Handprints over Footprints

The Positive Effects of Handprints

We often hear about our negative impact on Earth, our environmental footprint. But footprints are only half the picture. The other half, “Handprints Over Footprints: Upgrading Our Lives and Benefiting Others,” will be discussed by Gregory Norris, PhD, on Tuesday, November 12 at 7 PM in the Community Room at York Public Library. The event is co-sponsored by First Parish Church, Congregational, and York Ready for Climate Action.

Dr. Norris is a global leader in the field of Life Cycle Assessment (the study of footprinting) and was recognized by TIME magazine as someone who would “change the world.” He is chief scientist at the International Living Future Institute, teaches at Harvard and is co-director of the Sustainability and Health Initiative for NetPositive Enterprise at MIT. He lives in Cape Neddick.

Handprints have been called “a powerfully encouraging idea,” and are based on the notion that our actions to improve our environment can be shared with family, friends, a community, a region. Even small changes, such as the composting efforts among members of First Parish Church and at the York High School cafeteria are already spreading to York neighborhoods. A simple example provided by Greg Norris is the purchase of an LED lightbulb to lower one’s power usage, and then the gift of a light bulb to a friend, who repeats the gesture. The effort becomes a “handprint,” which can be repeated again and again, eventually reducing the size of our carbon footprint and improving our climate and life on Earth. Handprinting offers an opportunity to enhance and maximize what we give back to the Earth and each other.

Dr. Norris will explain our environmental footprint – what it means and where it comes from, and the power of individuals and organizations to create handprints that will become large enough and spread broadly enough to affect some of our greatest environmental challenges. As he points out, “you have way more power than you think.”

York Public Library is at 15 Long Sands Road. All Library, Church and York Ready for Climate Action events are free, and there will be refreshments; all are welcome. For more information, see or [email protected].

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