I have limited my flying as much as possible in the last couple of years. However, it is difficult given that I currently attend university in California and my family lives in Washington. Of course, they want me to come home for the holidays, but I have been choosing one holiday each year to come home, and the other times I make sure to call them more often to compensate. When possible I choose to drive, although that also produces emissions and is not a favorable option to just staying home.
I like that flying less is an opportunity for me to make a difference, however small, and be part of a community that cares to make that difference. By being part of this movement, it can help shift the culture by normalizing virtual family gatherings instead of seeing each other all of the time, and especially normalizing virtual work meetings, because there is very little reason why they need to involve plane travel most of the time. I am looking forward to when flights are less of a culture and more of a commodity.
I am a student studying environmental science, with a concentration in environmental systems and society. I have done sustainability action research on the UCLA campus involving the theater school, trying to identify ways to green their operations including reducing emissions of traveling to film offset. I am also currently part of a research group regarding transportation in California, which has the goal of accelerating the transition to zero-emissions vehicles (making it an even more enticing travel alternative), by providing background research on the air quality and health benefits that switching vehicles on a wide scale would provide.