Boyten's blog

Aventures of the Masked Canary

My BIG, FAT, carbon footprint


It will probably take me a few lifetimes to cut my BIG, FAT, carbon footprint. Having previously worked in the airline industry and having “meeted and greeted” gazillions of passengers, I reckon my air miles would stretch from here to the moon and back.

The thought of all the accumulated air pollution makes me feel uncomfortable and uneasy.  The dilemma I have though amidst my environmental concerns, is the idea of strict curtailment in air travel.  The latter makes me feel uncomfortable; air travel has opened up the world to so many people since the Wright brothers persevered with their flying machines.  The old saying that travel broadens the mind has been proven to me again and again over the years, not just with my own experience but with the countless people I’ve met on the way.  A more tolerant and open-minded society should ensue but there are few places where this is a reality.  I can’t help but think too that expectations are generally a lot higher now and perhaps this is in part due to an increase in travel.  I have also experienced travel addicts, for whom the experience is secondary to the amount of countries they’ve clocked up, and of which I cannot find anything broad-minded about amidst the bragging!

Throughout history, human beings have shown their need to push boundaries and barriers both physically and metaphorically.  Poverty or persecution has forced people to move countries and it’s still happening today.  Curiosity and ambition are also key factors in taking to the air.  The need to make and create using foreign resources drives people to travel.  Discoveries made on travels was once the preserve of a few well-heeled (usually) men in their equivalent of the now popular gap year.

As a young woman eager to see the world, I jumped at the chance of being paid to travel.  I did of course find out the meaning of slog behind the glamorous image, however I felt very privileged and grateful to be part of such an exciting industry.  The niggles were there nonetheless and eventually I left, grateful for the experience but rather world-weary and a touch disillusioned.  Seeing how the other half lived and watching all the consumption and waste (in more ways than one) made me want to help those less fortunate.  I started donating to charity, then volunteering and eventually my career formed in the Third Sector.  I guess the feeling of social responsibility has stayed with me hence my unease about the *whispers* carbon footprint.  Looking forwards, I applaud those airlines such as SAS who take their environmental policy seriously. I hope to see zero emissions in my lifetime. 2050, they reckon. Eek!


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This entry was posted on February 21, 2014 by and tagged , , , , .
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