Low Impact Stories

Google bicycles after a rain shower on the Google Campus, Palo Alto, California, USA. Captured by David Masefield

Low Impact: the motivation to use less

Once I started to pay attention to how much I consume, my desire to use less grew quickly.

I am conscious that my actions create an impact on the planet. I consider myself to be a climate realist. I believe that every human has the ability to reduce their impact and none of us needs to wait for a law to be passed to make a positive change.

In the programs that I run to support new founders starting their own businesses, I encourage a triple-bottom-line approach. That means, considering how the business will impact people and the planet & be profitable. 

The founders need to be mindful of how their end-users will acquire, use/consume and dispose of the product, in addition to what goes into manufacturing the product from the original source materials, plus packaging, to where it is stored and how it is shipped.

The reality is though, that my default behaviours do not always align with what I believe is the ‘best’ action option. Even many of my conscious decisions do not align.

There must be more to life than having everything!

– Maurice Sendak, Author ‘Where the wild things are’

The choice to use less

When making a choice, there are many subconscious thoughts that influence or override the logical decision. Convenience, time, knowledge, expectations, assumptions and cost all play their part.

My attitude, location, energy levels and the present company also can influence my decisions, in a positive or negative way.

The purpose of these low-impact stories is to review my day-to-day activities, reflect on the action I took and determine what a better choice would look like. 

My challenge then is to be prepared for the next time I have the opportunity to make a similar decision, to create a method to catch myself at the decisive moment and consciously make the better choice.

Knowing whether my choice is actually better is also part of this journey. This is sometimes harder than it sounds, though often the better path is very obvious.

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

– Helen Keller

How to know if I am really using less

I enrolled to study Climatology at university as I wanted to know more about the environment and climate, and what influences and impacts them. I attended the Climate Reality Leadership training to meet other people who, like me, want us all to do better. 

Both of these opportunities helped me to better understand that the environment and humans are diverse and complex. Changing either requires a concerted effort.

I am devising a way to track, measure and reflect on my impact and create a simple, visual dashboard to display my results and the change that occurs.

Being realistic, I know that I cannot change everything all at once, so I will pick a few key areas to apply my focus at a time.

I hope that as you read these stories you decide to join me on my quest to use less. Share this story with any of your friends or family that also aspire to make better choices.

xo Joy

Latest Stories

Low Impact Focus Topics

Use less electricity with enjoylifeadventures.com. Laundry hanging out to dry. Boardgames. Working outside without air conditioning or artificial lighting. Washing dishes in the sink.

Use less - Electricity

The number of power points and light switches I have turned on, and for how long

Consume less food miles with enjoylifeadventures.com. Boxes of locally grown fruits and vegetables at the farmer's market in Bansko, Bulgaria. Three backyard chickens. Amanda looking a bit unsettled at the riverside fish market in Hanoi, Vietnam. Bowls full of freshly picked vegetables and berries from our home garden.

Consume less - Food Miles

The number of items that I purchase that came from more than 100km away

Produce less waste with enjoylifeadventures.com. Fixing something that is broken using tools. Buying art made from recycled waste products in Morocco. Carrying a reusable water bottle to the Eiffel Tower. Putting small vegetables into mesh bags at the farmer's market in Bulgaria.

Produce Less - Waste

The number of items that go into the compost, recycle and general waste bins

Create less CO2 emissions with enjoylifeadventures.com. Joy riding a bicycle beside a canalin Delft, The Netherlands. The wing of an aeroplane with a view of the bright lights of Istanbul, Turkey underneath and a glowing sunset on the horizon. The TGV fast train from Belgium to Paris. David driving an electric powered boat on a canal in Leiden, Netherlands.

Create less - CO2 Emissions

The method and duration of transit (eg. 12hr flight, 1hr car, 6hr train)

More low impact stories

Pin It on Pinterest