During my time at the UWC in Mostar, where I was born and
have lived all my life, I used to joke with my international friends regarding
their carbon footprint. Because they needed to travel from their home countries
to Mostar and vice versa, their carbon footprint was much higher compared to
mine, at least travel-wise. Now, that I am about to embark onto the adventure
of my young adulthood, I find myself a hypocrite, because I’m about to do the
same – emit carbon dioxide by travel. Thus, my apologies Rosie Regmi, for
giving you a hard time one ancient ESS class, when we first studied about
carbon footprint and took the online test.
According to the Offsetters’ flight emission calculator
feature, my trip from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina to Dakar, Senegal with 4
stopovers in Stockholm, Oslo, Oakland and New York will result in the emission
of 3.53 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere. So, in order
to repent for my environmental sins and hopefully avert having to answer the
question: “What did you achieve during your gap year in Senegal?” with: “I
contributed to the upturn of climate change”; I pledged to plant enough trees
to absorb those 3.53 metric tons of carbon dioxide in the following year. Since
one tree absorbs carbon dioxide at the rate of roughly 22 kilograms per year; I
will need to plant 161 trees.
I admit, it’ll be a tad haphazard getting the trees and
finding where to plant them in Senegal, but I believe that will be just one of
the many conquerable challenges I will stumble upon.
In the end, I’d like to point out that this (rather short)
blog represents my tendency to look for a problem in everything… which doesn’t
necessarily make me a pessimist – I’m as optimistic as they come. Rather,
acknowledging a problem and attempting to solve it is much better than ignoring
it. During my time in Senegal, I wish to stumble upon as many problems possible
and attempt to solve them, so that for every milligram of emitted carbon during
my travels, I find a solution to a problem. Sometimes, it’s going to be a
problem within the community I live in, but most of the times it’s going to be
about me living in that community and acquiring global mindedness. Of course, I
will fail more times than I will succeed, but I’ll try my best.
So yeah, 3.53 METRIC TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE IS GOING TO BE WORTH IT!