among the celebrities taking part are Olympic hero James Cracknell and gold medal Paralympic swimmer Eleanor Simmonds, rower Tom James and gymnast Louis Smith. Edf Energy, the first sustainability partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, has come up with a range of ways you can help.

Pupils at more than 800 schools across the country have been working out how the nation can go greener before the Games. On Friday, they will open their doors to invite local communities to share their energy-saving ideas.

At 20 cities, including London, Bristol, Brighton and Edinburgh, there will be eco-events to help people learn more about going green.

The free advice will include cycle surgeries to help you leave your car and get back on your bike. Garden experts will also give tips on how to grow your own fruit and vegetables.

You can even sign up to your own team at the Team Green Britain website. Log on and pick an area of your life where you feel you can make the most difference - whether it's what you eat, wear, or how you travel.

Team Swap encourages people to exchange unwanted clothes by holding "swap shop" parties. And by joining Team Energy, you can find how to save up to 20 per cent off energy bills.

Olympic gold medal cyclist Victoria Pendleton will show us how to make our wardrobes more sustainable. She will be wearing a green Union Flag dress made by British designer Wayne Hemingway using recycled materials.

In this first year, Green Britain Day, which is expected to become an annual event, will climax with a concert at the Eden Project, starring rock legend Paul Weller and indie soul band Florence and the Machine.

Double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell said "Three years from now, Britain will play host to the biggest show on earth.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to inspire people across the globe with the very best of British - including worldleading environmental change.

"We must, as a nation, start taking action now."

Sebastian Coe, chair of the games' organising committee, commented: "London 2012 is all about using the power of the games to inspire change and it's fantastic to see EDF Energy, the first sustainability partner of London 2012, taking this on in their activation.

"The Green Britain Day campaign is a great way for people to come together and make a difference."

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, which is sponsoring the London games as sustainability partner, said: "Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing us. As an energy company, EDF Energy has a responsibility to be at the heart of the solution to climate change and we have the expertise to help people use their energy more efficiently."

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