Let’s cancel culture…climate change.
Do you offset your flights? Your driving? Your meals?
We all know climate change is a thing…and that we’re doing our part (to make it worse). But that’s okay–we can and should offset our carbon footprint–ie our impact on this planet we all need.
The good news: it’s cheap, and easy. And if we all did it, we’d go a long way toward sucking some of that carbon back down. Invest in regenerative farmers, or planting trees—what’s important is that 1) we do it and 2) we find a company or non-profit that we trust.
Or, 3), be like my ma: she saves little baby trees from folks’ lawns (you knew, those little oak or maple etc. offshoots that are just gonna get mowed down) and plants them in her backyard, in a pot, grows them a few feet tall, and gives ’em away to a friend who has a spot in their yard. She does (at least) one for every flight. ~ ed.
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In the name of transparency, I am here to share that I will be taking my fourth short-haul flight next week.
Despite trying to live a low impact life, being a migrant who lives away from her loved ones, I fly a lot to see my family. I am one of the highest polluters.
Shaming individuals, however, is not what is going to stop us flying, but that doesn’t mean we can carry on flying for leisure as we have been.
Eighty percent of human beings will never set foot on a plane in their lives. Yet, that 20 percent who does, managed to pass the point last month when 22.5 million people were in the sky at the same time in one day, which is equal to the fourth largest city in the world. To keep global warming under two degrees celsius by 2050, we need to stick to a global CO₂ budget per year, which is 2300 kg of CO₂. One return long haul flight emits 6669 kg.
What can we do instead of flying?
> Look for holiday destinations which can be reached by trains or car. Sleeper trains are a good way to go.
> If you are required to fly for work, suggest video calls instead and limit the number of colleagues being sent out.
> If you are sold the idea that children can only have an unforgettable time in exotic destinations, check back to your own childhood and see how much fun you had without flying to places.
> Stay local and cycle to places with stopovers overnight to cover larger distances.
> Enjoy the journey and not the destination while creating domestic holidays.
If you do fly?
> Avoid hop-offs and fly nonstop. Takeoffs and ascent require significantly more energy than cruising at an altitude.
> Carry less. Send items ahead, and only take hand luggage.
> If you do fly, and can, stay longer before jetting to your next destination.
> Don’t fly business. They are two or three times as energy-intensive as economy class. Especially when it includes lie-flat beds.
> Consider carbon offsetting.