It's your job to save the world

I turn 42 in a couple days, and I'm realizing the world isn't going to be saved by people in their spare time. Like the idea that on nights and weekends, anyone should be going home and being like: "And now I'm going to spend my spare time personally sucking carbon out of the atmosphere" is just stupid. I'm not saying personal choices don't matter. What I'm saying is, you personally recycling, while helpful, is only a little helpful and we need to be a lot helpful.

The only place any of us have access to the kind of scale we need to operate on is at work. Most of us are making decisions daily for an organization, and those decisions have far greater impacts than anything we do for ourselves.

When I worked at Starbucks, if I said "I'm going to give away drinks to everyone who brings in their own cup for the next 2 weeks", then if everyone for 2 months afterwards brought in their own cup because they were used to it, that'd be so much more effective than what I could do in my personal time. I'm still not going to single handedly fix climate change, but by thinking about this at my day job, I'm going to have a far greater impact.

That means something pretty radical though: It's your boss's job to pay you to save the world. It's just not going to work any other way. If you can't make an impact at work, it's just not going to happen, so it's gotta happen there.

How do I measure this?

At Boldium, where I work we've created to guess a website's carbon output, and give you simple quick actions you can take to reduce a website's carbon output, so that's a start (on the web).

But I'm not just talking about the web, I'm talking about everywhere. And real talk, I think it kinda doesn't matter how much impact you make? Like if you spend a year figuring out how to measure carbon output so that you can make educated decisions, is there an amount that you could save that would be enough? Probably not.

I'm not saying that it's like a sin to know how much carbon you're cutting, or the company you work for is the worst because it's not doing enough, I'm just saying, the company you work for needs to cut as much as it can, and knowing exactly how many tons of carbon its cutting will feel good, but it probably won't change what you can cut. So sure, go ahead and get Chad to figure out how to measure your results, but don't let measuring your impact keep you from making one.

A disclaimer, I've been thinking about this blog post for a while, and it's been sitting in my drafts because I wanted to add more data. I'm forgoing data to actually get it out. But please let me know if you have any stats, and I'll add them, or link to your blog post or something.