Sustainability Begins at Home
Last year, at a quarterly RTNF meeting, we updated our mission statement to include the goal of "eliminating the unsustainable use of fossil fuels" in three ways:
fostering the research and development of alternative energy sources
supporting environmental issue comprehension efforts
supporting energy use behavioral modification programs.
To attend that meeting, at which we resolved to tackle the world’s fossil fuel problems, our board members travelled a combined 7,200 miles. Between planes and automobiles, our attendance at that meeting burned roughly 100 gallons of fossil fuel, releasing approximately 1 ton of CO2 into the atmosphere.
We had decided to be part of the solution, but our mere attendance at that meeting meant that we were part of the problem.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
This year, for our first quarterly meeting, everyone who does not live near the RTNF office stayed home. By attending the meeting remotely, using telephones and screen-sharing, we allowed almost 100 gallons of fuel to stay in the ground, and prevented the release of nearly 1 ton of CO2.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
- Lao Tzu
That ton of CO2 we saved represents only about 0.008% of the carbon emissions released in the world every second. So this was just one tiny step in a very long journey—a journey that may best be achieved, ironically, by not going anywhere. Sustainability begins at home.