Mikko Valtonen

Doctoral researcher - University of Tampere, Finland
University of Tampere, Finland
Mikko Valtonen

My story is the story of life: I love life and I belong to the magnificent story of it. Climate change threatens everything alive that I love, and I have painfully realized that my life is a part of the problem. Because of this, climate change is my problem and I have made a public commitment to reduce my carbon footprint into the size of one Earth until 2025. I choose the role of problem solver and my concrete utopia is the good life and career size of one planet – a kind of life generations now growing up can be proud of tomorrow. I want to see the world where we adults wise up to protect everyone’s future with our lifechoices. Today.

I have taken 70 steps out of 80 needed: my carbon footprint was 3 tonnes 2017 compared to 10 tonnes which was the level where I started 2006. At the moment, I’m not aware of any way to combine my carbon footprint goal with air travel. Last time I flew was the summer of 2011. Back then I decided to travel from Finland to Brazil to meet again with a lady from Brazil that I had a powerful romance with as exchange student 2010 in Canada. My inner conflict (I was already well aware of climate effects of flying that time) and longing for her were both enormous and painful. After this, I have continuously decided to choose better transportation free from flying. But what if I would decide to fly to Brazil again? This means I would take 59 steps backwards out of those 70 steps taken when it comes to the level of sustainable carbon footprint. Not really worth it. Last year my carbon footprint of mobility and transportation was 30 times less than 2011. A life free from flying is indeed very powerful.

Mikko works as doctoral researcher in the University of Tampere, Finland. He is an elementary school teacher and adult educator action studying tackling climate change by means of learning. In his current research, he is unifying Carbon Conversations approach to Finnish national curricula to create the learning community model for Finnish basic education and the international application of social networking service Climate Love Story with vision of “one hundred million people learning sustainable well-being in friendly social networking service by the year 2030”. Mikko is particularly interested in ecosocial education and sustainable well-being from the perspective of emotions.