On the surface, it appears that Bob and I are low impact guests on planet Earth. For years we have lived in 500 square feet or less, meticulously processing our garbage, baking our own bread, transporting ourselves without using fossil fuel, avoiding animal products and wearing the same clothes. We have even gone so far as to toot our own horns regarding what we considered to be our sustainable lifestyle.
But this year, we are unable to say we aren’t helping deplete age-old fuel reserves. To date this year, we have purchased plane tickets for over 27,000 of flight miles. According to Traveling Light: The Environmental Impact of Vacation Travel : “A typical 737 flight containing 100 people flying a two-hour, 800 mile flight gets 50 miles per person per gallon.” Given this formula, we must post 546 gallons or 27 twenty-gallon tanks of fossil fuel on the debit side of our Eco Report Card.
I wish I could say that we regretted this unfortunate trend enough to stop it cold, walk away from the airport and keep on walking until arriving at our next destination. But as long as our career is up in the air, I’m afraid that we will also be up in the air, doing our share to rapidly drain oilfields in the Middle East and elsewhere.