Investing in Earth: Local Sustainability Practices for a Global Impact
We know the Earth is in trouble, and negative stories about the declining environment and biodiversity have become a regular part of the news cycle. While these are important reminders to make lifestyle changes, they often have the opposite effect, causing us to feel paralyzed by the immensity of the problem.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and helpless, like the problem is too big to change on your own. While it's true that any real solution will require meaningful action from businesses, governments and non-profit organizations—the good news is that the collective actions of individuals like you can still add up!
Small efforts lead to big changes
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, the world-renowned primatologist and conservationist, recently joined DocuSign for an informative discussion about the environment and sustainability. She shared how important and impactful small actions can be:
“You may feel that your little choice doesn’t make any difference. And if it was just you, or just me, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference. But it’s not. There’s a growing number of people, and when you take hundreds, thousands, and then millions of small choices cumulatively, that will create the kind of change that we need.”
So what daily choices can you make that will become part of a positive, collective impact on the Earth? These five ideas will get you started.
1. Get involved
Volunteering in your community is a great way to make a difference—and it gives you a chance to meet new people who want to work together toward a common goal to increase your impact. Here’s a good site to search for opportunities in your area.
2. Clean up
Whether you live in an urban or rural area, picking up litter is an easy way to improve your neighborhood—and our waterways. Learn all about aquatic trash and why it’s critical to keep our local creeks, lakes, rivers—and, ultimately, our oceans—trash-free.
3. Plant with a purpose
Yards can be beautiful retreats and functional spaces. However, classic green turf lawns are costly, time-consuming—and bad for the environment. Here are several choices you can make to better care for your lawn and hopefully turn it into a biodiverse ecosystem:
- Learn about meadowscaping
- Discover which plants are native and hardiest in your area
- Use water from rain barrels
- Compost food and yard waste
- Plant a tree
- Switch to battery-powered lawn-care products
#4. Clear the air
Nobody likes sitting in a traffic jam, and we all know that vehicles that burn fossil fuels drive up greenhouse gasses and pollute the air we breathe. Consider walking, biking or taking public transportation to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your physical and mental wellness. Of course, this is easier for people living in or near urban centers, but even rural dwellers can reduce emissions by switching to an electric vehicle.
#5. Speak up
Making daily environmentally friendly choices is a great start, but to help your positive efforts result in exponential impact, you have to let others know what you’re doing so they can take up the cause, too. Spread the word through social media and with family, friends and coworkers. Take it a step further and advocate for change locally and nationally. Investing in the Earth is contagious.
Every day is Earth Day at DocuSign
Throughout our 20-year history, we’ve been dedicated to sustainability and protecting the world’s forests by empowering our customers to save billions of sheets of paper and millions of trees and counting. We use the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator to gauge these environmental impacts and encourage you to do the same.
We believe that each of us is responsible for learning about the climate crisis—one of the most pressing global issues—and the actions we can take to protect our planet. So we’re planting a tree for every employee who takes part in our Earth Month activities, including cleaning up communities, volunteering with local gardens and urban forestry organizations, and attending educational webinars about:
- Recycling and the circular economy
- Reducing food waste
- Growing a sustainable organic garden
- Calculating your carbon footprint
We’re also regularly engaging with customers to help them increase and assess their sustainability efforts and environmental impact. And these engagements are now two-way conversations, as organizations and their investors are increasingly interested in ensuring they’re doing business with sustainable companies like DocuSign. This type of transparent info-sharing ensures accountability and better environmental stewardship.
Education and action
It’s critically important to educate yourself—and others—about the impacts your daily actions have on the environment. And that education must lead to collective and cumulative action to truly make a difference. Dr. Goodall emphasized this point:
“Once people realize that they make a difference every day—and it doesn’t have to be a big difference, even if you make one small difference—we know we can slow down climate change and slow down loss of biodiversity.”
What will you do today to invest in the Earth? Be sure to check out the DocuSign blog for more sustainability ideas.