Just about everyone is going green. Nearly 80 percent of professionals have made changes to behave in a more sustainable manner while two-thirds of American adults notice green efforts going on around them, according to SCA’s 2011 Tork Report.
In the debate that surrounds climate change and how our actions impact greenhouse gases, the question of “what’s your carbon footprint?” is frequently raised. Understanding the negative impact from emissions and embedded carbon as a result of our daily decisions is extremely important, but it also a daunting and potentially confusing undertaking.
Instead, what if we started to focus on the good things we do to improve the environment? Consider a recent concept called environmental handprint, which measures the positive impacts we make by changing our habits at work and at home. It is a simple, action-orientated concept that is much easier to understand.
Start by taking a minute out of your hectic day to think about your consumption behavior. What are you buying, using and throwing away? Then apply the sustainability fundamentals of reduce, reuse and recycle. When you buy less, use things longer and seek better end-of-use options beyond burying items in a hole, you will naturally reduce your overall footprint. Logic says embedded carbon and costs will also be reduced while spending budgets should improve.
Taking it a step further, at Handprinter you enter an idea with a positive impact for people or the planet and share it through social media. Every time someone pledges to implement your idea, you get credit. You also get credit for getting your social contacts involved.
So instead of focusing solely on the negative impact of your footprint, combine it with your handprint for a more complete picture of how you interact with the planet. The handprint is about doing more good, and that is really what sustainability is about. And you may find raising your hand instead of stomping your foot pretty rewarding.