I once heard our politicians pronounce a remarkable statement in response to a question about the environmental problems impacting the world: "The American lifestyle is not under negotiation." I saw a movie soon after where some people in a hostage situation were told that someone will be arriving to negotiate. Next scene is Bruce Willis leaping in, gunning everyone down with his latest weapon, then stating “Anyone else want to negotiate?”
HOW MUCH NEGOTIATION IS LEFT?
On World Environment Day we turn our awareness to the problems our planet is facing and therefore ourselves and know this as a reality: our lifestyles will soon not have much to negotiate with, as our environment crumbles around us. With many environmental consequences arising from transport emissions including melting glaciers, rising seas, climate change, changing weather patterns, earthquakes and increased flooding, it makes sense to look at how to decrease the impact of travel. A little bit of awareness and a few changes in one´s business travel practices can go a long way to doing our bit.
GREEN BUSINESS TRAVEL
One way is to offset the greenhouse gas emissions that occur from any flights you take you via programs like "MyClimate´. MyClimate offers carbon offset certificates for climate neutral business travel, events or products. For businesses who both feel more responsible and want to appear to be greener, "climate neutrality´ is a way to be a player in this important area.
Individuals can also offset the emissions from their flights by purchasing a myclimate ticket. For example: a return flight from New York to Switzerland emits at least as much carbon dioxide (CO2) per person as a whole year of driving a car. The idea is that the level of emissions created by your flight is equally reduced by a Carbon Offset Project. Projects range from solar greenhouses in the Himalayas to hydroelectricity in Indonesia.
Even the current FIFA World Cup event is carbon neutral. FIFA has acknowledged that air travel from thousands of spectators and the energy involved in putting on an event like the Cup creates emissions, which must be addressed. They have tendered MyClimate to offset its emissions with two South African projects. One project replaces coal-fired burners at the African Realty Trust, South Africa´s largest producer and processor of citrus. Instead, sawdust will be burned from surrounding sawdust mills minimizing waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging sustainable development. The second project involves the recovery of methane emissions from a Johannesburg wastewater treatment plant, which is then used to create clean electricity.
As little as $15 compensates 1000 pounds of C02 and allows a guilt-free flight. Aaaah, I am breathing better already. Further information at myclimate.org