Sustainable Resolutions: Start Small & Smart, and Just Start

Shannon Bunsen, WELL AP

Sustainability Project Manager
12/16/19

Previously, we wrote about how to keep the spirit of holiday traditions alive – while inspiring a thoughtful, sustainable holiday experience.

Now, we hope to inspire your sustainable resolution for the new year. Here’s how you might discover a resolution that makes sense for you. Let’s start with understanding your personal carbon footprint.

There are several tools out there, like this Footprint Calculator from the Global Footprint Network. It answers the question: “how many planets do we need if everybody lives like you?”. It prompts you to share information on food, transportation, housing, etc. You can quickly select your best estimates on a scale or add details to improve accuracy. The results can help you prioritize change.

While I knew I traveled a lot, seeing my air travel’s relative impact in the calculator was compelling and motivated me to change my behavior. My new personal campaign is: “Fly Smart 2020”. I’m challenging myself to consider the benefit of each trip and if it outweighs the environmental impact.

Once you’ve set your goal, it’s time to take the first step towards it.

If your goal is to produce less waste, start by keeping a reusable mug in your bag. If your goal is to drive less, take the bus to the grocery store. If your goal is to eat less meat, make one vegetarian meal today. Start small and start now.

Keep your commitment written on a sticky note at your desk or as a reminder in your phone. Create an environment where it’s easy to maintain the habit. Ask your family or friends to join you to tap into the herd mentality and celebrate your successes. At Mazzetti, we do sustainability challenges together each month.

We encourage you to think strategically about your greatest opportunity for impact, start small, and recognize the “snowball effect” that occurs where one sustainable habit leads to another. Once you’ve found ways to conserve energy, you’ll notice ways to save water too. Once you feel good about biking to work, you might leave the car behind for other trips too.

However, we also tend to justify certain unsustainable actions – potentially those with a larger negative impact – with other sustainable ones that make us feel good. “What’s another flight across the country? I bus or bike every day!” Be aware of this kind of thinking.

Join us in setting sustainable resolutions for the new year! And, if your organization hasn’t determined its greatest area of impact, or how to keep your efforts snowballing, give us a call and we can help.

Contact Shannon Bunsen at sbunsen@mazzetti.com, and check out Mazzetti’s free tools to help your organization understand its environmental impact and prioritize change: M+Energy and M+WasteCare.



Aaron Schiess, PE

Associate, Senior Mechanical Engineer

Allan Hendrikse, PE, LEED AP BD+C

Senior Associate, Electrical Engineer

Andy Neathery

Technology BIM Specialist

Angelica Chow, PE, LEED AP BD+C

Electrical Engineer

Arturo S Salud

Associate, Senior Electrical Designer

Austin Barolin, PE, CEM, LEED AP O&M

Senior Associate, Senior Energy Analyst

Bethany Beers, CCP, LEED AP BD+C

Associate, Energy & Commissioning Consultant

Bill Hinton, CNMT

Associate Principal, Senior Project Manager

Brennan Schumacher, LEED AP

Associate Principal, Lighting Design Lead

Brian Hageman, LEED AP

Associate Principal, Plumbing Discipline Lead

Brian Hans, PE, LEED AP

Associate Principal, Senior Mechanical Engineer

Brian J. Lottis, LEED AP BD+C

Associate, Senior Mechanical Designer

Brianne Copes, PE, LEED AP

Senior Associate, Mechanical Engineer

Chiaowei Yu

Associate, Director of VDC

Chris Hanzel, PE, LEED AP

Senior Associate, Senior Mechanical Engineer

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