From Jon Brett, co-founder of TetraMap International
When I look at my annual carbon footprint there is one elephant in the room: overseas flights. The carbon footprint of flying massively outweighs everything else put together.
How about offsetting the carbon? Lots of websites will happily calculate how much carbon you need to offset, but my guess is that all their assumptions are wildly inaccurate and definitely do not account for any of the carbon cost of building and servicing the planes and airports. As soon as I try to calculate a “fair” cost of carbon, I get into arguments about the validity of the calculations and just get nowhere. So to justify the damage to the environment I am causing, I decided on a simple common sense formula:
Spend the same amount of money on the environment as I do on airfares.
But doesn’t that make air travel prohibitive? Exactly! Just prohibitive enough to rule out non-essential trips and to make me value my environment just as much as visiting family or whatever the purpose of the travel is.
This is a BIG SHIFT in commitment to the environment. It is a shift from relying on convenient economics to simple common sense. As long as the environment is degrading, we have a responsibility to contribute to its rejuvenation.
I am lucky enough to live near the water, looking out to Motuihe Island. Being farmed and lacking water, it would turn brown each summer, but now the island is rejuvenating thanks to re-planting of natives and removing pests. I continue to experience first-hand the value of returning the land to Nature, instead of exploiting Nature for everything it can give.
No need to wait until I board the plane – when I paid for the airfare, I donated to the Million Meters Streams Project with the rationalisation that rejuvenating our waterways is just as important as visiting my relatives.
If you think I’m crazy, you don’t value the environment enough. We all need to make a BIG SHIFT!
The Big Shift (#theBIGshift) is a new approach to business transformation by the Sustainable Business Network, a simple and effective way to identify practical ways of bringing about change. Is there something similar in your region?
More about Jon
Jon and Yoshimi Brett have dedicated much of their life to creating and sharing their model, TetraMap. You can learn more about why they created it, and their commitment to Nature and sustainability here.