How small actions can have a big impact

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If all of us do a little, together we can achieve a lot. This is the maxim by which Litefoot lives, acts, and hopes to inspire New Zealanders.

When confronted with the doom and gloom of climate change, our planet’s ever-increasing burden by plastic (and other) waste products, polluted air, poisoned rivers and the environmental sins perpetrated by big corporations and governments, it is easy to feel disillusioned, and above all powerless. What good does it do, if I switch off my lights or have a shorter shower?

Well, quite a lot it turns out. One small act can cause a powerful snowball effect. Take our LiteClub progamme’s work for example. At each club that we visit, we change on average 21 light bulbs to a more energy-efficient version, LEDs these days. Not an awful lot, and it certainly won’t stop any warming of our planet if taken in isolation. In fact, changing those 21 bulbs (let’s assume they are of the old incandescent kind) to LEDs will prevent 2.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions. That’s as much as driving 12,638 kilometres in your car. Quite a lot of travel but in the grand scheme of climate change, insignificant really. But hold on; we’ve changed those 21 bulbs in 1,514 clubs (at the time of writing). That already adds up to 31,794 bulbs changed, or in other measures, 3,998 tonnes of CO2 prevented from entering our atmosphere. This is the equivalent of driving half way across the equator – not a mean feat.

One person’s decision can be substantial if it is being replicated by many.

Now, you can already see those ripples of change spreading across the (environmental) pond. But let’s take this a step further.

Each of those 1,514 clubs has on average 390 members. Many of them are kids and families, so let’s assume only 20% of them have the ability to follow the example of their club. Now we’re really getting somewhere: if all those households just replaced 10 light bulbs with LEDs, 1,245,660 efficient bulbs would illuminate New Zealand instead of electricity guzzling incandescent ones. That would prevent a staggering 156,672 tonnes of CO2 – that’s like taking almost 30,000 cars off the road for a year.

This example shows us that one person’s decision to make changes can be substantial if it is being replicated by many. The power of one can start a revolution. It is important to visualise one’s own impact and to truly believe that our voices are powerful.

Any single step taken in the quest to keep our planet healthy is worth it. Every action inspired is significant enough to be repeated. Again, and again.

If you need any inspiration on where to start and what to do, have a look through our Resources database and feel empowered to your little bit of good by becoming a driver of change and, ultimately, an environmental champion.