I like to take my time setting my annual intentions, spending the whole month of January slowly reflecting on my previous year’s progress, measuring my environmental footprint, and thinking of goals that will being me joy, connection, and reduced impact in the year to come.
I LOVE calculating my annual footprint! I’m a data junkie and love to use data to celebrate my accomplishments and drive my journey forward. I use this calculator from Global Footprint Network to measure my environmental footprint each year and have created a free course (with handouts and a 15-minute video) to help you get started calculating your footprint too.
In 2020, I made three major changes intended to reduce my footprint:
- No flights – we committed to a year of local family vacations, to exploring our amazing home state of Michigan and to discovering new and wonderful activities in our community. Little did I know, in January 2020, that a global pandemic would keep all of us so close to home last year, but even with the additional challenges of COVID we had some amazing family adventures with a slightly higher-than-usual focus on outside activities.
- Converted to 100% electric vehicle – in February 2020, we made the leap and bought a used Tesla. We spend months agonizing over the decision… 100% electric or a plug-in hybrid? Tesla or another less expensive model? In the end, we decided to invest our hard earned dollars in alignment with our values and I can’t tell you how good it feels not to be burning gasoline anymore!
- Increased my focus on preserving local food for winter – over the summer months I spent countless hours in our backyard vegetable garden and in the U-pick fields near our home. I canned, froze, and dehydrated so much local fruit and vegetables… see the list below! During my journey, I created another free course for you to help you incorporate these age-old preservation techniques into your life.
- 120 pounds of tart cherries
- 50 pounds of blueberries
- 30 pounds of strawberries
- 10 dozen ears of corn
- 50 pints of tomato sauce
- 2 cups of tomato paste
- and dozens of smaller batches of roasted asparagus, red peppers, dilly beans, sun dried tomatoes and more!
And my three changes worked! I was able to reduce my footprint from 2.5 earths in 2019, to 1.4 in 2020! It’s still too many resources (a truly sustainable life requires everyone to use the resources of less than 1 Earth), but I’m SO proud of my progress!
Have you calculated your 2020 footprint? Did you have specific goals in 2020 to make your life more sustainable? Tell me about your goals, footprint, or progress in the comments!