Are You Mindful of the Footprints You Leave Behind?

What’s a footprint? An outline or indentation created by pressing the foot on a surface, such as a step in wet sand or a muddy print left by a shoe.

But you knew that. What’s easy to forget is that everything we do leaves behind a mark of some kind. We can get caught up in the day-to-day running around and we forget how our individual actions – no matter how small – are leaving a mark. Every action we take in our daily lives is either helping to improve the quality of the planet. Or to damage it.

Land Rover has an interesting motto: "Tread Lightly." Think about it for a minute. When they say "Tread Lightly," they are talking about the impact their vehicles have. Land Rover created a 4×4 driving program for the owners of their vehicles so they could learn how to do the least amount of damage to the environment when driving off-road. I know that Land Rover is not a low emissions vehicle, but the point is to consider the phrase “Tread Lightly” as a metaphor.

Could we do the same thing as individuals without creating a personal marketing and education program? Could we have an impact as soft as a feather? If our individual choices were made for a global bottom line – instead of a personal bottom line – then the results from our decisions would begin to leave less of a footprint.

We don’t live in a perfect world, but we can each do our part to be responsible for the small piece of that imperfect world over which we do have some control. This planet has so many resources to offer, or to abuse. We have an opportunity each and every day to treat the planet as a little slice of heaven or hell. What type of footprints are you leaving behind in your daily walk through life?

Andrew Grant is the world’s first hybrid taxi driver. He introduced his Prius taxi to the not-so-mean streets of Vancouver in 2000, and logged 200,000 miles in just 25 months. Andrew’s Prius was snatched by Toyota. The automaker wanted a chance to study the durability of the hybrid batteries and other components, which held up amazingly well. See this video for details. He’s now driving his third Prius. Andrew has taken a break from taxi-driving, and now works as a professional coach helping his clients achieve personal excellence in various fields of endeavor.

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  • jim_hinson

    Well said, Mr. Grant!!

    Incredible message, and one I’ve been more and more interested in living myself. One thing I learned from my parents that I want to pass on to my children:
    Try to leave each thing you encounter (person, place, thing) a little better than when you encountered it. If I borrow something, I want to return it in at least as good a condition as I borrowed, preferably better.

    Thanks for stating this so eloquently!

    – Jim

  • Guest

    You’re a good man, Andrew.
    Many think that if anything happens to the environment, it will be well after their lifetime, so why worry?

  • paul

    That’s an interesting message from Land Rover. My observaion of four-wheel-drive vehicle operators is that they will go great distances out of their way to leave permanent destruction in their path, including driving across farm fields and even people’s front yards when it’s wet, and driving across rocky wilderness leaving tire marks on the boulders…sort of like a dog marking it’s territory.

  • Guest

    It’s encouraging to see another automobile manufacturer (albeit another foreign company) advocate an “environmentally responsible” approach to the use of their product. Now if only the American manufacturers would/could/will recognize the importance of this philosophy and take an active part in its promotion.

  • Guest

    the new cars should be cheaper than what they are becouse some people have to drive a long ways and pay more than $200 in gas each week.and I am pretty sure they get mad becouse the gas prices ranging from $2.50 to4.85.

  • Guest

    Tread Lightly… hard to disagree with that sentiment. But, coming from the division of Ford Motor Company that produces the 400 horsepower Range Rover Sport and 5,800 pound LR3 SUVs, it’s unvarnished hipocracy.

  • mapocu306

    No bad post, write more