Taming Seattle's Carbon Footprint

What are some of the things that affect your carbon footprint? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to better understand the real impact you have with your day to day choices? That's what an upcoming competition in Seattle is all about - giving participants a real idea of how their actions affect CO2 emissions, all while competing to win prizes.

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Why reduce your footprint?

Climate change is real, and the City of Seattle is committed to a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The City adopted the Seattle Climate Action Plan as the first step toward achieving that goal. Many residents are already taking action, however, many more of us remain on the sidelines asking “what can/should I do?” and “will my actions really make a difference?”

Where did the idea come from? 

Taming Bigfoot was started by Bob Bindschadler and the Climate Action Outreach Group of Local 20/20. Bob is a retired NASA scientist who is working to educate and inspire the public to action. Working as a scientific advisor in the government, he kept hearing from politicians that for any real legislative change to happen, there needs to be more support from constituents. He and his team also recognized the impact of our cumulative individual actions. So they turned to grassroots education efforts like the Taming Bigfoot competition. The first competition took place in Jefferson County and reduced CO2 emissions by over 30 tons over the 3 months they measured their footprints!

So how does the competition work?

In February, March and April, the teams will track their carbon footprint in several key areas: Transportation, Home (such as utilities and garbage), Shopping and Food. February will be used as the baseline, and then in March and April the teams try to reduce their footprints as much as possible. In May, everyone will get together and celebrate their successes. And let's not forget, there are prizes!

Participants are currently applying and forming teams that compete to win prizes. Each team consists of 7 individuals representing a variety of different ages and starting points on the spectrum of "living a green lifestyle". One of the reasons for the requirement is that it's a great way to build community as you discuss strategy across different ages and mindsets. You can apply as an individual and get help finding a team or bring a whole team who is ready to compete.

Learn more at www.tamingbigfootseattle.org and apply by December 31st!

What else can I do to help reduce Seattle's carbon footprint?

Another way you can help is to volunteer with non-profits like some of The World is Fun's partners whose missions support various ways to reduce your footprint, help the environment, or engage with nature. Some examples include:

- Liz Aderhold, TWIF's Creative Director who is also a co-organizer on Taming Bigfoot in Seattle. Taming Bigfoot is a project of 1Sustainable Planet