“Take only photos and leave only footprints” is a common phrase we say when hiking and camping in the mountains. As I prepare to travel by plane and since getting to Peru will require a long-haul flight, I’ve been considering the “footprint” I might leave.
A carbon footprint is a measurement of how much Carbon Dioxide is released into the environment through the burning of fossil fuels in daily activities and travel.
To address the carbon footprint volunteers produce from long haul flights (which is estimated at roughly 4 tons of CO2), GVN has partnered with a Thailand comunity to provide a Carbon Offsetting program. Travelers can pay a small fee ($18-$30) to offset the impact of their travels. The money goes directly to the PATT reforestation project in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where one tree is planted for every 800kg of carbon produced. The reforestation has also produced jobs and income for the Chaing Mai Community and restored the forest which acts as a rich biodiverse watershed for them.
“It is our obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what we take out of it.” Albert Einstein
Whether or not you are convinced of Global Warming as a threatening issue, I can’t argue with Einstein’s words. Considering the consequences of my consumption and taking effort to restore what I use seems like the logical and responsible thing to do. That’s the sort of footprint I want to leave.