Let's Be Hands On.
Today in ‘March Meet the Maker’ the prompt is ‘Hands on’.
I decided to look at this prompt a little differently. My brand has been built around being hands on, with everything designed, developed, made and produced by me. There is also the added involvement of my clients; who pick the materials, colours and are engaged throughout the process. The first thing that came to mind when I read ‘hands on’ was sustainability. The idea that everyone needs to be hands on in making changes to their lifestyle to help the environment.
I have recently become aware of a new way of looking at your environmental footprint. Everyone is familiar with your ecological footprint, which looks at the environmental impacts someone is ‘accountable’ for. Well now there is also hand-print thinking. It is essentially a NET-positive approach to sustainability.
It primarily focuses on encouraging actions with positive impacts, while also connecting analysis of footprint reductions but adding value to them. Your ‘footprint’ usually encompasses physical impacts; ‘handprint’ analysis also includes other more cultural relationships. It especially looks at social links, and is a slightly more subjective method of measuring. This way of thinking is somewhat more positive, particularly for how individuals analyse their own choices.
“The handprint emphasises an entity’s positive impacts, in contrast to the negative impacts connoted by the footprint concept” Earths future journal. “It’s positive framing shifts the focus to opportunities rather than blame and emphasises what is possible rather that what is going wrong”
Yes, I think we should be aware and realise the problems and issues we have created but I think that handprint thinking allows us as individuals to make small lifestyle changes that are environmentally friendly. It can sometimes become overwhelming thinking how we as individuals can make a difference. I feel that by using the ‘handprint’ method it lets us recognise what changes we are making and how actually they are and will help to contribute to the environment.
So, what changes can you make to help contribute to your ecological handprint. Well, there are many but here are some that I have listed:
1.) Make a conscious effort to use renewable sources of energy.
2.) Conserve and save water! This is one I’ve always felt passionate about as it’s an easy one that we can all do. It actually fascinates me how some people unconsciously (I hope) waste water. (1) When you’re cleaning your teeth, there is NO need for the tap to be running for the entirety. (2) Another great and easy way is to have a water butt in your garden. This way you can collect rainwater and use this to water your plants, wash off muddy boots etc.
3.) Try to eat local. By this I mean locally source rather than your local corporate chain.
4.) Get involved in community projects and education. Education is really key as children are the planets and our future.
5.) Walk and cycle wherever possible. (I know it seems obvious).
6.) Talk to others! By talking about sustainability and environmental changes, you may influence or help inform others, likewise they may educate you on something you didn’t know about. The more we talk about tit the better educated everyone becomes.
7.) Shopping! Think before buying, do you actually NEED this. Also be conscious in who you shop with, you may be indirectly supporting something that is massively against your own morals.
We as a society need to be more conscious consumers and stand together in our choices consequently forcing the bigger corporations to take responsibility. An issue that we all face is these larger companies have made it so easy for us to sit at home and buy something, we are NOT consciously consuming. We have it delivered the next day, then maybe return it the following day. We don’t think about how it has travelled x distance to get to us then x distance to get back and then likely will be thrown away and not resold.
We need to stop and think when buying. I’m not preaching as I too can be bad and it is hard to resist, when something is made so readily (& cheaply) available to you. It is so easy to think ‘oh I need that, great here tomorrow easy peasey’ but actually this is supporting the large companies and their business models. Which ultimately are only built to make money for the top tier and take no care for the environment. Yes a lot of them say that they have contributed this amount to a charity or have electric vans etc (cough cough…. I have never seen these so called electric amazon vans…. Just saying). However, to really help stop/slow down global warning and the affects on the environment, they need to adjust and change not throw money at the problem to hide their involvement and contributions. I saw some stats from Ecologi the other day which show that although “2020 saw one of the most dramatic drops in human CO2 emissions ever recorded” there was actually an increase in warming! This is basically to do with how long the CO2 (and other gases) dwell in the atmosphere “CO2 we emit stays in the atmosphere for hundreds even thousands of years.”Ecologi. The way we produce, travel, shop etc needs to be adapted to work for the environment not somebody’s wallet. Easier said than done I know, but we need to make bigger corporation take responsibility and see them change their fundamental runnings of their business not just ignore and fund a charity (although this is great, and the charities I’m sure need the support). Yes, we do need these charities and projects to happen but not as cover ups. Sadly, I think it’s again down to us individuals to push for change.
I’ll leave you with that and hope you join in!