I was thinking about attending a few energy conferences this year. Sounds good, getting together with like-minded folks to save the earth.
Then I thought, how much CO2 am I creating by flying to these events? So, I went to the The International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO) Carbon Emissions Calculator to find out how much CO2 damage I would be doing by flying to these events. Their methodology is also on their website.
I decided to go to three imaginary events in the following cities (Las Vegas, Washington DC, and Orlando). Figuring that I took my imaginary EV to the airport, flying economy, walking everywhere else and only considering my fair share of CO2 emissions, here's the breakdown:
Now, add up ONLY my share, go to the EPA greenhouse-gas-equivalencies calculator and you can easily see that my 2,043.8 lbs. CO2 emissions are converted to various equivalencies, my favorites being 1,026 pounds of coal burned and 2.1 barrels of oil consumed.
This is ONLY for air travel, not considering every carbon emission generated to put on an onsite event for every person attending.
Try it for yourself, and ask "why don't these conferences remain virtual"? After all, we did it for two years and, although it's nice to meet face-to-face with people committed to sustainability, we need to consider the greater good and use technology to communicate and collaborate. There also are many local events to meet people and focus on community sustainability for a fraction of the carbon footprint.
As of me, I think I'll do my part this year and stay home, saving 15.3 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.