The biggest part of my carbon footprint is travel

Texas Tech University Climate Science director Katharine Hayhoe thinks about her professional and personal carbon footprint all the time, and like many other scientists, she’s come to the conclusion that flying less is the best way to reduce it.

As a prominent climate science communicator, she is asked to speak at numerous events each year — ranging from discussions with community groups to taking part in workshops and academic seminars. Her first response is always to ask if she can appear virtually.

“I often get the response, ‘well, we’ve never done that, but we’re willing to try!,'” Hayhoe told DW. “Many of my colleagues aren’t sure about this approach but I am doing what I can to change the culture.”

Hayhoe waits until she has several events to attend in any one area before planning travel.

“When I went to the UK in November, I’d been collecting invitations for nearly two years. I stayed near a centrally located train station in London and spent each day at a different university or organization,” she said.

She also offsets her travel-related emissions with a certified program called Climate Stewards that invests in local economies in Kenya, Ghana and Mexico. “They are ultra-careful in ensuring that the carbon offsets they invest in are sustained,” she said.

Read more of this interview on my carbon footprint, here.