Friday, October 19, 2007

Uh oh...time to stay home

I am sick and tired of flying. I fly so much - back and forth to the west coast all the time, up and down the east coast occasionally, and then overseas a couple of times a year. I can't stand the airport, the waiting lounges, the crowded planes, the long waits, the jet lag and the arriving in Oakland at midnight and having to drive 45 minutes to get to my hotel in Palo Alto.

It turns out the earth can't stand me flying so much either.

Today, I took an eBay-sponsored carbon footprint test here at the PopTech conference. The average American has a carbon footprint of about 9.5 tons per year, it tells me.

The good news is that I walk to work instead of commuting each day, so I don't burn any fossil fuels on my commute. I feel pretty smug about that. On the other hand, I drive out to West Virginia most weekends to get away from the city. Overall, I feel like an average emitter, and that's what the test tells me.

UNTIL...I take into account my flying. All of my flying adds another 33 tons per year of carbon emissions. This makes my carbon emissions FOUR TIMES the national average.

I had heard that flying was one of the biggest culprits in carbon emissions by individuals, but I had not fully grokked that until I took the test.

Boy, now I really *have* to get serious about flying less.