2021 Environmental Challenges Bingo Grid. The full list of environmental challenges are listed in the content of the blog below.
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Join the 2021 Environmental Challenge

Mar 05, 2021

Introducing Population Media Center’s 2021 Environmental Challenges

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall
Join us in this challenge to adopt new behaviors that can lead to greener living, greater understanding of environmental sustainability, and greater appreciation for our only home, Planet Earth.

We initially thought about introducing these as New Year’s resolutions, but after reading the high failure rate of such declarations, we decided to make it an open challenge launched in March and for all year consideration. At PMC, we know changing behaviors takes time. So go at your pace to explore these concepts and determine what is right for you. The challenges are categorized in five buckets to help capture key themes and ideas in an easy to follow grid:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Take Action & Get Involved

Get Educated & Spread the Word

Manage Your Ecological Footprint

Appreciate Nature

For long time environmental activists, these concepts might look familiar but we hope the simple visual will serve as a gentle reminder for things you can do to demonstrate support for our one and only home, planet Earth.

For those who are new to some of these ideas, consider which are appropriate for your life, and then get to the hard part – incorporating the habits into your daily life.

How to Build New Habits

Annually, over half of us optimistically make New Year’s resolutions that do not make it past February. But why is it so difficult to keep our resolutions?

According to public sociologist Christine Whelan, “The unsexy and unappealing truth is, behavior change is hard, because we’re creatures of habit. To make a change in our behavior, means we’re adding something, or subtracting something, and we have to figure out what that is.” Yet, in our aspiration to adopt new behaviors we often fail to identify where there is give and take – what will we give in order to make room for the change? There are many tricks out there for how to make new habits stick and here are a few that stand out from researchers and personal experience:

1. Learn: Get educated on the benefits of the new habits to keep you motivated.
2. Make it Visible: Keep your goals visible. Print the graphic above and keep it on your fridge so you are reminded of the activities you’d like to try.
3. 30 Days to Automate: If you commit to building the discipline for 30 days it is more likely to last and become automated as a part of your life.
4. Simple Daily Ritual: Do a simple step every single day and it is more likely to become a lifestyle.
5. Identify a Role Model or Accountability Partner: Take the challenge on with someone else who is modeling the habit you want to build or will go on the journey with you. It’ll keep you inspired and on track.
6. Stack your habits: Connect the new habit to an existing one in order to build momentum and patterns that are easy reminders or milestones to keep you going.
7. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of good: Happiness Project author Gretchin Rubin says, “Instead of pushing yourself to an impossible ‘perfect,’ and therefore getting nowhere, accept ‘good.’ Many things worth doing are worth doing badly.”
8. Celebrate Wins: It’s important to remember where you started and why. Celebrate small wins and milestones to recognize the progress you’ve made and commitment to self and planet.

Did our Environmental Changes Chart spark new ideas? What would you add? Please write in to let us know ways you’re living in honor of the planet Earth.