"Start off on the right foot" - Environment and Sustainability


10/25/20224 min read

To begin a project, relationship, to have a positive and successful beginning.


The early beginnings of the idiom "start off on the right foot" are unknown, but it likely originated from the ancient belief that the left side was associated with bad luck, while the right side represented good fortune. In many cultures, the right foot was considered auspicious, and people would deliberately step into a new situation or place with their right foot first to ensure a positive outcome. In modern usage, the idiom refers to starting a new endeavor in a way that promotes success and positive outcomes.

What is the Meaning?

"Start off on the right foot" means to begin a new project, relationship, or task in a positive and successful manner. It implies setting the stage for continued success by making wise decisions, forming strong relationships, and establishing good habits from the outset. By starting off on the right foot, you can set the tone for a successful and productive venture.

Prioritize Quality Communication

a man in a black shirt and red shoes
a man in a black shirt and red shoes


Imagine a person stepping into a new business meeting with their right foot first, symbolizing a positive and successful entrance. They exude confidence, are well-prepared, and engage in productive conversation with their colleagues. This literal depiction of starting off on the right foot captures the essence of the idiom and its connection to establishing a positive beginning.

Environment and Sustainability Context - How to Use the Idiom

The idiom "start off on the right foot" is commonly used in the environment and sustainability industry. In this field, professionals often face complex challenges and need to make informed decisions that positively impact the environment and society. Here are some example sentences of the idiom used in various business contexts:

  1. To ensure our eco-friendly product launch starts off on the right foot, we must conduct thorough market research and engage with potential customers.

  2. Our team should start off on the right foot by setting clear sustainability goals and involving all stakeholders in the decision-making process.

  3. To start off on the right foot in our partnership with the environmental NGO, we should establish open communication channels and outline our shared objectives.

Compare Sentences

Without the idiom: We should have a strong beginning for our environmental campaign.

With the idiom: We should start off on the right foot with our environmental campaign.

In the second sentence, the idiom adds emphasis to the importance of a positive and successful beginning for the campaign, making it more engaging and impactful.

a man in a black shirt is doing a push up
a man in a black shirt is doing a push up

Over to you - Using the Idiom in Conversation

How would you use the idiom "start off on the right foot" in your business conversations? Try to think of situations where you could use the idiom. Consider reading this scenario aloud. Record yourself speaking to experience a more effective way of practicing the idiom. Here is an example to get you started.


Scenario: A team of sustainability professionals is discussing the launch of a new eco-friendly product line.

Project Manager: To ensure our product line is successful, we need to start off on the right foot. Any suggestions on how we can achieve this?

Marketing Director: Absolutely. We should invest in market research and collaborate with influencers in the sustainability community to generate buzz around our product line.

Sustainability Analyst: Additionally, we could develop a robust sustainability plan that outlines our goals, KPIs, and strategies for reducing our environmental footprint.

Supply Chain Manager: I agree. By working with eco-friendly suppliers and incorporating sustainable materials, we can start off on the right foot and build a strong foundation for our product line.

Gap Fill Exercises

Add the idiom "start off on the right foot" to the blank spaces in the following sentences:

  1. To _______ in our collaboration with the local environmental organization, we should schedule an introductory meeting and share our goals and objectives.

  2. Our company can _______ in its sustainability efforts by establishing a dedicated team and setting clear targets.

  3. To _______ with our new supplier, we should conduct a thorough evaluation of their environmental practices and certifications.

  4. We need to _______ in our new office by implementing green initiatives and encouraging employee participation from day one.

Quiz: Test Your Understanding of "Start Off on the Right Foot"

What does the idiom "start off on the right foot" mean?

a) To begin something in a positive and successful way

b) To walk with a limp

c) To rely on luck for success

Fill in the blank: We want to _______ with our new client by presenting a well-prepared proposal and establishing a positive rapport.

a) start off on the right foot

b) put our best foot forward

c) walk a mile in their shoes

In which context might you use the idiom "start off on the right foot"?

a) In a business meeting discussing a new project

b) While trying on shoes at a store

c) When talking about a soccer match

Which of these sentences uses the idiom correctly?

a) I want to start off on the right foot by ending the meeting early.

b) We should start off on the right foot by setting clear goals and objectives for our environmental campaign.

c) He started off on the right foot when he tripped and fell.

What is the origin of the idiom "start off on the right foot"?

a) From a belief in ancient cultures that the right foot represented good fortune

b) From the practice of starting a race on one's right foot

c) From a famous person who always began their day by putting on their right shoe first

Scoring guidelines:

Each correct answer is worth 2 points.

A score of 8-10 indicates a strong understanding of the idiom.

A score of 4-6 suggests a moderate understanding.

A score of 0-2 indicates that further practice is needed to fully grasp the idiom.

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