Random Thoughts

A Challenge to be a Green Traveler

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In the month of October I traveled somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 miles. Yes, way to many miles for any one person to fly. It was somewhere on my third flight as I looked out the window at the two engines of the 747 that I started feeling guilty. Sense I started using tripit.com to organize my flights in 2009 I’ve traveled 264,766 miles. 162,754 of those have been just this year and I still have two more flights before I start the new year.

I love to fly and love to travel, and love doing what I’m doing. As I sat there somewhere over the Pacific Ocean I decided it was time to take action.

So last week I set out in search of a web site/company I could partner with to help off set my carbon footprint. After some research, playing with some sites and talking to company founders I decided to partner with Climate Action. There are three main reasons I decide that this was the right partnership for me.

1) Their website is easy to use and straight forward. Put in your flight, hotel, energy bill, etc and they calculate (using a certified 3rd party calculator) your carbon footprint.

2) Once you know how much money you have, you can then decide on which projects and where you want to donate your money. For my first round I decided to split my money between two systems. A windmill farm in Taiwan and a Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket here in Thailand. Most of my flying was in and out of Thailand and Taiwan so I decided they would be the first two countries I would give back to.

3) Printable Certificate: Once you have made your donation Climate Action gives you a PDF certificate you can print out and save to show your support.

So last week I made my first payback payment of just over $170. That’s nothing compared to the $1000s of dollars spent on my flights and hotel rooms. This time I picked up the tab. My idea is, that from here on out when I am asked to fly somewhere to present or consult with schools that I will add a “Green Fee” to the cost. I will allow the school/district/etc to either make a donation directly via Climate Action or I will make the donation on their behalf. Because Climate Action allows you to print off a Certificate of Donation it will be easy to verify that either the school or myself actually donated the money.

It’s actually not that expensive.To offset the carbon emissions of a round trip flight from Bangkok to Seattle will cost $30.

So from here on out I’ll be adding a “Green Fee” to my consulting fee as a way to give back and pay it forward.

My challenge is to other presenters, consultants, travelers to do the same. You know who you are out there that travel 1000s of miles. Besides show me a business or school that wouldn’t like to get a little certificate that says not only did they bring you in to speak, present, etc. but they did it the green way.

Climate Action offset Logo

I hope you take some time to check out Climate Action and join me in helping to make travel just a bit greener. I’ve had some great conversations with Justin and Jason from Climate Action. They’re great guys dedicated to their cause.

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.

1 Comment

  1. Hello Mr. Utecht,

    My name is Khaela. I’m a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I think it’s great that you donated to those two projects. I’ve been feeling a little guilty about my carbon footprint, and lately recycling just isn’t enough. This is a great post for those who want to do more.

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