A website aimed at pushing Canadians to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions launched Wednesday, withthe backing of the Ontario government, environmental organizations, Virgin Mobile and MuchMusic, among others.
Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin companies, and Ontario Environment Minister Laurel Broten officially launched the site, Flick Off, in Toronto.
Branson said the site is aimed at "encouraging Canadians to challenge their friends, family and neighbours to get involved and be excited about the difference they can make in the world around them."
Oneof the website's highlights isthe One Less Tonne interactive tool, which lets consumers calculate their own CO2 emissions and learn how to cut emissions through "simple, specific changes," Flick Off said.
"If everybody flicks off — if everybody starts conserving energy — it'll make a huge difference," Flick Off said in a release Wednesday.
It alsooffers information about global warming, an online poll, blogs andlinks, all presented inwhat the backers called an edgy andprovocative fashion.Roots, one of the companies backing the site, will be selling Flick Off products such as T-shirts andan action kit— billed as "your first all-purpose-global-warming-crime-fighting tool."
"Awareness is only part of our challenge — action is what's needed, and our goal is to get as many people as we can to log on to the website and then flick off," said Michael Budman of Roots.
Flick Off said itplans to hold a music festival in whichever Canadian community has the largestdrop in per-capita emissions over the summer.
The winner"will be rewarded with a Flick-Fest, their very own carbon-neutral music festival featuring some of Canada's best-known bands," the release said.
The project was started by a self-described green advertising agency, Key Gordon.
Other backers of the site include: Butterfield & Robinson, Bullfrog Power, Andora Graphics, NOW Magazine, Zoom Media, and theenvironmental organizations Environmental Defence,Clean Air Foundation and the Pembina Institute.
The House of Anansi Press agreed to publish a special Flick Offedition of the book Climate Change by Shelley Tanaka.