Track Your Own Footprints to Improve Our Carbon Emissions

Sky Capriolo

What exactly is a carbon footprint? According to the Nature Conservancy it’s the total amount of greenhouse gases that are generated by our actions. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, with carbon dioxide accounting for nearly 80% of global human-caused emissions. You can actually calculate your personal carbon footprint on a variety of websites. 

Listen to the Experts

Greenhouse gases are causing our planet’s temperature to rise, which is known as global warming. The gases we emit actually trap the heat from the sun inside our atmosphere. The root cause is from humans burning fossil fuels. These are some of the big ways we’ve caused the world to warm faster now than at any other point in history:

  • Generating power
  • Manufacturing goods
  • Cutting down trees
  • Producing food
  • Consuming too much 
  • Leaving behind too much waste

There are things each of us individually can do to help mitigate our own carbon footprint.

  • Avoid transportation if you can – get on that bike, or take a walk instead
  • Reduce your energy consumption – are solar panels an option?
  • Reuse rather than buy new – find that trendy thrift store near you

Maybe We Can Help

David Jobes, the owner and CEO at Motivation Excellence, has long been eco-minded. When he purchased the company in 2018, he introduced a “no paper policy.” Of course, we all use some paper, but we now file things in the cloud rather than in the dozens of filing cabinets we ended up selling or donating. He also used many eco-conscious options when designing our new headquarters a few years ago, including carbon-neutral floors, LED motion-activated lights, and a living wall of moss to reduce humidity and produce oxygen. 

I decided to ask my colleagues what they do to reduce their carbon footprints. Maybe they’ll give you an idea or two!

Lilly, in our travel department, says she:

  • Leaves reusable bags in her car so she doesn’t forget them when she shops
  • Omits all animal products from her diet and lifestyle
  • Loves the secondhand shops for furniture and clothing

Jillian works in our Traverse City office and collects bubble wrap from the building janitor to use for her own shipping. She also donates it to local thrift stores so they can wrap delicate treasures heading to a new home.  

Josee, our warehouse coordinator, likes to:

  • Hit resale shops 
  • Use reusable bags and water bottles
  • Turn off the lights when she leaves a room 
  • Consume the food she buys, rather than buy so much she has to throw some away

Michelle, our merchandise buyer, opts for conservation over convenience by:

  • Having fabric napkins and reusable party-ware for entertaining
  • Using a cooler-type bag for office lunches, and opting for fabric bags over plastic baggies
  • Switching soap dispensers to refillable ones
  • Composting year-round

Allison, our sales support assistant, offers that she:

  • Uses products from LastObject that replace single-use items
  • Switched to LED lighting, and uses timers 
  • Is very mindful of fully using groceries and personal products to reduce waste

Rhonda, our VP of Sales, looks at ways to conserve energy, like:

  • Driving a hybrid car
  • Installing solar panels on her home
  • Switching from jugs of laundry detergent to sheets that come in a recycled box

Personally, I have several things I do consistently, like:

  • Waiting for multiple needs before doing an online order
  • Having recycling receptacles in nearly every room
  • Rinsing out glass and plastic food containers so they can be recycled rather than trashed

I’m also starting to cut up t-shirts to use in lieu of paper towels and napkins. I’m not great at using them consistently yet, but I’m working on it.

Take One Step at a Time

And that’s just it, right? We all need to work at being better stewards of our own space on Earth. Convenience is amazing, but it will never be better than healthy living in a world full of renewable resources, clean water and air, and green spaces to enjoy! So, adjust your shopping habits, switch to reusable containers, or dig your own garden this summer and watch your carbon footprint start to fade. Even if it’s just a little, you can feel good about it, and it will likely lead to more adjustments in the future. Good luck!

Related Posts