Not everyone finds CO2 emissions a top priority. In comparison to the savings by avoiding air travel, it seems that skipping a few 2 hour trips to Lansing is minimal. Still, every little bit makes a difference. So let’s build on the calculations of the past couple days to see what difference we could make in CO2 emissions by switching meetings to videoconferencing.
Let’s start with Polycom’s ROI Calculator, which suggests that one 5 hour round trip to Lansing uses 114 KG CO2.
Next, let’s try Tandberg’s See Green site, which suggests 118 KG CO2 (260 lbs).
So what does that really mean? Let’s try to get some perspective:
- Carbonify.com suggests that half a tree would offset that one trip; 5 trees if that one trip happens every month.
- The equivalent reduction in emissions can be done by switching one home incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (300 lbs of CO2 compared to 260 lbs of CO2).
- If 20 people in one school year skip traveling to Lansing (saving 5200 lbs of CO2) and meet via videoconference instead, it’s equivalent to two homes recycling half their household waste (4800 lbs of CO2).
Of course, all these variables are hard to calculate; and none of this takes into consideration the electricity it takes to run the videoconference system. Still, it’s interesting to think about; don’t you think?