Table of Contents

Enlarging the ecological handprint

A guide to act positiveley in climate protection

Was ist der ökologische Handabdruck
Get involved, participate and convince others. Keep the bigger picture in mind and create the conditions that make it even easier for others to contribute.

Enlarging the ecological handprint is a new motivating concept in climate protection. The handprint focuses on positive social changes and action on structural changes. Enlarging the handprint means turning climate-friendly alternatives into new standards in order to drive forward climate protection.

What is the ecological handprint?

Den ökologischen Handabdruck vergrößern
Not an either-or, but a both-and. Reduce your personal CO2 footprint and increase your ecological handprint.

What does it mean to enlarge the ecological handprint? The best way to understand the concept is to distinguish it from the CO2 footprint. The carbon footprint focuses on avoiding everything that leads to greenhouse gas emissions. It is often about choosing alternative courses of action that are more laborious or more expensive than the standard solution. And changing these standards is precisely what the handprint stands for. Those who want to increase their handprint want to change rules, laws and structures so that climate-friendly solutions become the standard. For example: If you decide to eat vegan once a week, you reduce your own carbon footprint. If you encourage your company to serve a vegan meal once a week, you make it easier for yourself and others to avoid CO2 in the long term, thereby increasing your handprint.

The benefits of enlarging the ecological handprint

Focusing on the ecological handprint brings new motivation to climate protection. The never-ending negative news about the climate crisis with severe weather events, species extinction and habitat destruction is depressing and often discouraging. Anyone who calculates their carbon footprint and receives a devastating result could come to the conclusion that the task is so overwhelming that it is not worth changing anything. There is a danger of giving up. Unfortunately, this is a widespread attitude. The unpleasant topic is pushed aside according to the motto, there’s nothing more I can do anyway.

What we need to achieve change is exactly the opposite of resignation. On the one hand, the handprint helps us to see the positive things by focusing on what we can change. And secondly, and more importantly, the handprint creates a guide to action to spread the idea of climate protection and change structures in such a way that climate protection becomes easier and more effective for everyone.

How do I enlarge my handprint?

Wie kann ich den ökologischen Handabdruck vergrößern?

There are certainly topics that are particularly close to your heart. Perhaps you prefer to cycle everywhere, are committed to animal welfare or are interested in fair and organic fashion. If you want to increase your handprint, choose a topic that is important to you. Maybe it’s something you’ve been doing for a long time to reduce your carbon footprint. Next, think about where you want to make an impact: among your friends and family, at work, in your club, at a local level or even nationally or internationally. You may spontaneously think of allies and like-minded people. Together, it is easier to formulate goals and find ways to implement them. Actions to increase the handprint can be:

  • draw the attention of your city’s traffic officer to poor cycle paths or
  • suggest at the next parents’ evening in the daycare center to integrate vegan dishes into the menu or
  • turn your own research into fair fashion into creative posts on social media
    or, or, or – the possibilities for increasing your handprint are endless.

Handprint and carbon footprint – two competing models?

Instead of bringing the concepts of handprint and carbon footprint into competition, it makes much more sense to use the advantages of both strategies. Our Klima-Taler app is a good example of how both concepts can be used sensibly.

Anyone who uses our Klima-Taler app knows that the climate currency is based on saving CO2. Greenhouse gas emissions are an easily quantifiable way of measuring environmental impact. This allows you to realistically assess and compare the negative or positive environmental impact of different types of mobility and behavior. In the app, you can see how your own CO2 footprint increases or decreases depending on your behavior.

At the same time, the app itself is designed precisely to increase the handprint. On the one hand, by spreading the idea of climate protection with a playful concept and, on the other, because the app helps to create climate-friendly structures. To name just one example: Cities and municipalities can use the movement data generated by the app to find out where it would make sense to increase the number of buses or widen cycle paths, making it easier for all citizens to switch to green mobility. You can find out more about the Klima-Taler app and all its features HERE on the KLIMA-TALER page.

Enlarge your handprint now and help shape the future

You can find practical tips on how to increase your handprint for your climate protection project in the handprint test HERE on the German Watch and Bread for the World website

You can find more information on the concept of the handprint on the page Handprint – positive sustainability effects.

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