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