As a touring DJ, I spend a lot of my life floating above the ground at high speeds, flying between different cities, countries and continents. During one of these moments four years ago, I started thinking about the total amount of CO2 I spew out every year at 30,000 feet. Then I multiplied this number by every other DJ I know doing the same thing, and knew I had to take action.

I started DJs Against Climate Change (DJACC), an initiative which helps fellow DJs offset their carbon emissions from airplane travel. We do this by mapping an artist’s flying itinerary based on their tour dates for the year, calculating their total emissions based on those flights, and offsetting those emissions through contributions to projects that remove or prevent greenhouse gas emissions.

2011’s end-of-the-year drive was our biggest yet, collectively offsetting 457,000 lbs. of CO2 from over one million miles of air travel. 17 DJs participated, including A-Trak (co-head of Fool’s Gold Records, the label that releases my own music).

Compared to the 20 million tons of CO2 that a large power plant emits annually, our number is a drop in the bucket, but that doesn’t discourage me. The point of this project is to encourage my colleagues to take responsibility for their individual impact on the environment. When you acknowledge something as your own problem—not just someone else’s—it fundamentally changes the way you see things. My DJ colleagues and I can’t stop flying (it would end most of our careers), but by making these offset contributions part of our job, we can change our own carbon equations and maybe a whole lot more.

Most people have at least one aspect of their lives that falls outside of acceptable emission levels. The more we recognize this issue, the easier it will be to force greater change. If you stop waiting for governments to pass environmental regulations, and start taking charge of how you as an individual impact climate change, the pressure will build from the bottom up.

Even though it sometimes feels like an unstoppable tsunami, I have to believe that a sea of responsible individuals can turn the tide of climate change, and that is what DJACC is really about.

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