People often ask what personal actions they can do to reduce emissions most. I’ll give the answer by the numbers, then give a better answer. Sadly, most people who ask then respond with reasons why they can’t do anything, rationalizing that they are powerless when they aren’t. They just want to feel better.
By the numbers
As you can see, having fewer kids dwarfs everything.
I do all of the things in the chart and have never been happier, healthier, or connected to supportive community and family. I spend less money, have more free time, live more adventure, and connect more across cultures. What more do you want in life? Join the club.
What works better
I would add above all of those: Learn leadership skills, starting with personal leadership to live the values you intend for others to live by, then how to lead people to behavior they want to practice but haven’t figured out how.
Telling people information and what to do sometimes works, but leadership usually results from role models, listening, support, stories, images, beliefs, and other elements of culture.
Learning and practicing effective leadership skills adds to your personal effect. I’m doing this level with my podcast, This Sustainable Life.
The next level, learning to teach others to lead, multiplies your effect. I’m doing this with growing the This Sustainable Life podcast family. The other hosts lead their communities without me.
There’s another level: learning to teach others to teach others to lead. This level makes your effect exponential because it can spread beyond your circle and without you. I’m writing my book to do this level.
Leading others requires leading yourself, so they all begin with personal action.
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On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees