It's National Sweater Day in Canada. I'm wearing my jumper today, how about you?
Quick facts about National Sweater Day (February 7 in Canada)*:
- What is it? It's a campaign by WWF Canada (World Wildlife Fund) to educate Canadians about energy conservation, reducing their carbon footprint, while also shaping social behaviour in a way that's easy, fun and accessible.
- How does it work? Participants commit to turning down their thermostat (either at home or work or both) 2 degrees celcius on February 7, and put on a sweater instead.
- Why Canada? Canada is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change, but as a nation it is one of the highest consumers of energy.
- Okay, so how is this going to help? Last year 1.5 million Canadians took part. If every Canadian lowered the heat by 2 degrees celcius this winter, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 megatons!
*Quick facts from resource materials provided by WWF at SweaterDay.ca.
With my social issues marketing background hat on, I have to say that I think it's a pretty clever campaign. It's smart, fun, and easy. Easy = accessible. We all know that people want to do their part for a cause (in this case, the environment) but life can often get in the way of good intentions. This campaign breaks it down to the easiest possible thing you can do - turn down your heat and put on a sweater! Then make sure the educational resources for talking to folks are also easy to understand. That way it works both for kids and families, as well as corporations that want to participate.
It doesn't hurt either, that the fun and cheekiness of the message is ideal for social media. In the current global economy where marketing dollars are harder and harder to come by (not to mention all the messages that we're deluged by daily anyway), the campaign is easily sharable across multiple social networks. How about a Pinterest board of "ugly sweaters"? Sure beats all the red, white and pink pins about Valentine's Day out there right now, right?
There's an added quirk to this year's campaign though that has me scratching my head with my knitters hat on, and that is the addition of the "Granny Call Centre" where you can "Book a Granny" to call you on National Sweater Day with your reminder to put on a sweater. It's cute. I get it. Not only does your Granny knit, she's also the one most likely to tell you to put on a sweater. BUT FOR THE LOVE OF PETE PEOPLE!!! GRANNIES ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES WHO KNIT!!!
And no, I don't think that at the age of 38 I'm just being overly sensitive about getting older. When I'm a Granny myself will I still be knitting? I sure hope so. In the meantime as a knitter do I identify as a Granny-type? Hell to the no. It's really the stereotyping that I object to, even though I realize it's not likely to happen that there would be a campaign that shows how hip, awesome, sometimes subversive, always cool, quirky, fun and even sexy knitters can be. But I think that would be very real, and just as accessible.
Of course, not everyone has a knitter. Whether she knits or not, everyone has a Granny, which is what helps to keep the campaign accessible, and with that grassroots feel. Don't you get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about Grannies across Canada mobilizing their loved ones for the cause?
Go - hug your Granny, turn down the heat, and put on a sweater.
* Before I forget, I meant to thank Rachel in my post yesterday for gifting me the lovely Hello Yarn fiber for Christmas. Thanks bella!
** And hey! If you've got your own thoughts/comments on the "knitters are Grannies" conundrum that we knitters often find ourselves in, I'd love to hear them. Please leave a post in the comments!