Ana Simeon

Fundraiser for a non-profit and mediator in private practice - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Ana Simeon

I have a home, loved ones, a job, a garden, and I live in a beautiful place. In other parts of the world, people are being displaced by climate change, facing food shortages or resource wars. They end up in refugee camps or are shot as they flee. How could I not reduce my flights?

And frankly, it’s not a hardship. My husband and I have decided to vacation in our province – there are mountains, ocean, rivers, lakes, forests and grasslands to choose from! Sometimes just staying home feels luxurious and restorative, not to mention carbon-free. Or, if we want a big-city experience we can easily visit Seattle, WA or Portland, OR by boat and train.

However, there are two types of flights I haven’t been able to eliminate. One is work travel: if I have to travel from the West Coast to Montreal, for example, there is absolutely no way my employer would pay for a 4-day train trip. The other type of flight that I still take is visiting my Mom and sisters in Croatia. I go less often – every two years instead of every year, but this is a genuine need for both myself and my family. And if I fly, they don’t have to.

Some people say reducing personal flights like this doesn’t really help because the scheduled plane leaves anyway. But if 100 people decide to do this, then between us we’ve eliminated one flight! This is why I’m really excited about this initiative. My hope is that it helps shift the culture of flying as a normal, desirable activity we are automatically entitled to.

I work as a fundraiser for an Indigenous legal defence charity. I also have a small practice as a mediator.