It is ironic that I write this while traveling from Seattle to New York by airplane. Three years ago I set out to measure my carbon footprint from air travel. Back in 2007 I clocked nearly 70,000 miles and a carbon footprint on the order of 25 tons of CO2. In 2008 the number dropped to 56,000 miles and about 22 tons of CO2. This year, I’ve only flown about 29,000 miles for around 10 tons of CO2. Sure the year is not yet through, but at this time in 2008 I’d flown 44,000 miles and in 2007 56,000. Certainly the economy has some part to play in my reduced air travel, but I have also reduced my travel consciously by grouping trips, and simply opting not to travel whenever possible.
Each year I do purchase offsets as I’ve written about before (and here), and I will do so again this year, and encourage others to consider doing so too. Many services are available and offer easy ways to calculate your footprint. It is important to buy offsets or RECs from reputable groups, and I have provided some of those details in my earlier posts. The best I have come across, and one I will continue to use is Native Energy. But beyond measuring, reducing and offsetting it is important to support the work of organizations like 350.org, The League of Conservation Voters and campaigns like TckTckTck.
When I started talking about my Carbon footprint it was a relatively new concept to most people, and now just 3 years later, it is widely understood, in large part thanks to the work of many activist organizations and the work they have done to raise awareness about the dangers of Carbon Dioxide and other Greenhouse Gases. This year I am hopeful that we will see steps towards meaningful legislation and global action on Climate Change.