Day 2

Footprint

SPONSORED BY  

Guayaki
The Story of Stuff Project

OVERVIEW

We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. – Native American Proverb

Everywhere we go and everything we do has an impact on our planet, an impact that is called our ecological footprint.

An ecological footprint measures the resources we use, either directly or indirectly. Sometimes it’s obvious, like the amount of water used while taking a shower. More often than not, it’s harder to see, like fossil fuels used to transport food to your plate. When you add up the resources each of us consumes both directly and indirectly, the collective impact is far greater than one probably imagines. 

A large component of our ecological footprint is our carbon footprint, which is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we use. Everyday activities like driving cars, heating and cooling homes, and turning on lights all contribute to our carbon footprint and to the greenhouse gas effect, about which you will learn more below. 

You may not think a 15-minute drive to school or plate of food at mealtime has a big impact, but it adds up! The average American drives 11,000 miles a year, which comes out to approximately 31,350 gallons of gasoline over a lifetime, while the average American household produces about 8 tons of carbon per year related to food. These contribute to an average individual footprint exceeding 20 tons of carbon.

Why does this matter? As more CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere, excess heat is trapped in a process known as the greenhouse effect. When the sun’s energy reaches the Earth’s atmosphere, some is reflected back to space, while the rest is absorbed and re-radiated by greenhouse gases.

Today, a pressing problem we face is that human activities – especially the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, agriculture and land clearing – are increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases. This exacerbates the greenhouse effect, further escalating global warming and the climate crisis. Detrimental and irreversible climate change is occurring before our eyes. The past five years have been the hottest on record, which 2019 is expected to meet or surpass.

Given all of this, how can you make a difference to address this massive, dire global challenge?

Individuals have more power than you think. Recognize the power of our individual human handprint! Unlike acarbon footprint, we see the handprint as reflecting positive environmental impacts at an individual level. Through choice, you can prompt a ripple effect that inspires another, reduces carbon footprints, even affects large scale change. By standing up, speaking out and living a life aligned with values, every one of us can positively impact our communities.

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

THINK:

Small changes in daily habits and consumption patterns may not seem significant in a world of nearly 8 billion people, but every decision contributes to the well-being of humans, other species and the planet. What would the world look like if each person simply consumed less stuff and demanded more ethically-produced goods? Instead of supporting a company with practices that harm the planet, consider companies like today’s partner, Everyone, that work hard to ensure a small footprint by using certified organic ingredients in a zero waste factory, among other environmentally and socially-conscious actions. All of these elements add up to meaningful positive impact. 

CHALLENGE

First, look at today’s video explaining the ecological footprint and watch this video explaining Global Warming. Share something you learned from each (2 sentences).

Then, calculate your footprint using Global Footprint Network’s calculator.

  • What are your results? How many planets does it take to support your lifestyle?
  • What three activities in your life are most resource-intensive? Of these activities, which would be the hardest to make less resource-intensive? Which would be the easiest? Why?
  • Choose one action that you can take today to reduce your carbon footprint (This doesn’t have to be big! In fact, the more manageable, the better. Remember: every step counts, and consistency is key for creating lasting change)
  • Share that action, along with your results and a link to Global Footprint Network’s calculator on social media. Challenge others to calculate their carbon footprint and to take action to reduce it. Make sure to tag @TurningGreenOrg and include #PGC2019.

DELIVERABLES: 

Upload your responses in a PDF document including a screenshot of your social post. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see the upload button you will need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2019
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greener

40 POINTS

THINK: 

Earth Overshoot Day refers to the date at which time humans have used more resources than what Earth can naturally replenish in the entire calendar year. This year, Earth Overshoot Day occurred on July 29. In 2018, it was on August 1. In 1970, it fell on December 29, meaning human consumption was far closer to being in line with the capacity of the planet. Even though this year’s Overshoot Day has already occurred, it is never too late to join the movement to #movethedate in 2020 to ensure the health and wellbeing of people and planet. This challenge will empower you to help that movement! 

CHALLENGE

Watch this video here and become familiar with Global Footprint Network’s Earth Overshoot Day campaign. Browse through their webpage here

Choose one of GFN’s steps to help #movethedate and take the step. Answer the following questions: 

  • Which step did you take? 
  • What is your plan to follow through with that step?
  • Show us evidence of your pledge with a photo or video.

DELIVERABLES: 

Upload your responses in a PDF document. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see the upload button you will need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2019
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

Greenest

60 POINTS

THINK:

You have seen first hand that individual actions can make a massive difference in our ecological footprint, but that is only part of the solution. Consider this: ⅓of the world’s people consume ¾ of the global resources. This out-of-balance consumption cannot be reversed by individual action alone; leaders need to implement policies focused on equity and sustainability. They have the power to decrease ecological footprints on a global scale by creating and mandating policies for a sustainable future. Given this, what do you think our world leaders should be doing to drive change?  

CHALLENGE: 

First, watch this video from youth environmental activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez to become inspired to hold leaders accountable. 

Now, it’s time to get creative! Produce an informative, inspiring and mobilizing response to bring awareness to our global footprint crisis and prompt leaders to enact policy changes that mitigate climate change. 

  • Create a video, song, poem, painting, drawing, etc. to show what you want your leaders to act upon. Share at least two policies that your leaders should support. 
  • Send these demands to your leaders via email and/or by posting on social media and tagging their accounts. 
    • Bonus points if you get a response! Simply email info@turninggreen.org by October 15, if you hear back, with screenshots of the exchange.

DELIVERABLES:  

Upload your responses in a PDF document. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see the upload button you will need to log in
  • Submit all entries as PDFs; no Word or Pages documents
  • Be sure to include all content for your submission in one document
  • Save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2019.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Do not upload a file larger than 5 MB
  • You will see a confirmation in green that your submission uploaded correctly; if you do not see this confirmation, please try again
  • If your total points does not change, your submission did not load correctly, please try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • Send any questions to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and use #PGC2019
The deadline for entering this challenge has past.

TODAY’S PRIZES

Up to 10 Greener and 10 Greenest of the most outstanding submissions will be chosen as winners and awarded prize points to redeem in the PGC Prize Store. Greener wins = 75 prize points, Greenest wins = 100 prize points. Check the Winners page to see if you’re selected!

 

5 submissions will be randomly selected to receive:

Everyone Balance Shampoo
Everyone Balance Conditioner
Everyone Tame Hair Cream
Everyone Tea Tree & Lavender Deodorant
Rodale Global Warming Handbook

Each time you submit a challenge, you get an entry. Complete Green, Greener, and Greenest to triple your chances!

Extended deadlines and extra credits do not apply.