Grab your canvas shopping bag, eco-friendly coffee cup, and carpool to work because today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s a day to show our appreciation for the environment and to think about how our daily activities make an impact.
In the past week we’ve all been reminded of the power of Mother Nature with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. With one fail swoop, Europe was at a standstill: no flights, canceled meetings, empty conferences, and thousands of stranded passengers. One fact that I find particularly relevant to Earth Day: the CO2 emissions from the eruption itself are significant, but dwarfed by the savings from mass groundings of flights (see daily emissions comparison below).
A bit frightening, right? The environmental impact of a volcano pales in comparison to our daily travel habits. There are times when traveling is a must, whether for business or pleasure, but there are other times it can be avoided. This Earth Day, we’d like you to think about how you can use technology to reduce your carbon footprint. We’ve got a few ideas to help inspire you:
1) Instead of spending hours driving to a meeting, plan a video conference.
2) Reduce the need to copy and print by sharing your presentation virtually
3) Consider telecommuting once a week
If you’ve got any other suggestions, we’d love for you to post them here. If you’re interested in learning more about Earth Day, visit http://www.earthday.org/.
* Chart by David McCandless & Ben Bartels @ Information is Beautiful