A Mother and Daughter Reduce Their Use of Oil and Fossil Fuels with the 50% Now Pledge

Jeniffer Hamilton and Osie, her 6 year old daughter, are committed FOUR YEARS. GO.ers, that like others, unceasingly continue to inspire us. Their passion and initiatives are extraordinary examples of compassion, determination, and living proof of the simple things we can do to shift humanity onto a sustainable, just and fulfilling path! Thus, we decided to let Jennifer herself tell us about what she and Osie have been up to this summer.

1. What is 50% NOW?

50% NOW is a pledge for individuals, organizations, businesses and politicians to reduce their use of oil and fossil fuels by 50%, starting NOW.

2. How did you get started?

The development of the 50% NOW pledge was actually sparked as a result of online conversations to create a pledge to hand out to participants during the Hands Across the Sand event held on June 26th. However, the original idea at the time was for a 10% reduction.

As we began discussing the pledge…I stated that the 10% target was hard for me to conceptualize, in that I do not know what 10% looks or feels like, and those who I asked could not really tell me what a 10% reduction would look like either. I later suggested that we raise the percentage to a clean 50%, in that it is easier to say, “Okay, to honor this pledge I need to cut my driving habits in half, decrease my use of electricity powered by coal by half, etc. etc”.

And thus… the 50% NOW pledge was born!

3. What have been the main challenges so far?

Getting around town without a car has been my main challenge so far.

I know this sounds silly but I have a huge fear of public transportation due to a bad experience where I got hopelessly lost in a new-to-me city by getting on the wrong bus.

So my only other option besides my own two feet is my rusty $15 bike; it’s a bit small and has only a single speed, with a persistent squeak – but hey, it gets me to the library and back, and in no time I will have some super sexy legs from all that pedalin.

p.s. I am saving up for a Long Tail bike which will make getting around the city a lot easier!

4. What have been the most common reactions to your initiative?

It is funny but the two main reactions I get are…”Wow 50% is a bit steep” or “50% is not enough.” These reactions, I think, speak to our confusion about how to move forward toward getting away from our addiction to oil and fossil fuels. We are in the midst of a challenging transition, and many people I speak with feel overwhelmed.

When I hear these responses, I try my best to listen deeply and then speak from my heart about why my daughter and I have taken the 50% NOW pledge, explaining that the percentage is not really the important part. The pledge is our way of acknowledging our role in the current crisis and our dedication to being a part of the solution.

5. Kids play an important role in your efforts. How do you integrate them and what can we learn from them?

Yes they do…I strongly believe that kids are POWERFUL change agents. In fact, two 6yr olds (my daughter, Osie and her friend, Joy) helped design the pledge we have for kids.

My daughter is amazing at reminding me about our pledge and at coming up with creative solutions to meeting our needs without the use of oil or fossil fuels. Her enthusiasm for life reminds me every day to honor the pledge we made together.

6. What would you tell other FOUR YEARS.GO.ers to inspire them to take the 50% NOW pledge?

The idea of the 50% NOW pledge is to begin right NOW, where you are, with what you have and what you know.

As more and more people take the pledge to reduce their use of oil and fossil fuels by 50%, starting NOW, the more momentum, support, and fun we all can have as we share the joy of being in action to ensure a livable world for all living things!!!

And as one of my blog posts states… “That’s right folks…going “green” is not always fancy! ; – ) But it sure is super cool!!”

You can learn more by visiting the 50% NOW Facebook page or blog.


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