The Happy Atmosphere Challenge

The purpose of this challenge is to take action – in your daily life, now – to support innovation, people, and practices with an overall objective of more carbon stored on earth, less blanketing the atmosphere. It focuses on a few main areas:

   ** Support Energy Innovation and Job Creation
   ** Support Transit Innovation and Efficient Cars
   ** Support Farmers, Soil Micro-organisms, and Forests
   ** Use Stuff Up – Support the Reuse Economy, Recycling Jobs,
          Efficient Manufacturing, and Recovery of Usable Assets
   ** Support Humanity

Some areas also include a number of actions that help decrease costs. For example, if you switch your energy to 100% renewable, it will (currently) cost you more for energy. If you figure out ways to cut your energy use at home, it makes going renewable more affordable. Actions in the scoresheet are divided by ease and cost. Some actions send a signal to the market about alternatives we want, some are practices that collectively could have transformative impact, some help build awareness, and almost all reduce the volume of emissions you and your family are contributing.

The list of actions is a menu of choices, not a list of requirements. You can think of each action you take as an experiment. You might try something and realize it isn’t as tricky as you thought, and that it will save you money or help you live a healthier life. The challenge is not intended to make you feel bad about what you don’t or can’t do. We all have different life situations. If you take the challenge and score 25 points, that is 25 points of trying something.

View or Print Challenge Scoresheet

How to play

The challenge is designed to be played as a game, on your own or as part of a group. Print the scoresheet and tape it to a prominent location in your home (recommend kitchen wall or wherever you plug in your phone). A printed scoresheet is a key part of the method! For daily actions, put a hash mark in the box for each day you perform the action. For all other actions, when you earn points, write the relevant number in the right-hand column.

Anyone who plays will qualify for a badge in the following tiers: Bronze (1 – 250 points); Silver (251 – 500 points); Gold (501 points or higher). In working towards a badge you can take as long as you like.

To play as a group, invite group members, set a time period for play (suggested time is three weeks – of course this has not yet been tested) and an overall group points objective. Or set an objective and add players to the group until you think you can reach the objective! Team members contribute varying numbers of points to the team goal and support one another in taking different actions, providing resources, and celebrating success. You could consider a team ‘leader board’ to recognize those making the largest strides. Teams should identify a reward for reaching the group objective – a potluck dinner, dance party, picnic. A variation on group play is to divide the group into teams (the marketing department versus the research team) and have a contest to earn the most points.

For those with children, I am working on an abbreviated family challenge and will post soon. In the meantime, consider taping additional sheets of paper on the wall with selected actions (for example, ‘No food in trash’), explaining the goal and rationale to the kids (a sneaky way to encourage everyone to finish dinner). But please make sure there is no shaming associated with this challenge – only celebration for group success.

What actions are in the Happy Atmosphere Challenge — and why did you choose them??

The complete challenge (instructions, scoresheet, rationale) can be downloaded here:

Download the FULL Happy Atmosphere Challenge here!

In time, additional resources will be shared/linked to from this page.

Everyone who takes the challenge is encouraged to say hi to the Jenny Goodguts community and report on points earned, successes, challenges and resources. Help build a tool to do more good! If you have thoughts, suggestions, or corrections, please leave a comment or use the contact form to send a note.