sites/all/files/350_birdman_logo.jpgThis is the thing that I love about the 350 movement: people don't just wait for the team to tell them what to do and when to do it – they just get moving and self-organise massive events to build the 350 movement in their local area.  

Here in New Zealand the year has literally got off to a flying start thanks to the efforts of a local Wellington organiser, Martin Wilson, who coordinated this weekend's 350 Birdman. The birdman concept is simple and carbon-neutral: it's a competition to see who can make the best wings/costume without any mechanical or fossil-fueled assistance. And that is tested by running off a platform at the end of the wharf.

I got stuck in and built a pair of wings out of large cardboard sheets, with bamboo sticks woven through to make the wings rigid–here's a great pic of me in the air by local photographer Mark Tantrum:

The top of the wings featured a couple of painted solar panels to promote the Solar Saver project that we got running here in New Zealand – to make solar hot water heating affordable and widely used. As I jumped there was a feeling for a second as my wings took flight – I felt like a bird – but then I rapidly plunged into the water – like all the other jumpers had.

I'm already thinking about my design for next year, as I got that whiff of flying like a bird. Events like this are great for promoting this most important number: 350. With some fun stalls and live music passers-by come to find out about 350, and the local media love to come and take photos.

How about organising a 350 Birdman in your area?

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