Cumulative impacts & why your choices DO matter!

cumulative impacts - everyone matters

In today’s fast-paced world, we are constantly bombarded with choices about what to buy, where to buy it, and how to consume it. While these choices may seem small and inconsequential, they can have significant cumulative impacts on the environment and our society overtime.

What do you mean when you say cumulative impacts?

Cumulative impacts are all about the small actions we take in our daily life and how those actions add up over time. It’s like drops of water filling a bucket. Each individual action (drop) might not seem like much, but when you look at the bigger picture and consider how all those actions (drops) come together, their impact becomes clearer (your bucket is over flowing).

Understanding cumulative impacts helps us see how our daily actions, like the products we buy, the energy we use, or the waste we create, can gradually affect our environment and communities.

Picture this: you decide to create a cozy ambiance in your home by lighting a scented candle. The aroma fills the room, creating a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. It’s like a fragrant hug for your senses. But now, let’s take this scenario up a notch. Imagine lighting 100 candles all at once. Suddenly, that pleasant aroma becomes overwhelming, almost like being trapped in a perfume factory! The cumulative impact of 100 scented candles takes your home from a serene sanctuary to an olfactory hellscape. It’s a not-so friendly reminder that sometimes, less is more when it comes to enjoying the simple pleasures in life.

But I’m just one person, my choice won’t make a difference

It’s common to feel like one person’s actions can’t make a difference when it comes to complex issues like the environment. However, it’s important to recognize that individual actions do matter and can have a significant impact over time.

When millions of people make small, sustainable choices in their daily lives, it can lead to a significant reduction in waste, carbon emissions, and other negative impacts. Remember my 100 candles? Who really needs that many candles anyways?

Individual actions also have the power to influence others. When you make sustainable choices and share them with your friends and family, you inspire them to do the same and then they will inspire their network of people and so on.

Individual actions also send a message to businesses and policymakers. When consumers make sustainable choices, they signal to businesses that there is demand for sustainable products and practices. This can lead to the availability of more sustainable options… especially if you target your main sources of impacts as this is where you spend a majority of that hard earned cash.

How do I know what’s Sustainable?

Making choices can be tricky, especially with how cool it is these days to call a product “sustainable”. Making sustainable choices over convenient choices can sometimes mean you have to do more research to figure out who is good and who is bad. I have two websites that I use frequently to explore products and services.

The first is B Corporation which issues certification to companies and organizations that have high levels of social and environmental performance. You can browse their website to find companies that align with your values.

The second is Good on You. This website helps you find fashion  brands that care about their social and environmental impacts. And beware, it will also expose some of your fav   brands that call themselves sustainable or eco-friendly, but that are actually tricking you with their green-washing tactics.

We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and tell us how you make sustainable lifestyle choices!

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