As a member of Impact Hub Seattle, you are not only engaging with a community driven by social impact, but are also supporting a janitorial staff of Congo refugees as well as farmers in South America. Social impact is so often discussed as a grand goal, yet can be achieved through simple, everyday choices. Making a difference is not just limited to volunteering, protesting, and donating, but also how you consume and the language you use.
Inspired by our individual experiences at the Impact Hub, three of our summer interns, set out for a week of intentionality. The guidelines were simple: Make 5 behavioral changes that would result in positive social or environmental impact.
Next up, hear from our intern Benjamin Bell, a senior at Syracuse University:
Hi everyone! This is the second in our series exploring simple ways to make your everyday choices more impactful. My name is Ben Bell and I am interning at the Hub this summer. As my internship wraps up I would love to show how I helped create impact. Some of the choices I made may sound simple but if everyone together makes simple choices, the results can be drastic.
1. Choose Ceramic
The first choice I made was to make sure Convoy Coffee, located here in the Hub, gave me a ceramic mug for my coffee to help reduce waste. Imagine if everyone used ceramic mugs! It may be surprising, but I studied abroad in Italy and single-use cups do not even exist unless you go to the super touristy places.
If you're at Impact Hub Seattle, feel free to grab a mug from the kitchen and take it to Convoy Coffee for your speciality coffee drink - or better yet, bring your own reusable mug from home! Fun fact: Miir offers Impact Hub Seattle members discounts on bulk orders and set-up fees! Check the Help Desk for the full list of #memberperks.
2. Sort It!
Secondly, I decided to re-sort some of the garbage bins where I saw things misplaced. It may be confusing to what goes into each bin, but by taking a minute to read the sign this small difference can really add up! Pay attention to the signs posted near the garbage/recycling/compost bins at Impact Hub and make sure you're putting things in the right place.
Fun fact: the Impact Hub events team requires caterers to use compostable items for food service at meetings + events!
Did you know that Ziploc and plastic food bags contain more than one type of plastic, so they can’t be recycled together? They also often contain food residue and moisture that contaminate recycling.You can also use the "Where Does It Go?" tool on the City of Seattle's website if you have any additional questions.
3. CHILL OUT
The third choice I made was to lower my thermostat by 3 degrees when I got home. Did you know according to greenhomeguide.com you can save around 3% of your energy bill for every degree you lower your thermostat?
You can also make sure that your refrigerator is only using the power it needs. This EnergyStar "flip your fridge" tool can help you determine how much it costs to use it!
4. Shop the Co-ops
My fourth choice was to buy my groceries at a co-op. Not only is this affordable but it helps support the local farmers! I personally shopped at Central Co-op on Madison, but I imagine there are tons of co-op models all over the Seattle area - including for shared housing experiences!
5. SHORTEN YOUR SHOWER
Finally, I timed my shower to see how long it takes, and my shower took around 10 minutes! That is over 50 gallons of water!!!! By cutting it down to 5 minutes, I can decrease my water waste by 25 gallons which is my goal for the week!
Check out this Water Calculator for more tips on how to manage your water usage!
My experience interning at Impact Hub Seattle has been an amazing part of the summer. From the events I participated in, to the people I met, there are some truly awesome things being done in the Seattle area. I'm headed back home to New York for the rest of the summer, but feel free to add me on LinkedIn to continue the conversation!