I’m going to start straight off by saying this is not my area of expertise – far from it, so I will learn something too! Fortunately I have some people in my life who can help me with the technology learning curve. My first point would be: you don’t need to be an expert in everything. Nearly everything you need to know you can find out from a quick internet search, or ask a teen/young adult. Do a search for “best free online meeting tools” for up to date suggestions.
Air travel, followed by road travel is the most costly in terms of carbon emissions, according to the David Suzuki Foundation, based on IPCC data. (See CO2 intensity of passenger transport).
Efficiency improvements may make some difference, but at the same time more people globally are flying and driving, which will offset gains made.
For some good information on this topic go to https://www.52climateactions.com/hold-meetings-online.
Most of us have sat through tedious, apparently unnecessary meetings, when we could have been doing something more productive. At the same time, it is important to recognize the value of getting together in person to develop relationships and team culture. However, choosing which meetings require face to face input can save time, money, waste and unnecessary travel and the greenhouse emissions it produces. Sometimes a simple group email or message can suffice, a skype call or more complex video conferencing may do the job.
One advantage of mastering online options is that you can potentially work from anywhere, including from home. This can save you a daily commute, freeing up time to spend with your family, or out in the garden. Alternatively, it may open up job options with international companies and expand your opportunities.
Another advantage is the availability of online study. Whether short courses or tutorials, MOOCS (massive open online courses – all free!), or university level, there will be something to interest everyone, with the convenience of learning in your own time.
My car travel makes up approximately 75% of my ecological footprint, made worse by the lack of good public transport options. Until an electric car becomes a viable option for me, every trip I don’t need to take is a win for the environment, and my time. For essential meetings and travel, consider offsetting through a reputable program like Greening Australia.
Take a few minutes to do an inventory of your weekly or monthly schedule. How many of the meetings and trips are really necessary? Which ones can be replaced by an online option? And what might you do with the time and money saved?