Five simple tips to reduce your environmental impact at home

Sustainability at home is about you!  Image courtesy of Man-as-Thep

Sustainability at home is about you! Image courtesy of Man-as-Thep

This week has been big in the world of climate activism. Swedish teenager and climate activist Greta Thunberg’s speech at the United Nations was passionate and determined. Students around the world are supporting her call for action and are striking for climate change. Teachers, parents, and businesses are joining the students - a show of solidarity that they are not alone in their need for urgent action.

It got me thinking, urgent action from who? The government? Big business? The superhero in a suit that’s been waiting in the wings until we call her on the bat phone? Surely we all have a role to play. Surely every one of us has a chance to make a difference.

What can I do?

Often when I speak with people about climate change there is a sense of helplessness - the problem is too big, what difference can one person make? Surely someone else needs to sort this deep doodoo out?

Let me remind you of the difference that one person can make:

  • Gandhi

  • Martin Luther King

  • Greta Thunberg

  • You!

Five tips to reduce your environmental impact

There are lots of ways you can have a positive impact locally and globally. Here’s a few of my favourites:

  1. Fly less, and use less petrol & diesel

    One of the fastest and easiest ways to reduce your impact is to cut back on flights and use less fuel. Think video calling, cycling and car-pooling.

  2. Compost, and reduce food waste

    Once food waste hits the landfill it produces methane - and that’s really not a good thing. Composting and buying only as much as you need can really help.

  3. Buy less stuff / buy secondhand and local

    Everything you buy has a footprint (toys, clothes, homeware, electronics). Less really is best. More stuff is just more clutter anyway - Marie Kondo and all that right?!

  4. Be informed

    Support businesses that support the planet. There are some amazing businesses making a real difference with their products and services. Let your wallet become your climate activist side-kick and let your dollars do the talking.

  5. Talk about it

    Share your wins. You don’t need to be a dick about it and get all preachy- it’s not a competition. It’s just about letting others know there are things we can each do to make a difference - it’s not all resting in someone else’s hands.

So go on, what’s stopping you? Let’s do this!

Oh, and I’d love to hear your success stories! Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Telling powerful stories

Sustainability storytelling gives you wings

Sustainability storytelling gives you wings

There is power in stories. The stories we tell ourselves, and the stories we tell each other. Since ancient days stories have been the tool we use to create change. Stories to educate, to discourage bad behaviour, to uplift and inspire in times of hardship.

When you share a story, it becomes bigger than you. It takes on wings, it flies to the next person, and the next person, and the next. Until suddenly it’s no longer just you against the world, it’s all of us.

We can spend time sharing tales of misery and woe, of how the world is burning and it’s too late to put the fire out. But what about if we started talking about the great stuff?

Taking the first step

Measuring your impact is really important. Knowing where you’re at as a business helps you benchmark yourself against the competition, it shows you where your gaps are, and it gives you a path to follow.

The value to your business

Once you’re on the measurement path, the power is in the story you tell. Sharing your wins and your challenges with your customers and your team creates a bond that’s hard to break. They’ll stick with you through thick and thin if they know you’re about more than profit.

It’s also a pretty good way to build up resilience for the tough times. Legislation is changing and businesses who ignore their impact on their community and environment do so at their peril. And take a look at your competition. It’s not a good idea to be left behind in the dust.  

Key ingredients of a good story

1.  Think about who you’re talking to. Use their language, think about what matters to them

2.  Find your key message, and keep it really simple. Repitition is key.

3.  Be authentic, be honest. It really doesn’t matter if you’ve just started your journey, ask your customers and staff to come along for the ride with you. They will become part of the journey

4.  Tell your story in the right place, at the right time. It’s not just a numbers game, it’s about reaching your target audience when they are ready to hear what you’re saying.