We are gearing up for the 2015 EcoChallenge, our annual event that challenges people to choose one action to reduce their environmental impact and stick with it for two weeks each October.
Today we are excited to share the following guest blog post from Hennebery Eddy Architects, a Portland-based architecture firm who plans on participating again this year after having 53 employees on their EcoChallenge team in 2014. The Hennebery Eddy team earned second place in accruing points during the EcoChallenge, gathering as many points as teams three times their size! During the EcoChallenge, the Hennebery Eddy team saved 3,076 gallons of water, enjoyed 67 meatless meals, and diverted 32 pounds of food waste and 61 disposable cups from entering the landfill. We hope you find their story inspiring and join us for this year’s EcoChallenge!
Small actions can make big impacts. We’ve all heard it before, but changing our everyday habits is hard. It’s easy to tell yourself “I’ll just start tomorrow”. The EcoChallenge helps provoke change with short-term personal commitments, daily cues from hearing about your teammates’ experiences, and awesome prizes!
Here at Hennebery Eddy Architects we had 53 people participate in last year’s EcoChallenge, including 17 friends and family. Sharing the commitment with those outside of the office encouraged even more people to take on inspiring changes. With the EcoChallenge, each person had the flexibility to participate in a way that was meaningful and manageable in their own life. The team aspect was refreshing. The EcoChallenge blogs allowed everyone to keep tabs on what others on our team were doing, learn from their struggles or successes, and stay motivated.
People had fun trying out new ways of living each day. Some people were extremely dedicated (like bringing their own chopsticks to eat takeout food as part of their pledge to avoid plastic, and flushing less often to save water at home) while others did more typical – but equally important – things like eating local and taking shorter showers. The EcoChallenge made us focus in on our everyday actions and habits. Even if the change wasn’t feasible long term, it created mindfulness with our daily choices and awareness that other options do exist.
Hennebery Eddy Architects is a Portland based architecture, planning, and interior design studio focusing on sustainable design and historic preservation. We are members of the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program and are committed to building and sharing sustainable strategies in both our design process and our day-to-day lives.