Ecochallenge Inspires New Habits for LHB Employees

portrait of a woman, Angie Martin
Angie Martin Administrative/Project Assistant

In keeping with the theory that an Earth Day mindset should be an everyday mindset, we’re looking back at LHB’s participation in the Earth Day Ecochallenge this past April. This was LHB’s third time participating in an Ecochallenge and was our most successful team effort yet! The Ecochallenges are month-long events designed to inspire and motivate participants to practice small, everyday actions with an eye towards their larger environmental and social goals. LHB previously participated in the 2018 Drawdown Ecochallenge, coming in 86th place out of 767 teams, and the 2019 Plastic Free Ecochallenge, coming in 49th place out of 776 teams. This time, we beat all previous records with our team of 43 employees coming in 34th place out of 818 teams!!

Choosing Action

Among the reasons for signing up this year, LHB participants noted wanting to develop new, good habits, wanting to support the environment, and as Jyotsna Sivaguru said, “It was nice to have smaller, measurable goals during these times.” All Ecochallenges begin with selecting daily or one-time challenges such as, “Use Public Transit,” “Reduce Animal Products,” “Support Pollinators,” or “Volunteer in my Community.” Participants log in daily to record their efforts, earning points for each check-in, challenge completed, and comments added. This Ecochallenge was the first to include social distancing measures due to the pandemic, adding reminders to adhere to CDC guidelines while performing certain actions, and including new challenges like socially distant check-ins with friends and family via phone or video conference.


A significant benefit of this challenge is the way it reveals your current patterns, making you think twice about your everyday routines: the number of times you use your car, the days you chose convenience over composting, how often you have your meals include meat. The daily check-ins hold you accountable and also provide a sense of satisfaction when you earn points for yourself and your team. Another bonus is discovering new tips and facts, like finding out that  27,000 trees were cut down daily to make toilet paper in 2010 or this tip from Jody Elam-Foote on making berries last longer:



The motivation to keep up with these new habits lasts long after the challenge is over. Participants were inspired to continue with many actions including:


Jyotsna summed up the challenge nicely by saying, “It was a good way to remind myself that small, everyday actions can collectively make a difference. I had to learn to be happy with smaller steps that we took as a family, rather than going all-out, which can be overwhelming and throw us off course.” Lydia Major added, “Quarantine life is way more green than normal life and I hope to keep some of these habits!” And Terza Kurki put it well: “An Ecochallenge should not be just a one-month challenge. We should be doing our part in every action we perform or partake in on a daily basis. Always being mindful of how each action taken will affect the environment and those around you. What environmental footprint are you leaving behind?”

For our next Ecochallenge, Sara Phillips suggested we “highlight who at LHB is gaining the most points during the challenge for some friendly competition.” And in that spirit, the Top 5 LHB participants this year were: Michael Wickersheimer, Laura Heck, Stacee Demmer, Nicolle VanWie, and coming in first place with a very impressive 1,274 points — Jody Elam-Foote!

Above is an image of the collective impact of all participants in the Earth Day Ecochallenge from across the world. For original images and material and additional information about the collective impact click here.

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