So far just which country is responsible for the carbon emissions
from a person’s flight has been put in the too hard basket. It’s
resulted in the depressing situation that no country is required to
include international air travel emissions in their national carbon
budget. This is despite international aviation being over 2% of global
GHG emissions and growing.
Now that flying has drastically
reduced – we have an opportunity to fix this. This is the time to work
out a consistent and fair way to include international air travel in the
global greenhouse gas emissions footprint of each country. We can’t
truly mitigate climate change until we do.
Here’s a interesting piece by transport carbon footprint researcher Dr Inga Smith, at the University of Otago.
[PREAMBLE: Many people are suffering during this pandemic, especially those on lower incomes. Helping those most affected should be our immediate priority. For the next while however, I will be sharing posts about some of the silver linings to this pandemic. In particular, what we learning and what unique opportunities we have now to create a future that’s more sustainable, nature friendly, equitable, fulfilling and fun! ]
The huge reduction of flights globally during this pandemic presents an opportunity for system change that may not come again for a long while. What system changes could we bring in that are low carbon, nautre friendly and more equitable?
Personally I would love to have more affordable rail and greater
uptake of intercity buses for land travel, as well as low carbon
passenger ships for those oceanic journeys to visit whanau on the other
side of the world. Cruise ships are not the answer as their carbon
footprints are around four times greater than flying economy class! (on
a per passenger basis).
One barrier to travel by ship is time. There are not many workplaces
allow us the time needed to take journeys that take some months. But
this could be changed, as it has for maternity leave. For example
workplaces could offer a year of unpaid leave every five years, that
people could use or not, for travel or projects, and have their job
kept for them when they return.
First, our obsession with growth at all costs is putting huge pressures on our planet and many people. Second, thriving as a species is not the same as growth. Third, there is another way – and it looks like a doughnut!
English Economist Kate Raworth gives an inspiring summary of how our current economic system is failing us and what we can do to fix it in this YouTube.
Not sound very inspiring? Well actually it is. Yesterday I read this article called Eco-Authenticity by Andrew J Hoffman, Education Director at the Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan. It’s about doing what we can whilst not getting paralysed by the lofty goals of Perfection.
Aligning our values with our actions brings its own rewards – feeling we are part of the solution and not the problem, opening us to new experiences and to new people doing interesting things.
Individual actions such as cycling to work or composting our food scraps will not save the world alone, but they are an essential part of the solution. We feel happier; together in community, our actions bring pressure for societal change; and we gain eco-authenticity in the eyes of others.
The challenge is to keep on making changes WHILST not judging ourselves OR each other for not doing it perfectly. As Hoffman states (by Voltaire I think) – Don’t let Perfect be the enemy of Good.
So let’s make 2019 one where we do our own personal good enough (for now at least) and encourage others to do theirs.
Happy New Year! May it be Splendidly Good Enough for us all!
My friend Danielle reminded me that Summer Solstice is coming soon. Here in New Zealand, this year it happens on Saturday 22nd December at 11.23am.
This longest day of the year is approaching far too fast for me! November was the wettest November on record in Dunedin. Not so much fun, but at least the fields are a vivid green (like my memories of Ireland).
In my own garden, soon the garlic will be dying down and ready to harvest. The red currents are ripening well. And for the first time, I will harvest pears from the fruit tree I grafted.
Next year, my bookings include another Homemade Cleaner Workshops independently and with Supergrans, at least one workshop on Office Composting through the Otago Chamber of Commerce, plans for interactive workshops on tree planting and appreciation … and more! The radio show Eco Living in Action will continue – and is back to a weekly slot!
If you want a sustainable practice workshop for your office, your organisation or in your community, I am your woman! Please get in touch.
I wish you a lovely Summer Solstice, Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.
In the build up to the Festive Season, I am offering to come to your workplace to run a fun one hour workshop called
No Trees Wasted at Xmas
In this participatory workshop, I show you how to make paper (and plastic) waste free gifts such as
Wax Cloth Wraps – can be reused many times to replace wrappng paper and clingfilm
Homemade cleaners – no more nasty chemicals and packaging
Homemade toothpaste – effective, waste free and low cost
This workshop is a fun activity that will get staff thinking about becoming waste free, making something to take away, and could precede some more indepth assistance with your sustainable workplace goals in the New Year – if you wish!
Please contact me to find out costs. Subsidies are available for individuals, not-for-profits and community groups.
I’d love to hear from you! For more information, contact email@example.com or ring me on 021 206 3593