How to use your MBTI personality type to save the planet

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How to use your MBTI personality type to save the planet

Posted 21 April 2023 by
Vanessa, MBTIonline Contributing Writer
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5 min. read

Every year in April, Earth Day is celebrated by more than 1 billion people globally. It’s known as “the largest secular civic event in the world” and has helped inspire several important pieces of legislation to address pollution, water quality, and endangered species.

At the Myers-Briggs Company, true sustainability efforts continue beyond Earth Day. It’s one of the reasons we’re a Certified B Corporation®. And it’s also why so many people on our team are passionate about things like composting, recycling, energy use, climate issues, clean air, and much more.

There’s no time like the present to reflect on your own relationship with the planet and how you can help protect it for future generations. But here’s the thing about sustainability efforts: it’s not just about jumping into whatever the next person is doing.

To truly make an impact, it’s helpful to understand what motivates and interests you. Otherwise, you could experience a level of burnout that makes you stop your sustainability efforts altogether. And that’s a lose-lose for everyone.

From our POV, it seems that the most environmentally conscious, philanthropic people all have something in common: self-awareness. Often, our reach and impact go further when we can apply our unique strengths and personality to whatever we do. Think of it like using your personality powers for good.

What’s a B Corp and why is it important?

As a Certified B Corporation® (B Corp), The Myers-Briggs Company believes in using business to positively impact all people, communities, and the planet. B Corps® take measurable action to address society’s critical challenges, make an actual legal commitment for accountability, and exhibit transparency throughout all social and environmental initiatives. For example, one of our current goals is to increase employee volunteer hours by 75%. We also continue to work toward the NetZero by 2030 commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. Learn more about The Myers-Briggs Company's impact or download our Earth Day infographic.

Use personality preferences as a force for good

One way to use your strengths to positively impact the environment is to learn about your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®(MBTI) personality type. Within your four-letter type are tremendous amounts of self-awareness and opportunities for growth. In fact, your personality preferences tell you so much about what gets – and keeps – you motivated to make the world a better place.

The MBTI framework uses four preference pairs to explain how you interact with others, learn new things, make decisions, and organize your life:

  1. Extraversion–Introversion: where you get your energy (with people or alone)
  2. Sensing–Intuition: how you prefer to take in information (five senses vs. underlying meaning)
  3. Thinking–Feeling: how you prefer to make decisions (logic/facts vs. people/circumstances)
  4. Judging–Perceiving: the way you prefer to organize your life (structured vs. flexible)

Let's take a closer look at how these preferences could impact the way you stay motivated to reduce your carbon footprint:

Your energy source: Introversion or Extraversion
If you have a preference for Introversion, you’re motivated when you have enough time to research and plan incremental changes. You might be drawn to quiet, introspective initiatives such as picking up litter or starting a virtual group where people share eco-friendly ideas.

If you have a preference for Extraversion, you’re motivated when you can take visible, collaborative action on things that bring people together. You might be drawn to social activities such as hosting an upcycle party or organizing a community garden.

Your learning style: Sensing or Intuition
If you have a preference for Sensing, you’re motivated when you can take practical, tangible action. You might prefer activities such as washing your clothes in cold water, switching to LED bulbs, or participating in local recycle programs.

If you have a preference for Intuition, you’re motivated when you can call for systemic, big-picture changes. You might like to advocate for and personally invest in things such as sustainable fashion or renewable energy sources.

Your decision-making style: Thinking or Feeling
If you have a preference for Thinking, you’re motivated when you can base your decisions on facts and what’s scientifically supported. You might be drawn to measurable activities such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions or researching the cost effectiveness of collective environmental efforts.

If you have a preference for Feeling, you’re motivated when you can choose the path that feels most empathetic and meaningful to you and others. You might be drawn to initiatives that prioritize emotional impact such as boycotting fast fashion or picking up plastic from the beach.

Your orientation to the world: Judging or Perceiving
If you have a preference for Judging, you’re motivated by initiatives that require following a timeline or checklist of some sort. You might enjoy adding structure to things like organizing community events or coordinating local litter clean-up initiatives.

If you have a preference for Perceiving, you’re motivated by activities that give you freedom to do things your own way. You might enjoy checking out several different sustainability groups in your area to see which options pique your interest.