Happy Earth Day week! We dedicate this time to celebrating global environmental causes and reflecting on the bounty and fragility of our sweet Mama Earth. In school, we learned to reduce, reuse and recycle. Now, we’re looking at the impact that travel has on our planet and focusing on some small adjustments we can make in our day-to-day business lives that can make a huge change.

Luckily, international legislation like the Paris Agreement is dedicated to bringing countries together to combat climate change. In fact, 21 countries have already managed to cut their emissions significantly without risking the growth of their nations’ economies. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2023, global renewables are forecast to meet more than 70% of electricity generating growth.

But just because governments have taken it into their hands to start making environmental changes doesn’t mean we don’t have to carry our weight. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), more than a third of all carbon dioxide emissions come from the ways we travel. For air travel in particular, just one single 10-hour commercial international flight burns about 36,000 gallons of fuel at a rate of about one gallon per second, with each gallon releasing 20 pounds of CO2 into the air. 

That’s where video conferencing can really help. Lifesize re-creates the experience of an in-person meeting, allowing you to collaborate with your team, pitch to clients and meet with investors without relying on air travel.

Commuting is a whole different story. For those close enough to their workplaces, walking and biking offer healthy alternatives to car travel. Embracing carpools, ridesharing and public transportation can reduce carbon emissions by 37 million tons a year in the United States. And if you can, try working from home! You can prevent 1,600 pounds of greenhouse gases from being emitted just by working from home two days a week.

Just by making a few small adjustments — like adopting a video conferencing solution at your company — you can have a real, positive impact on the world’s future. So this Earth Day, we encourage you to consider replacing some of your travel and commuting plans with high-quality video conferencing. No more guilty flying, and no more sitting in traffic and watching the air outside your window get smoggy. Start saving the planet with a free trial of the Lifesize app. The person on the other end of the call will thank you — and so will Mother Earth.