Reducing or avoiding air travel is one of the
most effective steps we can take as individuals to combat climate change. But,
it’s not the most realistic proposition for many of us.
Through a new initiative called Jet-Set Offset, when you can’t reduce air travel, you can mitigate the impact of carbon emissions from flying by contributing to organizations like Mass Audubon working to reduce carbon emissions in other ways.
Here’s How it Works
You sign up at Jet-set Offset via email and select Mass Audubon as your favorite environmental cause.
Then, every time you fly, you will automatically donate one cent per mile to Mass
Audubon. Why one cent per mile? It’s an average estimate of the cost to offset
carbon emissions from individual air travel based on multiple carbon
Why Choose Mass Audubon
By partnering with us, Jet Set Off-Set participants will respond
to a changing climate through our work:
Advocacy – Mass Audubon fights for legislation and funding that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps communities adapt to the inevitable challenges of a changing climate.
Education – By teaching people of all ages about climate change, we inspire them to take direct action and combat climate change in their homes, schools, and communities. We also host Climate Cafes and Youth Climate Summits to convene people around this urgent issue.
Conservation – Scientific research helps determine how climate change affects the most vulnerable and endangered birds, amphibians, and mammals. With this research, we protect the land and habitats – and wildlife corridors – those animals need to thrive.
We have all heard, and perhaps even
been on the receiving end of the “young and naïve” stereotypes. Young and
carefree. Young and impressionable. Young and idealistic. And while all of those adjectives might be
accurate, they aren’t stopping youth around the world from calling into
question the actions (or lack thereof) of previous generations to address
This wave of youth activism began last year when 16-year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden began camping outside the Swedish parliament and accused lawmakers of failing to uphold their commitments to fight climate change. Greta and her cohort of activists are clear with their message- we want action and we want it now.
The Voiceless Future
There are more young people in the
world than ever before and their commitment to social and environmental justice
cannot be ignored. Unlike previous generations, these people have grown up
learning about climate change and its impacts, watching as most elected
officials have failed to take aggressive action at the scale necessary.
Recently, a group of youth caught the
media’s attention when they confronted Senator Diane Feinstein about the Green
New Deal. In the Senator’s response, she offered them her pragmatic and perhaps
even, realistic perspective: the Green New Deal is an ambitious plan that is
unlikely to pass Congress. She also pointed out that the very people making
this request were not the ones who voted for her–an accurate assessment since
they were under 18 years old.
It begs the question…when you aren’t
yet allowed to vote, how do you make your voice heard? How do you protect your
future and safeguard yourselves against the greatest impacts of climate change?
Organizing for Climate Action
On March 15, youth around the world are walking out of school to participate in the Youth Strike 4 Climate. With over 1,000 events expected across almost 90 countries, the significance of this movement cannot be ignored.
These youth are coming together to say that they want to live their lives full of hope and excitement, not fear for their future. They are calling upon the world’s decision-makers’ to understand the crisis in front of us and commit to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions immediately.
When it comes to climate change, the deniers–a small but vocal minority–get a lot of attention. However, these young people are telling us to forget the deniers and instead worry about the delayers.
They are the group of people most threatening their future, and there are far more delayers than there are deniers. Without a doubt, the year 2080 looks bleak for these young people, but the year 2018 didn’t bring much comfort either.
No Matter Your Age–We Must Act
As inspiring as their leadership has been, leaving all of this up to our youth is just irresponsible. They have been forced to fill a void that we adults have left for far too long. It’s time that we each step up and make sure the youngest among us aren’t the only ones raising their voices.
Get engaged and support the young voices that are rising up. Here are just a few ways:
→ Make sure the youth in your community have all the tools they need to tackle this global challenge. That includes ensuring your school district is teaching Massachusetts Science, Technology, and Engineering Standards across K-12 curriculum.
→ Call your Senator and Representative and tell them that you want bold and swift action on climate change now. Better yet, tell your State legislators that same message. Use the tools at your disposal that many of our youth currently lack–holding the people we voted for accountable to do their job.
→ Join the movement and fight alongside the youth themselves. Find a Youth4Climate Strike near you and support those students by helping to amplify their message.
As one of Mass Audubon’s designated Climate Action Centers, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary has a goal of increasing people’s understanding of how climate change will impact us locally and inspire action.
One strategy to accomplish this goal is to engage college students studying in the Pioneer Valley via a Climate Video Contest. Students were asked to create short videos to help educate and inspire action, and the winner would receive a $1,000 prize, generously sponsored by Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company.
There were many great submissions, but the video that took first place was one by Emelyn Chiang, a sophomore majoring in Engineering at Smith College.
We also want to congratulate Claire Seaman and Rebecca Grossman for their video, which came in second place.