The Power of One Small Green Step 
So you’ve convinced the folks at work to recycle all the paper they can. You’ve changed all the light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs. You’ve purchased your cubicles’ walls from Greenguard Certified manufacturers .

You’ve gone a lovely shade of green at your office. You truly have.

“But,” some of you may be saying, “we are but one office. Of millions. Surely what we do here has no impact on the planet’s environmental health. Can these little things we do add up? Really add up?”

In a (biodegradable) nutshell – yes .

Perhaps not directly, the article states. But,

“Small behaviors are important not only for the direct environmental impact they have, but because they often lead to more and more pro-environmental behaviors over time.”

In additon,

“Numerous psychological studies have shown that people are more likely to agree to take a big action if they've previously agreed to smaller, similar actions. Thus, changing a light bulb may lead to higher impact behaviors like giving up plastic water bottles, insulating one's house, living closer to work, reducing meat consumption, and actively supporting legislation that will likely require personal sacrifice. When ExxonMobil hears about people changing lightbulbs and buying Priuses, they should expect public policy changes to follow.”

We think the folks at Grist are on to something. After all, look at the power of a few small steps in other historical happenings even over recent times. Smoking in restaurants and airplanes and even in offices? Just a few years ago you were a pariah for asking someone to step outside with their “cancer stick.” Now who’s the outcast (literally, as smokers now must get their fix outside the office building.

Remember when it was just old fogies and MADD mothers who wanted people to stop drinking and driving? And don’t forget driving while on a cell phone. The devices have been in widespread use less than a decade and already a few cities and states ban their (handheld) use while driving.

How did those changes come about? By one person – and then another and then one more and then several more, hundreds more, thousands more, millions - taking a stand and taking action: Writing their legislators. Asking the sm oker to setp outside. Deciding to be the designated driver for the evening.

One step. One person.

One sheet of copy paper recycled.

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