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The nonprofit Handprinter project enables you to discover and spread positive impacts for the world. Let's make an app for that.

The nonprofit Handprinter project enables you to discover and spread positive impacts for the world. Let's make an app for that. Read More
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on January 1, 2013.

Gregory Norris
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Gregory Norris

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About this project

What is a Handprint?

We often hear about our negative impact on the planet – our environmental footprint. But footprints are only half the picture. The other half is just coming into view. It’s called a handprint, and it measures the positive impacts we can make, simply by changing the way we do things, at home, and at work.

Handprinter helps you know and grow your handprint. 

First, it lets you calculate your environmental footprint. You enter in some simple data about things like the country you live in, the size of your home, how often you travel, and Handprinter gets you started with an estimate of your environmental impact.

Second, it offers suggestions for simple actions you can take to lower your impact on the planet – things like installing a low-flow showerhead, or carpooling to work or school. You can choose actions from our database, or come up with your own actions and add them to the collection.

And best of all, Handprinter lets you spread your ideas and actions around the world, see their progress, and track your positive impacts. When you refer your friends to Handprinter, and when their friends sign on, their handprints become part of yours. Inspire enough people, and your handprint eventually exceeds your footprint. And with enough handprints, we can heal the planet.

There Should Be an App for That

Right now, Handprinter exists online as a beta version of a web application. That means you can use it online via a computer system, but not on your mobile phones – not even phones that have web browsers. We think it’s time Handprinting went mobile, and we’re asking you all to help us take it there. What’s more, this project will add some critical features beyond what's in the web app now, and we'll port them from the mobile app back to our web app, making both versions the best they can be. Here’s what we’ve got in mind.

The Plan

With Handprinter in your hands, a lot of cool things become possible. The Handprinter mobile app project will create four key features.

Real Time

We’re used to hearing about footprints in terms of huge chunks of space and time, for example, how our habits might affect the planet over the next year, or decade, or century. The mobile app will make Handprinting more relevant to each user, allowing you to plan and track your positive actions in near-real time, and to interpret your positive impacts in terms of the number of hours or days in which you are living net-positively. Small actions give you days of grace, while bigger actions can put you "in the green" for weeks or more.  Log in on the fly to input your Handprint actions right when you make them, and try to outweigh your footprint for that day.

Inspire (and be inspired) Locally

Whenever you’re in need of inspiration, use your phone to see the actions other users are taking nearby. Folks near you can also be inspired by your actions and ideas!  And when they are, that too will grow your handprint.

See Globally

As you take and create actions and inspire others, the Handprinter app will visually show your positive ripple effects as they spread out across the world. You'll be able to see – and show your friends – who you inspired, what they're achieving, and who they're reaching in turn. Imagine: your positive influence can literally cross the oceans, and you'll see this happen. You'll be able to track your impacts over time, too – and watch as your handprint grows to become bigger than your footprint. 


Through integration with services like Facebook and Twitter, the Handprinter mobile app will make it easy to stay on top of what your friends are saying and doing on Handprinter. What's more, you and your friends will be able to keep track of the impact you're having as a group.  What's the total collective handprint of your family? Your extended family?  Your neighborhood?  Your school?  Creating positive change in the world is something we accomplish together. The app will bring this truth vividly to life for us all.

Why Kickstarter?

We think that the creation of a mobile app, with the features described above, will be the tipping point for handprinting, moving it from a novel idea that some people (including TIME Magazine) are talking about, to a global movement and vibrant network of communities literally healing the planet. The plans are in place and most of the background database work for the app has been completed. But to bring the app (and the global groundswell) to life we need your support.

The Most Important Part

As some of you may know, Kickstarter funding is all-or-nothing, which means that if we don’t reach our funding goal, all pledges are cancelled and nothing gets done. But if we reach the goal, we’ll start immediately on finishing what may become a world-changing piece of technology, so you can start changing the world with it!

Of course, you’ll get rewards for donating, and those rewards are pretty cool (see the sidebar above to check out the possible rewards). And as part of the initial group of funders that helps make this app possible, you’ll be positioned to have huge handprints. Positive impacts are fueled by information, by labor, and by funding. Any handprint actions that are taken via the mobile application will be taken in part because of your contribution – you helped make the app possible, and all of the resulting handprints will be thanks in part to you.

Handprinter is a project of New Earth, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, so any donations to this campaign are fully tax-deductible.

So please join us, ask your friends to join us, and stay tuned for frequent updates from us and our friends at Pusher as we get this app built.

With enough handprints, we can heal the planet. Let’s make it happen together. 

Risks and challenges

As with any project involving computer programming and design, our greatest challenge will likely be the testing and de-bugging stage of the project. The folks at Pusher are experts, though, and we'll be keeping you all up to date on the status of the project -- challenges and all.

Handprinter is also about community and collaboration, and we'll be calling on our supporters to help us in this crucial stage. People who pledge $250 or more can elect to be a part of our beta-testing team, granted early access to the app and the chance to provide valuable feedback and suggestions.

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Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5 USD

    Become Famous -- Your tax-deductible donation will get your name listed in our web page Wall of Thanks, honoring everyone who's supported development of the app.

    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25 USD

    Mobile Fame -- Your tax-deductible donation gets you onto the Wall of Thanks, plus you'll get your name displayed on the launch screen of the mobile app, a rotating list of everyone who helped make the app possible.

    Estimated delivery
    11 backers
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100 USD

    The Best Shoutout Ever -- Your tax-deductible donation earns you all of the above, plus a true “shout-out” in our Shout to the Sea event. Handprinter is based in York, Maine, in which the summit of Mount Agamenticus provides a beautiful view of the ocean. From there, our team will thank you by shouting our thanks for your donation, from the mountain to the sea. We’ll record the whole thing, and put the video up on our blog!

    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250 USD

    Early Access -- Your tax-deductible donation earns you all of the above, plus you’ll get the option to be a member of our team of beta testers, with access to a pre-release of the app and the chance to give valuable input and feedback.

    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500 USD

    Create and model a new handprint action with the help of our founder. Through a 30-minute Skype sessions with Greg, you (and as many friends you want to fit into your webcam) can brainstorm your new action idea. Then Greg will use Life Cycle Assessment to model and estimate your action's impacts, and we'll put it into our database, with you credited for introducing the action.

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000 USD

    Celebrate With Us -- Your tax-deductible donation earns you rewards 1 through 4, plus dinner at the Harvard Faculty Club with our founder Gregory Norris and author Daniel Goleman, a member of our advisory board. (Transportation not included).

    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000 USD

    Personalized Page -- Your tax-deductible donation earns you rewards 1 through 4, plus a separate web page in your name, which you can use to dynamically monitor and share with others the impacts of your donation. Positive impacts require information, and action, and some require funding as well. We’ll calculate your "mobile app handprint" based on the percentage of the app that you helped fund. A share of all resulting handprints is thanks to you. Your own dynamic webpage will make this ongoing impact visible to you, and sharable too.

    Estimated delivery
    0 backers

Funding period

- (32 days)