“The greenest business trip is the one you don’t take,” GreenBiz founder and executive director Joel Makower recently noted in a New York Times story.
Businesses around the world are coming to the same conclusion. For these enterprises, shrinking their carbon footprints by reducing travel isn’t just a benevolent idea. It’s good business, helping them to cut costs while also appealing to environmentally conscious consumers.
According to the Air Transport Action Group, a nonprofit association representing all sectors of the air transport industry, flights produced 705 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2013. By replacing in-person meetings with videoconferencing and live events with online streaming video events, businesses can enjoy the benefits of live interaction without adding to the amount of carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
For example, if a New York-based business flies employees from its London location to the headquarters for a summit, each round trip flight would generate 1.53 metric tons of CO2 emissions (source: climatecare.org). By turning the event into an interactive online summit via live video, the company would save more than 3,300 pounds of carbon emissions per round-trip flight. And fewer emissions means cleaner air for everybody.
As a reminder of why this is so important, take a few moments to enjoy the view of our beautiful planet from space, courtesy of NASA’s live stream from the International Space Station. Also, check out the photos below of Ustreamers doing their part!
Happy Earth Day!
Caitlin, six-year-old daughter of Ustream legal counsel, Anne Ortel, started an Earth Club at her school last week to help students become more aware of environmental problems and come up with ideas for ways to help fight those problems. Over the weekend, Caitlin spoke with the nursery manager and a store manager at the local Orchard Supply Hardware and convinced them to donate a compost bin for her school’s lunch area for fruit and veggie discards at lunch. She also convinced them to send a garden worker from OSH to her school to explain composting at an assembly. Caitlin wants the compost to be used in the currently-empty planters scattered around her school and to have those planters filled with fruit and veggie plantings.
Ustreamer Linda Williams and her husband took a hands-on “Mow No Mo'” workshop on Saturday to learn how to convert water-guzzling lawns into beautiful, drought-tolerant native gardens through sheet-mulching.