News and promotions around the topics of sustainability, energy consumption, waste, water shortages, plastic and other environmental causes can become overwhelming in a sea of headlines and expectations. A new platform called BrightAction takes all that confusing information and turns it into a plan for reducing your environmental impact.
BrightAction makes it easy to see where you’re using energy and provides resources so you can lower consumption. In fact, the platform offers a plethora of suggestions, tools and resources specific to your geographical area. The approach is light-handed by offering encouragement and information rather than discipline or guilt. In fact, it turns saving the planet into a game that rewards you with points for every green thing you do.
It’s easy to get started. Sign up by providing an email address, setting a password and choosing a household or team name. You can actually access a lot of information without signing up for an account, so click around to get a feel for the platform first if you like. Signing up for a free account gives you a more personal experience. For example, once you’ve joined, the community providers in your area will be listed if you show an interest in, say, installing solar panels. With your initial signup complete, take five to 10 minutes to fill out a household profile. This will help the system develop a bigger picture of the activities in your home.
From there, the challenge is on! Did you know the foods you eat each carry their own carbon footprint? Did you know you can carbon offset your airline travel? Did you know a home battery system for electricity can benefit the home even if you don’t have solar panels?
There are probably already several habits you’ve incorporated into your day-to-day activities that will earn you points. Going paperless is one example that earns you 670 points. Within the category, there is information about virgin paper materials and alternatives for paper towels and napkins. There are ratings for each category ranging from easy to challenging. For example, switching to an electric vehicle is rated challenging. Each action also includes an estimated upfront costs and savings along with a time commitment. This allows you to pick and choose what actions make sense for your household.
If you already use paperless billing, take your own bags to the grocery store, recycle, create meal plans, take your own water bottle when you leave the house and avoid plastic straws, you’ll find you’re earning points across the board. BrightAction is a simple and fun way to learn more about what your household can do to support climate solutions. You can also use the platform to engage your local community by asking neighbors to join. The platform monitors activity and provides inspiring statistics on how the teams are doing.
If you’re curious to know just how much of an impact you’re making on the environment, BrightAction makes it simple to find an answer. The small actions — like turning off the water faucet while brushing your teeth and only running the dishwasher or washing machine when full — add up. For a bigger impact, BrightAction helps you through the steps to achieve your goal. Say you want to swap out your existing furnace for an electric heat pump. Click on the topic and read through the information that outlines costs, savings and the amount of resources you’ll save the planet by making the switch. Learn about the different types of heat pump systems and the best time to upgrade. Then look for additional resources at the bottom of the page. You can also start a conversation on the topic or join a discussion in progress. This provides additional support and information from members of the BrightAction community.
A representative for BrightAction explained, “BrightAction also provides lifestyle tips (like when to unplug at-home devices), and you can challenge yourself by setting the app to easy, medium, or hard. For both the novice and the environmentally conscious consumer, BrightAction helps users create a personal pathway to reducing their environmental impact through progress tracking, daily reminders, and collaboration with friends, family, and colleagues.”
In addition to a general list of action categories to peruse and engage in, there’s a section of recommended actions. In this area, users can filter actions by impact or monetary savings. You can also filter by time requirements, level of difficulty, upfront costs and whether it’s something you can do even if you’re renting.
The idea behind BrightAction is, of course, to encourage action, and the approach is uplifting. The information is easy to access and written in an approachable manner. It not only tells you the benefits of making changes from a financial standpoint, but it explains why those changes are beneficial to the planet. That’s empowering. And a little bit of competition is a healthy form of motivation, too. After all, who doesn’t want to rise to the top of the leader board when it saves you money and helps to build a healthier Earth for everyone?
Images via BrightAction and Priscilla du Preez