In this blog and in my book, I talk about the Riot for Austerity a lot. It’s actually my core mission: To spark (or rather, to add fuel to, since it already exists) a grassroots movement of people who are voluntarily making radical reductions in their personal and household footprint.
I publish the target numbers, and explain the reasoning behind them, in my book. You can also find the target numbers and explanations at the intro on the Riot For Austerity Facebook Page.
Today, I’d like to share with you another outstanding resource, an online calculator that lets you calculate where you stand in each Riot category and overall. What’s great about having multiple categories is that even if you have trouble reducing in one category, you might find it quite easy to make reductions in another. Life circumstances change, and I find it helpful to revisit my Riot numbers at least once a month. I also pay attention to my daily blips (such as a rare shopping trip for new goods) and monthly/yearly blips, for example, three airplane trips this past year. Rather than wallow in guilt, I simply make reductions in other categories, and over time, with a few exceptions (see “airplane trips” above) have generally managed to hover at or near the overall target value of 10% of the average U.S. footprint.
I want you to use this calculator and enjoy it. Use it for inspiration and goal-setting, not guilting yourself. And join our online communities (both Facebook and Yahoo) to get lots of support and real-life examples from people all over the world, of how they are doing the Riot.
• Heartfelt thanks to Barbara at greenknowe.org for this Riot for Austerity footprint calculator. It lets you quickly calculate your footprint in each Riot category, and your overall footprint averaged across all categories. (The snapshots at the top of this post show my values that I calculated just now.) Surf the rest of Barbara’s website as well; she’s got lots of excellent resources to support your footprint-reduction efforts.