Kurt Hoetling was a commercial fisherman and wilderness guide in the Pacific Northwest, so he thought he was doing pretty well in the carbon-footprint department – til he took an online test to determine what impact he was actually having. Turns out his footprint was two and a half times the national average – primarily because of the jet travel he was doing.
So he decided to experiment with living a "radically local" life – by traveling no farther than 60 miles from home for a whole year, and only by bicycle, foot and kayak. He chronicles all this in his book The Circumference of Home.
Of course this can be seen as a stunt, an excuse to write a book, but I'm all for stunts that make us think, even the much sillier No Impact Man stunt of taking his family off the grid for a year in New York City. (Here's Kurt's answer when asked to compare the two projects – the 5th question down.)
I learned about radically local living from a radio interview with Hoetling and it got me thinking about the flights I'll be taking this year. No European vacations, but still.
Now to bring this back to gardening, are we nit-picking over our carbon footprint in the garden because it's easier than making actual sacrifices? When it counts, maybe we're all hypocrites. Sincere and well-meaning ones, but still.