Resources for Animal Lovers: Shrink Your Footprint

If everyone lived like Americans, we’d need five planets to sustain us.

We need to start living like this is the only planet we’ve got. Because it is. And we’re not the only ones who need it.

This is a common theme in THE ANIMAL LOVER’S GUIDE TO CHANGING THE WORLD: Everything we buy and consume uses natural resources that wild animals rely on. So, one of the best ways we can leave more for wildlife is to take less for ourselves.

There are tips on how to do this throughout THE ANIMAL LOVER’S GUIDE, but here are a few of my favorite resources on curbing overconsumption from the book, plus a few more:

Global Footprint Network: Find out your personal ecological footprint (and learn how to shrink it), explore national ecological footprint data, discover how policymakers use footprint information to improve sustainability, and join the movement to #movethedate of Earth Overshoot Day.

New Dream: From tips to simplify holidays to a gift registry for experiences, New Dream offers a vision and resources to buck consumerism and build community.

EcoChallenge: Created by the Northwest Earth Institute and based on the book Drawdown by Paul Hawken, EcoChallenge provides dozens of actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint, while tracking your impact in real-time and competing against other teams.

Water – Use It Wisely: From the deserts of Arizona, this resource provides 100+ ways to save water, plus an online home water audit and guides to water-wise lawn and garden care.

Save the Food: We waste an astonishing amount of food — nearly 300 pounds per person each year. And when we toss food, we’re also throwing away all the land, water, energy, and everything else that went into producing it….which makes all that agricultural stress on wildlife for nothing. NRDC’s Save the Food campaign provides the facts on food waste and tips to help you shop smarter, meal plan, and use more of the food you buy to save money and save wildlife.

#NoApp4That: Post Carbon Institute takes a deep dive into whether technology can really save us from ourselves, no matter how much we consume. Spoiler: It can’t. We’re asking too much of our tech when we need to address our human-created problems on a human level first.

What are your favorite ways to curb overconsumption and shrink your footprint? Let me know @sfeldstein.

For more tips and resources on sustainable living, check out THE ANIMAL LOVER’S GUIDE TO CHANGING THE WORLD.