Who is your Eco-Hero of the Decade? Vote now!

Who would your top eco-hero of the past decade be: David Attenborough? Greta Thunberg? Here’s your chance to vote and have your say

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UK’s biggest environmental awards, the People Environment Achievement Awards (PEA Awards) are asking the public to nominate their ‘Eco-Hero Of The Decade’ for a special award.

Anyone can vote for the person or team of people (either nationally or internationally) who they consider has done the most since 2010 to move us closer towards a more sustainable world.

Eco-Hero David Attenborough

Closing date for nominations is 23 October, 2020, with entries via the PEA Awards website: peaawards.com

An all-female panel of leading environmental figures will judge the award, and its presentation will be at a special ‘green-carpet’ online ceremony on 20 November, 2020.

Past award recipients include: Julia Davenport, who founded UK renewable energy supplier, Good Energy; Cat Fletcher, who started Freegle, the international free recycling website; Mike Barry of Marks & Spencer, who drove the company’s Plan A campaign; and sisters Theresa Walton and Mary Strong, whose challenge to produce the least plastic waste in a year won the Greenest Family award.

The PEA Awards were established in 2010. This year’s sponsors include Citrix, Delphina Hotels & Resorts, Octopus Energy, Yeo Valley, Interface, Weleda, myenergi, the Carbon Trust and My Green Pod.

One of the co-founders of the awards, Jarvis Smith, left a successful career in advertising and music to play his part in making the world a greener place after living on a landfill site for three weeks as part of a TV programme.

Eco-Hero Jarvis Smith and Katie Hill
Jarvis Smith and Katie Hill

“I was one of 11 people who took on Channel 4’s challenge to live on a landfill site using only what we found amongst the rubbish to build shelters, cooking facilities, and somewhere to shower and pee. The result was a programme called ‘Dumped’ in 2007,” he said.

“I was shocked to the core by the amount of rubbish we, as a society, were throwing away. I decided then and there to play my part in stopping this madness and help people live a greener life. I left my successful, well-paid jobs and set up a magazine and website where people can find green, ethical alternatives to mainstream products and services, which I now run with my wife, Katie Hill, and also set up the PEA Awards.

“We want to say thank you to those people, often unseen, sticking their necks out and putting themselves wholeheartedly into saving the world – and ultimately ourselves – often with little money or support.”

Fortunately, much has changed in the 10 years since the PEA Awards were set up. The sustainability movement has been through a time of great change, and momentum appears to be growing.

Key changes in the past decade include:

  • In 2010, the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first mass-produced electric car, was launched; within a decade, over 400,000 of the cars had been sold. Formula E motor racing meanwhile had become the first major sport to be certified carbon neutral.
  • The UK’s feed-in tariff scheme began with the government paying for each unit of renewable energy produced and for each unit fed into the national grid. By 2020, the scheme had been abolished, and yet 47% of the UK’s energy needs in the first quarter of 2020 still came from renewable sources.
  • Caroline Lucas became the UK’s first Green Party MP in 2010. No others had followed her into the House of Commons by 2020 and only two Green Party members are in the House of Lords. Local authorities fare much better, however: the Green Party holds 362 seats on 120 different councils.

Vote for your Eco-Hero Of The Decade here: peaawards.com

(Closing date for nominations: 23 October, 2020)