“The Environment is in us, not outside of us. The trees are our lungs, the rivers our bloodstream. We are all interconnected, and what you do to the environment, ultimately you do to yourself.”
~ Ian Somerhalder, Actor
Welcome to Day 1 of Project Green Challenge!
Today starts your month-long transformation of mindset, habit, and action as you spend the next 30 days getting brave, bold and powerful as you create meaningful change. With unique daily themes from food to fitness, water to zero waste, and fashion to fair trade, you’re in for a massive dose of eco inspiration. Throughout the PGC experience you will become informed, reconfigure your lifestyle, and impact your life, campus and community. Yes YOU!
Each one of the thousands of students participating in PGC is unique. You may live at home, in a dorm, or off-campus. You may already be making some conscious lifestyle choices, or you may not know where to start. Regardless of where you’re at on the conscious living spectrum, have confidence that it’s exactly where you’re supposed to be.
PGC will inspire you to live your life with intention and integrity, encourage you to lessen your impact on human and environmental health and strengthen your voice for change around issues that ignite your passion.
Transforming your life is all about small steps leading to massive change, which brings us to our first challenge, Footprint. But what does that really mean? Here’s some insight.
Everywhere we go and everything we do has an impact on people and planet. The measurement of the impact of humans on nature and earth’s ecosystems is called an ecological footprint. So just how big is our impact on the earth? “Too big”, as environmentalist Bill McKibben says. In fact, our ecological footprint reached biocapacity in the 1970s, meaning that humans exhausted the Earth’s resources faster than they could naturally be replenished, more than forty years ago.
Our carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted as part of daily life. Activities like driving cars, using energy to heat and cool homes, turning on lights, all contribute to our carbon footprint. Why does that matter? Carbon dioxide is the top contributor to climate change, with an impact so BIG, that sometimes the facts and figures associated with it can be overwhelming and disturbing. In a year when each month has set a record as “the hottest month” in history, the impact is devastating and significant. Last week, Scientific American Magazine gave us some news that has to mobilize every human on the planet to change our course, “Earth’s CO2 Passes the 400 PPM (parts per million) Threshold – Maybe Permanently.”
So, what can one person do to minimize impacts? A lot actually. What can businesses, schools, and organizations do? A lot more! Together, there are tons of opportunities for change. Now that you understand what an ecological and carbon footprint are, it’s time to introduce the human footprint – a culmination of every “footprint” combined, at an individual level. That is, the human footprint is the environmental impact of one person over the course of their lives – in this case, YOURS.
Many ethical businesses are stepping up to the call for action to reduce our collective carbon footprint. Today’s partner, Guayaki is an excellent example; for every 454 grams (one pound) of Guayakí Yerba Mate consumed, 573 grams of carbon are reduced from the environment. Not only is Guayaki not contributing to elevating levels, but they’re also actively reducing their carbon footprint.
Ready to shift your personal habits to reduce YOUR human footprint? Let’s get started!
Before you can transition old habits to new habits, it’s important to assess your starting point. This challenge will give you the opportunity to assess where you are on the spectrum of conscious living.
Upload your responses in a PDF document. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
Simple changes may not seem significant in a world inhabited by 7 billion of us, but every decision each of us makes contributes to the health of our planet. Did you know that the United States has the second highest carbon footprint of any nation — right behind China? This has a lot to do with the U.S.’s manufacturing and consumption patterns. If every person on this planet lived like the average American, it would take more than five planet Earths to sustain us. But we’ve only got one, which means we need to change, and fast!
Upload your responses in a PDF document. Include a screenshot of your Facebook post, and list any responses. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.
So far on Day 1, you’ve reflected on your daily actions and come up with ways to change those patterns to reduce your carbon/ecological and human footprint. There are no limits to what we can accomplish when we use our purpose and passion as catalysts to drive change.
When you take even the smallest steps to mobilize, we hope you will become inspired to seek solutions to challenges that sometimes seem insurmountable. Take for example award winning producer/director and cinematographer, Louie Schwartzberg. He uses time lapse cinematography to break barriers, tell stories and connect with audiences to convey “What’s Possible”. Through his filmmaking, he raises the issues that challenge our world, and through his artistry, celebrates life and reveals the wisdom of nature, people and places.
Upload a PDF document with the link to your creative presentation. Include a screenshot of your post, and list any responses. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.