What is the true environmental impact of allowing food to spoil in your fridge? Do you know how many gallons of water are needed to produce your favorite foods? And how does the square footage of your home increase that of your footprint?
Report by Bebel Abreu

Check Your Hidden Impact, one of 12 activation sessions on Day 1 of WDCD Live 2017, was all about taking a look in the mirror. It was based on extensive research on the real – but often unnoticed – impact each of us has on the planet, specifically as we consume goods and services on a daily basis. Ran by the Dutch designer Babette Porcelijn, the workshop was a tour through the many cases compiled in her book ‘The Hidden Impact’.

She shared with the audience some astonishing insights on the environmental impact of products and their supply chains; such as the amount of water needed to produce food (33 gallons for a 120g piece of chicken or an incredible 475 gallons for a steak the same size). She also shook the myth of the electric car (which in total reduces only 30% of the footprint of a fossil fuel car, due to the factory process of the batteries).

In the second part of the workshop, Babette guided the participants in measuring their own individual impacts on the global climate, and compare this to the rates of an average Dutch person’s yearly consumption. They were then invited to make a realistic plan to be more eco-positive and to implement this strategy to everything they use, buy and do on a daily basis. The message was clear; and echoed one we heard on the main stage. When it comes to making sustainable changes: “Plan big and start small, because we need to start today”.

Top photo: Babette Porcelijn introducing the session (photo Leo Veger)

CHECK YOUR HIDDEN IMPACT was one of three BNO CIRCLE SESSIONS at WDCD Live Amsterdam 2017.
With these sessions, BNO addresses the important role of the designer in working towards a sustainable and future proof world.


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