While today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the Trello team believes we should celebrate our planet each and every day.
Turns out, it’s a pretty important place. After all, Earth is where all living things (that we know of) call home for their entire lives. With approximately 7 billion of those living things being human beings, it’s no wonder that humanity’s carbon footprint has increased 11-fold since 1961.
What Is A Carbon Footprint?
Coined by two incredibly intelligent scientists (with equally posh-sounding names), William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel, the carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon emissions associated with the activities of a person.
For the rest of us averagely-intelligent folks, these emissions refer to fossil-fuels produced by heating, transportation, manufacturing, and electricity. You know, things humans do on the daily. The more of these activities a person participates in, the bigger their lifetime carbon footprint becomes.
The smaller your carbon footprint is, the smaller the impact your activities have made on the Earth’s climate.
But how can you measure your footprint accurately and adjust your lifestyle accordingly?
SMART Goals Lead To Lasting (Climate) Change
We partnered with the Business Council on Climate Change to create a Trello Template called “My Climate Action Plan” (MyCAP) that helps you measure your carbon footprint and set SMART goals to make a lasting change.
If you’re not familiar with “SMART” goals, they are goals that are:
In other words, they are goals that map out to a final destination, rather than goals that are vague or don’t hold you accountable to an outcome.
Step 1: Measure Your Carbon Footprint
UC Berkeley created a calculator, which in a few steps, measures things like your commute, energy consumption by household size, diet, and shopping habits. I’m a vegetarian so I knew I already had that going for me, but I was surprised to see how much my air travel affects my carbon footprint.
Step 2: Identify Opportunities For Change
What part of your carbon footprint was surprising? What are some small changes you can make in your everyday life that will contribute to lessening your overall mark on the planet? Turns out, the changes are more accessible than we may think! Try to identify an opportunity to decrease your footprint in each of these four key areas:
With many countries currently sheltering-in-place, now is a great time to reflect on your transportation habits and think about what changes you can make in the future that will contribute to better air quality and a healthier planet.
In my case, completely eliminating air travel may not be in the cards, but I can definitely set limits on the number of flights I’m willing to take per year and try to walk more places instead of hopping in a rideshare.
Step 3: Goal Setting
Now that you know your habits and have identified potential areas for change, see if there are ways that your actions can support your community’s goals. Does your company, city, or state have climate-related goals?
Create a list of your sustainability goals in your Climate Trello board to keep them top of mind.
Next, hold yourself accountable by writing down your SMART goal for each section: food, transportation, energy, and waste. Remember, each goal should be specific about what you want to change and by when.
This year, I will take 2 flights per quarter instead of 3, and will prioritize work trips that cannot accomplish the same outcomes over video. I will also walk anywhere that is less than 1 mile away and take rideshare no more than 2x per week.
Step 4: Get Involved
Oil spills, smog, and polluted rivers prompted the launch of the first Earth Day in 1970. While we’ve made a lot of progress in the past 50 years, organizations like Project Drawdown have identified what we need to do to reverse global warming: it will require consistent action to make a lasting change.
There are many more ways to get involved so do your part, do you research, and lend a helping hand to Mother Nature and your fellow earthlings.
We hope you’ll join us in the fight for our environment by making your very own MyCAP Trello Board. Make a copy, customize it by adding your own resources and references, and share it with your community (and us! @trello) using #MyCAP #EarthDay2020.
Good or bad, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello)!