What is a carbon footprint?A carbon footprint is a running tab that the Earth pays for at the end of every night. Whenever we drive, take a flight, run the washing machine, or place a delivery, we contribute to the total amount of greenhouse gases raising our planet’s temperature and making life more unpleasant for the inhabitants on it. Our actions impact generations to follow, and the easiest way to ensure these generations don’t miss out on the natural splendor we’ve been afforded is to take as many of our own steps as possible.
Slip on your shoes and take a walk. That’s it. Go outside and walk. It can be a short walk. It can be a hike. It can be a stroll to get ice cream. I found a passion for geocaching, a global treasure hunt where participants search for GPS caches hidden in their communities. No matter the destination, the goal is the same: to move outdoors under your own power. The immediate benefits of walking extend from sole to soul, allowing our bodies and minds to escape life’s rush for a calmer pace.
Where can we start?
The world is a chaotic place, where hustle meets bustle in a perpetual whirlwind of commuters and computers. Pulling free from the vortex of modern-day technology will never be easy. As long as funny cat videos clog our news feed, there will be distractions, but if we step away for a daily stroll, we will be rewarded with the greatest natural resource our planet produces: pause.
Find your pause.
Pause to listen...
Pause to look...
Pause to reflect...
Inspire Wellbeing supports the Power of Pause: “Taking some time out can help us think about how we can be better at managing our own self-care: keeping or getting well; understanding what helps us lead a healthier, happier life; and learning how to get support from others.”
Pausing to collect our thoughts is vital for maintaining good mental health, and, when done outside, has the added benefit of thanking the earth beneath our feet and tipping our hats to the birds above. Nature is the greatest show on Earth, and we all have lifetime passes. We must never squander our temporary status amongst our surrounding beauty. No matter where we are, it is within reach. When skyscrapers block the horizon, we will always have the stars. And while our minds pause in nature’s company to check in on themselves, our bodies get to play.
Something as easy as putting one foot in front of the other can bring many benefits to our physical health. Walking 30 minutes a day not only lowers our carbon footprint, but it can lower our waistline as well. From stretching joints to burning calories to improving circulation, a little activity goes a long way. Our hearts will hug us for the added pumping. Our bones will support us for stimulating the formation of bone cells, which helps stave off the effects of osteoporosis. When we activate, we win, and all it requires is consistency. Use it as a wake-up before work or a cool-down after dinner. Bring the family. Adding a little walk each day to our routines is good for the inside out, but the effects it can have on our planet will be profound.
A little walk goes a long way.
Reducing global carbon emissions is a monumental task that requires change at every aspect of life, but one small step is within our shoelaces. The EPA finds that a standard passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Imagine the benefits if we lessen our drives and increase our walks.
One small step...
“Walking is the best way to help the environment. One study concluded that walking one and a half miles would release 75% less greenhouse gases than we would produce from driving the same distance.” If one of us can do it, all of us can do it, and this eco snowball effect will grow in size and momentum.
Lead researcher of a recent environmental study Dr. Christian Brand, from the University of Oxford, said: “If just 10% of the population were to change travel behavior, the emissions savings would be around 4% of lifecycle CO2 emissions from all car travel.”
A breathable, flexible pair of shoes are essential companions for any walking adventure, and SOM has an option for every style that will connect you through every step. Our outdoor Trailhead model is as close to hiking a trail barefoot as one can find while wearing laces.
Save your gas money. Lace up your shoes. Watch the clouds kiss sky.
The outdoors is always open for exploration, appreciation, and self-discovery. Connecting to the earth through our steps allows our roots to grow. Our limbs strengthen through activity. Our seeds of thought flourish through pause. The Earth is happy we are taking care of ourselves, and we are proud to return the favor.