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Take Action: Air Travel

Summer is a unique time as a member of an institution that is fully functioning 9 months out of the year. It can mean freedom from packed schedules, a summer job, family time, and, for many, traveling. However, this being the unique time that is, why not stay home and relax? Not only is it integral to your overall well-being to take leisure time, it’s also significantly more sustainable than traveling!

Aircrafts are one of the fastest-growing sources of global greenhouse gas emissions as air travel becomes more affordable and more people travel around the world. If you decide to chill out at home instead of taking that trip to New York City, you are reducing 2 to 3 tons of carbon emissions that you would’ve contributed for being on those flights. To put that in perspective, an average person in the United States creates 19 tons of carbon emissions annually, so taking just a few long-distance trips can make up almost half of the emissions you create in a year!

So instead, reuse that vacation time and energy to pick up an old hobby that may have gotten neglected, exercise, spend time with family and friends, get outside, or read for pleasure. Whatever it is you’re thinking of doing, try to do it at or near home! The closer you are to home the better, but don’t let this deter you from getting out and enjoying the area’s beauty. You could go to Santa Cruz 100 times this summer alone, and you still would have contributed less carbon emissions than you would have flying to New York.

While at home and catching up on those summer reads, make sure you check out The Recycle Bookstore on the Alameda, a used bookstore that buys, sells, and trades books! Take advantage of this unique place and bring some old books from home (late spring cleaning for those who never got to it) in exchange for a new book (to you) at potentially no monetary cost!

This summer, respect our collective health and air quality by literally staying grounded.

Contributed by Alec Kwo' 17, Sustainability Intern for Student Engagement

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