It doesn’t mean you can’t do the things you enjoy, but it’s about recognising that what we do has an environmental impact. And the biggest impact if from the consumption of resources.
There is a ‘warning on consumerism’ under the ‘Success Secrets’ tab on the NavBar. As well as the societal impacts of consumerism that are discussed in this ‘warning’, consumerism has a massive impact on the environment.
We consume water, power [mostly through fossil fuels] and forests. As a product of this consumption, we create millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases and waste to landfill every year. And not only are we doing very little to mitigate the effects of this, the poor old planet is losing its ability to soak up the mess as we continue to pollute waterways and destroy forests – the natural environmental filters that have kept mankind alive so far.
Some simple facts if I haven’t depressed you already:
There are some surprising ones too: Did you know that every meal of beef you eat has resulted in 6 kg of carbon dioxide being emitted and consumed 200 L of water? Meat and processed products in general have a large environmental footprint.
And did you know that most household cleaning products are based on petroleum and other harsh and toxic chemicals? Using traditional cleaning methods for general household cleaning can therefore be a lot letter for the environment – not to mention your own health!
So it’s not just what YOU do, but what has happened to a product before it even gets to you – the whole product lifecycle from cradle to grave has the potential to cause environmental harm, and some products are worse than others. As a general rule, the more ‘processed’ a product, the mode environmental harm it’s done along the way.
Mankind has immense power to destroy the environment [which we are doing very well at the moment], and we have the power to save it - if we chose to. I challenge you to chose to save the environment by setting your own personal environmental goals. How? Many people around the world are making small lifestyle changes to save the environment – while these changes are small, when everyone does it – the impact is BIG.
You can do your part too:
Helping to save the planet has synergies with other goals you may have for other life aspects, as environmental goals may also enhance:
If you join a conservation group, you may even meet some new friends or a partner!
Take these synergies into account during your goal-setting journey to kill 2 birds (or 2 goals) with the same stone! In other words, get the most out of your experience.
How to set environmental goals?
The ‘How to Set Goals’ tab on the NavBar goes through the goal setting process in detail – and that process applies to environmental goals too. Here are some more pointers specific to environmental goals.
Know your starting point: As with all goal-setting, to set environmental goals you need to know your starting point. You can define your starting point by asking:
Research sustainable living: Like all good goals, you need to ‘research’ the goal before you commit to it and to enable you to prepare suitable Action Plans for achieving it. So what do you need to know about ‘environmental’ goals? Well the important thing to find out is how YOU can make a difference with how you live your life – at home, at work and at play.
Use the environmental audit checklist in the ToolBOX [under ‘Environmental Goals’] as a guide to see where you can make improvements and check out other websites on environmentally smart living.
Most of these environmental improvements simply involve a small change in the way we do things and, while they may only have a small impact on their own, in combination with many other small changes in the way we do things, can have a large total impact on the environment.
Of course, making all these changes at the one time can be difficult, so set your environmental goals as a series of mini goals, tackling one environmental aspect at a time – you may start with one room of your house and get on top of that one before progressing to the next – or perhaps you may start by focusing on reducing energy use before looking at water and car fuel.
Anything you do to save resources will make a difference – and will make a difference straight away.
Monitoring Environmental Goals
Being able to measure progress towards a goal is critical for achieving goal setting success. To do this you need to know ‘how’ to measure goal progress and how to set realistic timeframes for your goal.
Because environmental goals focus on reducing consumption, measuring environmental goals can be done by measuring consumption [or rather, the reduction in consumption] such as:
There are also some more subjective measurements for environmental goals. Perhaps you still feel ‘empty’ after volunteering your time or making donations to worthwhile conservation funds or environmental organisations. A better measure for you may be a ranking type system based on a feeling of environmental contribution.
A template for monitoring environmental ‘consumption’ is available in the ToolBOX [under ‘Environmental Tools'].
Do YOU contribute to the environment? Tell YOUR story and inspire others to contribute to the environment…