Every year since 1970, April 22 is a date when humans around the world come together in an effort to protect our planet by creating awareness of the activities we do that are impacting climate change, attempting to create consciousness and inspire collective action. The collaboration efforts so far have reached one billion annually, and we want to do our part in continuing to grow that number, hopefully reaching seven billion strong.
Currently, our planet earth is experiencing several changes that may seem small or unimportant, but with every passing year we get closer to a number of issues unraveling, potentially affecting billions of us at a time:
- The ice sheets are declining, glaciers are in retreat globally, and our oceans are more acidic than ever
- Surface temperatures are setting new heat records about each year
- More extreme weather like droughts, heat waves, and hurricanes
- Global sea levels are rising at an alarmingly fast rate — 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century alone and going higher.
What do you have to do with this? The answer may sound absurd, but: everything. And here is how: when you breathe, you take in oxygen, and release CO2, or carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is considered a greenhouse gas (it gets trapped in our atmosphere) which warms up our oceans, leading to melting glaciers, rising sea levels, flooding, and stronger natural phenomenon like hurricanes and monsoons. Now, we’re not saying you’re to blame – the CO2 you emit is taken in by trees and plants and reconverted to oxygen so you can continue to breathe. WHEW, that was close. But now think – do you eat red meat? Do you drive a car? Do you fly on airplanes? Cows are huge emitters of greenhouse gasses, and the more we consume them, the more the problem rises. Car emissions also contribute to the planet’s rising temperatures, as well as pollution. And we’ll get to planes in a bit.
Again, we’re not trying to make you feel bad here. One person alone is not responsible for the planet’s declining health, but when you factor in seven billion humans and their collective habits and daily activities, it adds up to the point where we are today: very far into the damage, BUT, in time to make a change and at least slow down the process while we create or learn how to leverage technologies that can help us reverse the crisis.
So, in order to help you understand how you can make an impact, we’d like to share some of what our Nytronians do as individuals (and what we do as a company) to reduce our footprint:
- Two of our five leadership members are fully vegan who constantly rave about the benefits of veganism for our bodies AND the earth to the rest of the team. They often inspire our meal choices when we get together. In addition to this, some of our employees are vegetarian.
- Speaking of getting together, it doesn’t happen often. Our Nytro team is 100% fully remote, meaning we do not commute to work, doing our part to reduce transportation emissions. Not everyone is down with the telecommuting lifestyle, but for us it works, and it helps the earth! (to better understand how this works, here’s a great piece on how Telecommuting reduced the carbon footprint of big companies like Dell, Aetna and Xerox)
- We’re digital! Because we’re not in an office setting, all of our materials are digital and stored in the cloud. We waste very little paper or other supplies that typically go to waste in massive amounts in companies of all sizes. Everything is done by e-mail, and our physical correspondence is minimal.
- We use public transportation and carpool a lot! When we have events or in-person meetings, our team ride-shares and uses public transportation whenever possible. Also, most of us are fans of walking.
- Whenever planning events, our team focuses on sourcing the food and items from local providers that offer great quality and organic options
- We reduce, reuse and recycle!
And these are just some of the practices that our colleagues put into play both collectively and individually to take care of our home, planet earth.
There are many ways you can start your path to a more conscious effort to reducing your carbon footprint, and here are just a few:
- Visit the Earth Day Network site to help you understand how your activities can impact carbon emissions, and see for yourself how you can take action.
- Remember we mentioned planes earlier? Well, if you have to fly somewhere, calculate the flight’s carbon pollution emissions, and you can put money towards projects that are designed to offset the emissions caused by your flight. Check these websites to find out about which project offsets you’d like to contribute to: Gold Standard, Green-e, and Climate Action Reserve.
- Check this detailed guide that shows you the average split of where your emissions could be coming from, so you can make a change based on your personal activities. And yes, shopping is one of them!
Reduce (use of resources and high emitting habits)
Reuse (anything you can)
Recycle (as much as you can)!