Celebrated annually in more than 192 countries, Earth Day is an international holiday, the purpose of which is to educate the public about the importance of protecting the environment. In honor of Earth Day’s message, let’s take a look at the ways video conferencing technology can significantly reduce carbon emissions and safeguard against global climate change.
We’re all familiar with the role that heavy industry and daily commuting play in greenhouse gas generation, but something that’s often glossed over is the impact air travel has on our environment. According to UK-based charity Friends of the Earth, air travel is the single fastest-growing source of greenhouse gases, with the world’s 16,000 commercial aircraft producing roughly 660 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide created annually by the sum of human activity in Africa. Kind of crazy, isn’t it?
Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide are the single biggest contributor to global climate change, which in turn threatens the long-term sustainability of the planet. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if proper steps are not taken soon, by 2050 climate change will have reduced crop yields by 25 percent, which will have devastating effects on earth’s human population.
But, What About Me?
At this point, you might be thinking, “Do I really need to change my flying habits? How much am I personally impacting the environment? After all, I’m only one person.” The answer might surprise you. Let’s say you make three trips a year to your company’s London offices from your home base in Chicago. Those three trips alone produce 10.4 tons of carbon dioxide per passenger. To put that into perspective, the average US household’s annual electricity consumption accounts for a comparatively paltry 6.6 tons of carbon dioxide. In those three trips across the pond, you alone have created half again as much carbon dioxide as your entire family consumes in a year.
And just because you’re not making regular transatlantic flights doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! Let’s say instead that you make three round-trip flights from New York to San Francisco. That’s “only” six tons of carbon dioxide a passenger – or nearly twice the carbon dioxide you create from driving your car 9,600 miles. Three round-trippers from Chicago to Houston create two tons per passenger, or the equivalent of an entire year’s worth of commutes to and from work. That adds up…fast!
Change Your Habits with Video Conferencing
So it’s pretty clear that excessive air travel is pretty bad for the planet, but where does that leave you and your business? You still need to meet with clients, collaborate with domestic and international partners and bring products to market, and that almost certainly requires air travel – and maybe even plenty of it. How can you help save the environment while also growing your business?
Two words: video conferencing. High-definition video conferencing perfectly replicates the experience of a face-to-face conversation, eliminating the need for anything but the most important in-person meetings.
Thanks to video conferencing, it’s easier than ever to make a positive impact on the environment – and what better way to celebrate Earth Day is there?
Check out our infographic below for even more fun facts about our environment (click to enlarge):