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How One Man Stopped Flying To Decrease His Carbon Footprint

An airplane flying over Bankers Hill before landing at San Diego Internationa...

Photo by Megan Wood / inewsource

Above: An airplane flying over Bankers Hill before landing at San Diego International Airport, Nov. 18, 2016.

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Peter Kalmus is a climate scientist based near Los Angeles. In 2010, he began a personal quest to decrease his carbon footprint.

Aired: June 27, 2019 | Transcript

The buzz in travel stories this summer can be boiled down to a word: overtourism.

Millions are on the move each day — to Italy, France, the rest of Europe; to national parks; to Hawaii and Southeast Asia; to Iceland and Antarctica and of course on freeways throughout California.

Photo credit: Photo by Alice Goldsmith

Peter Kalmus is pictured in this undated photo.

All of this burns fuel, spewing unfathomable amounts of greenhouse gases. But what if we all traveled less, shorter distances or by bus?

Peter Kalmus is a climate scientist based near Los Angeles. He wrote a book in 2017 about his personal quest to decrease his carbon footprint. It’s called “Being The Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution.”

A big part of the change for him was traveling less and cutting out flying entirely. When he first analyzed his carbon footprint he determined that 75 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions he was creating came from flying. He hasn't flown in an airplane since 2012.

As part of coverage from the KPBS Climate Change Desk, Kalmus joins Midday Edition to discuss why he decided to change how he traveled.

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