A 28-day challenge to show families in Nottingham how fun and easy it can be to go carbon-neutral formally ends tonight (Friday) with the sound of the Little John bell.

#28For28 has been running throughout August to raise awareness of climate issues and what small things can be done which add up to make a big difference.

The campaign formed part of Nottingham City Council’s pledge to become the first UK city to be carbon-neutral by 2028. This can only be achieved by everyone – residents, businesses and the authority – pulling together.

Tonight, at 20:28, the famous bell on the city’s Council House will sound 28 times to mark the end of the #28For28 campaign. The building will also be lit up in green.

The successful programme of events, which began on 1 August, has included:

  • A citywide effort to plant the 28,000 bee-friendly herb seeds across Nottingham
  • An NHS-run natural scavenger hunt
  • ‘Sustainable song-writing’ with local music producer
  • Three single-use plastics challenges
  • Nottingham Contemporary’s ‘art from nature’ challenge
  • Nottingham Forest’s ‘green chanting’ challenge
  • ‘Tech treasure hunt’ run by Boots
  • Clean Champions litter pick (weekly sign-up increased by more than 50 per cent over the course of campaign)
  • 28-mile cycle with Ridewise and Sustrans
  • Visual story-telling with local documentary-maker

All the activities were designed to be family-friendly and easy to do at home or in local neighbourhoods. A video was released at the start of each day, all made by a different partner organisation, providing information about the challenge and how to take part.

Councillor Sally Longford, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council and Portfolio Holder for Energy and the Environment, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to spread the message about the 28-Day Challenge and, most importantly, have some fun along the way. That’s so important because we all have to work together to reduce Nottingham’s carbon footprint by taking small, manageable steps. 

“There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a very difficult time for many, so the aim of this campaign throughout August was to create safe opportunities to make positive changes. We hope people found the challenges fun and enlightening.

“We were proud to make our pledge last year to become the UK’s first city to be carbon-neutral by 2028. We’re in a global climate emergency and we have to be bold – but we can’t do this alone. We need everyone in Nottingham to get on board so we can all do this together.

“During the Covid crisis we have all noticed clearer skies and cleaner air and perhaps appreciated wildlife more and maybe returned to slightly simpler ways of life.

“People have had to get used to using their cars less, walking and cycling more, perhaps thinking more carefully about what they are buying to reduce waste.

“We now need to build on that, putting climate action at the heart of a wider sustainability vision that delivers for people and the planet, so we can provide the foundation for economic recovery.”

Wayne Bexton, Head of Energy Services at Nottingham City Council, added: “We are delighted with the response to our 28-Day Challenge, which has raised awareness of Nottingham’s ambition to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral city by 2028.

“We’ve seen fantastic challenge videos from more than 20 different local businesses and organisations who we will continue to partner with to reach even more citizens in future.”