Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spotlight: Practically Green

Practically Green is a fun Boston-based web-tool that helps guide people towards more sustainable living. The first time an individual logs onto the website, they are prompted to take a survey about their lifestyle habits, not unlike a carbon footprint survey. After conducting the survey, which takes about 10-15 minutes, the website provides a rating and a personalized “action plan” with steps to become more sustainable. After the initial log-on, Practically Green creates a profile for each member so that they can track their progress and earn “badges” if they make multiple green lifestyle changes in a particular category. 

The company was started after its founder, Susan Hunt Stevens, did a complete green home and lifestyle makeover to help ease her infant son’s environmental and dietary allergies. Stevens was inspired by the LEED criteria for green buildings and design, and thought to herself, why isn't there a list of green lifestyle criteria for people and their families? She then worked with environmental and energy experts to create the assessment tool (the survey described above) to measure how lifestyle choices impact the earth and human welfare. The goal of the individual action plan is to help minimize environmental impact and reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals. 

As people check off tasks on their action plan and gain badges, their sense of accomplishment motivates more action. Practically Green is a great way to get some insight if you want to be more sustainable but aren't quite sure what to do or how. Go take the quiz!

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