Education for sustainable development is a key factor in achieving this transformation. It not only creates awareness, it also develops a community’s decision-making ability. Handprint is the symbol, measure and commitment to positive action towards sustainability.
It means caring and working together for a better future. While footprint is a measure of human pressure on the earth’s resources, handprint is a measure of what we can do individually and together to restore the balance between consumption and the planet’s carrying capacity.
It is Srija’s hand that shapes the sustainable handprint logo. Srija, visited the Holy Mary School in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh and left his mark when participating in a project involving actions for sustainability. She was 10 years old at the time.
Launched in 2007 by the Center for Environment Education (CEE) at the 4th UNESCO International Conference on Environmental Education held in Ahmedabad, India, the handprint represents the belief that we can make a difference through individual and collective actions to solve environmental problems.
This concept arose from one of the CEE Programs – Environmental Education in Schools of Andhra Pradesh (EESAP 2000 to 2008). The program, implemented in 1,500 schools, resulted in small action projects in and around schools and involving communities.
This demonstrated that while a rural child’s footprint may be minimal, their positive actions can be facilitated, supported and shared to inspire others (local communities and across the world) to act in ways that contribute to a positive impact on the environment.
HOW CAN I CALCULATE MY CARBON FOOTPRINT?
The carbonfootprint.com calculator is a dedicated resource that helps us not only calculate our carbon footprint, but also reduce it. A free tool that estimates how much CO2 we produce in a given period and highlights the less good areas of our lifestyle.
WHAT CAN I DO TO TRY TO MINIMIZE MY CARBON FOOTPRINT?
When we talk about sustainability, we immediately think about care for the environment, but sustainability does not just refer to this care, but constant attention to resource management, with a focus on what we will leave for the future. Being more sustainable is preserving nature so that it can serve other generations in a healthy way.
Here are some practical examples that can help you change behaviors:
Sustainable living at home
- Give preference to LED lighting
- Wear a sweater instead of turning on the heat.
- Try opening the windows and avoid using the air conditioner.
- Enjoy the sunshine.
- Turn off lights when leaving.
- Wash your clothes by hand, this also helps in the conservation of the pieces.
- Grow your own herbs.
- Turn off your devices at night, including wifi equipment.
- Buy a second-hand bicycle and start using it.
- Walk up the stairs.
- This also works like physical exercise.
- Use public transport.
- Take the opportunity to read or do things you wouldn’t do if you were driving.
- If available, use bicycle rental services.
- Adopt a car-free life if possible or invest in one with low polluting emissions.
- Do not use plastic bags.
- Buy your products in bulk at local producer markets.
- Avoid buying products packaged in plastic.
- Stop buying bottled water.
- Shop in bulk food stores and bring your own jars.
- Buy second-hand clothes whenever possible.
- Invest in better quality items that last longer.
- Support environmentally conscious brands.
- Learn to find sustainable materials when shopping.
- Reduce how often you wash your clothes.
- Donate clothes and accessories you no longer use.
- Transform old clothes into new clothes. For example, a dress you don’t wear can be made into a blouse and skirt.
- Shop at sustainable clothing stores that offer post-purchase repair services.
Discard the paper
- Choose to receive digital mailings.
- Send electronic party and wedding invitations.
- Use an application to scan and organize all your documentation.
- Opt for receipts via email.
- Use your phone, tablet or computer to take notes.
- Use scrap paper
- Turn off your computer before leaving work.
- Use double-sided printing whenever possible.
Sustainable items for babies
- Change to cloth diapers.
- Use stainless steel beverage bottles (or at least no plastic).
- When buying toys, find toys made from natural fibers
- Reuse glass jars.
- Use cloths in place of paper towels.
- Make your own coffee instead of buying it in capsules.
- Use a vegetable sponge to wash dishes.
- Try making homemade cleaning products or buy sustainable cleaning products.
- Use biodegradable detergents.
- Reduce food waste by buying only what you need.
- Invest in a pressure cooker and reduce cooking time and energy used.
Sustainable hygiene & beauty
- Make your own cosmetics, or buy handmade products.
- Use reusable pads to remove your makeup.
- Consider using bar shampoo to reduce packaging.
- Learn to read labels to identify harmful chemicals.
- Buy larger bottles less often.
- Reuse your empty bottles and jars.
- Save gift wrapping for future use.
- Offer experiences instead of things.
- Make and submit a creative video.
- Make a card or letter from recycled materials.
- Donate to a charity or cause instead of giving a gift.
- If possible, adopt solar panels for energy efficiency.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Donate your old devices to schools and other institutions.
- Use e-waste recycling programs when disposing of your appliances
- Fix your devices instead of buying new ones.
- If you need to buy appliances, look for used ones.
- If you can’t find it, buy energy-efficient technology
- Spend more time outdoors.
- Eat more whole foods.
- Plant a tree borrow books Read your newspaper and magazine publications online.
- Create a video about how you implemented these ideas and share them on your social media.
- Regularly prepare meals at home and save on packaging.
- Adopt pets instead of buying them.
- Refuse disposable cups, cutlery and napkins.
- Provide support for the care of the elderly and children.