Saturday, February 2, 2008

A Carbon Conundrum

Recently the office I work at reviewed the carbon footprint of our workplace and our professional activities. During this process, we discovered something I want to share. Our Carbon conundrum.

The carbon conumdrum is the following. We all thought our carbon footprint of our building would be larger than anything else we did. You know, all of the workings of an office, keeping a building fueled up, lights on, maintaining the facility etc. Given our rural location away from significant population centers 3/4 of our 20+ staff must drive more than 2o to 30 mins roundtrip to work. Our average commute is is actually an hour. We found the biggest part of our carbon footprint pie is our commuting, driving back and forth from job meetings, flying to conferences, meetings etc. out of state. It's not our building's operational costs. It's just plain old us moving around burning fossil fuel.

How did we react as a group to this news? Well we're much more sensitive to how much impact our driving is making and carpooling more often. We're at least more self-aware and possibly can change our commuting and meeting behaviors. Perhaps we don't need a face to face project meeting or really go to that conference or trade show out of state. You don't change this behavior overnight. I'm especially finding it hard as I have a different family schedule and after work activities every night, no set routine. For others it is easier. Regardless, it's important and I hope I can successfully carpool at least one day a week for the next year. It does make a difference.

Anyways, what do you think about the Carbon Conundrum? Best, Steve