A Call to Action
The scientific community tells us that our world is on a collision course with catastrophe, largely due to an urgent carbon output problem. Carbon being released into our atmosphere is trapping heat, thus changing the world’s climate.
Human activity has released more than 2 trillion metric tons of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere since the start of the First Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s. Over three-quarters of this is carbon dioxide, with most of this carbon emitted since the mid-1950s. This is more carbon than nature can re-absorb, and every year humanity pumps more than 50 billion metric tons of additional greenhouse gases into the air. Once excess carbon enters the atmosphere it can take thousands of years to dissipate.
Ultimately we must collectively remove equal amounts of produced carbon each year, meaning that we reach a “net zero.” Basic mathematics. Eliminate what is produced.
Backcountry Journeys has decided to answer the call to action, thus working to be a part of the solution, and our goal is an ambitious one. Our pledge is to not only move towards carbon neutrality but to take that a step further by becoming carbon negative. What’s the difference?
Carbon Neutral vs. Carbon Negative
A carbon-neutral goal is whereby an institution offsets all of the emissions attached from their business—either by direct measures to reduce emissions produced or via payments made to certified Offset Projects. A carbon-negative goal is whereby a business removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it generates through similar means.
Backcountry Journeys’ carbon footprint comes from the same place other businesses footprint comes from – doing business. For example: our “store-front” is our website. Did you know that websites leave a carbon footprint? Sadly, it’s true. Our major impact, however, is in travel, which is at the core of our business. We have folks from all over the world traveling to a variety of locations for Photography Tours and Workshops, utilizing air travel as well as ground transportation. And it doesn’t stop there. During the course of our tours, we utilize vehicles and other necessary resources that too leave a carbon footprint. The list goes on, and while there is little way around creating some sort of impact during the course of a photography tour, we can invest in offsetting this impact. Reduce what you can. Offset what you can’t.
Off-Set Projects are organizations that play an important role in the fight against climate change utilizing strategies like the following:
- Energy efficiency projects
- Reducing energy use now.
- Forest conservation
- Removes CO2 from the air and into trees and soil. Deforestation accounts for 20% of global carbon emissions.
- Renewable energy
- Including wind, solar, hydro, and methane reductions.
Going forward Backcountry Journeys will invest in Off-Set Projects which are verified and certified to the highest standards. The work done by these organizations will reduce emissions beyond the amount calculated to be released as a result of our business practices. This ambition is great, yet precisely what is needed on a global scale to reach the necessary end, which is the stabilization of our climate.
This will be of no additional cost to you, our guests. We would only like for you to feel good knowing that the carbon impact of your next photo tour with Backcountry Journeys is being offset.
We encourage everyone to continually strive to reduce their carbon footprint in their own lives by making changes that can help the environment.
As noted above, solutions to this problem cannot come from the few, it will take the collaboration of all of us to achieve this crucial goal. As such we hope to see our friends and colleagues from across the globe join us in this effort.