My salary saved the planet today...

... or at least a small part of it (I think).

Recently, I was faced with a hard choice:
  1. take the position at a company much closer to home (which I already accepted) and thereby gain a fair improvement in my quality of living, or
  2. stay with my current employer (50 minutes away from home by car) for another year at a salary nearly (or possibly even more than) double what I would get from my new employer.
I was a little uneasy about the idea of taking back on my "promise" to work for my prospective employer, but for such large amounts I had to at least give it a thorough consideration.

I have good reasons for not wanting to travel almost 2 hours a day to and from work anymore. So, I had to calculate how big a salary I would need to move closer to my current employer in order to achieve the same life-style improvements. When I discovered that I would need more than double the salary to achieve a life-style improvement that does not even completely match what I would otherwise get (eg. I would be much further away from most of my friends and family), I immediately knew that something was wrong about the whole idea. What was it?

Well, from the way my mind thinks about the world, I immediately realised that this extra cost indirectly translates to an extra strain on the environment. How could I willingly accept such a large salary merely to afford the necessary expenses that would eventually cause so much more harm to the environment? And this, when I can get a better quality of living at half the price?

This is the first time that I have considered my impact on the environment when negotiating for a salary - and it was enlightening. It also made the decision much easier, and I now get other non-financial benefits too, such as working in a new environment on new projects after having been with my current employer for three years.

So, that is how my salary saved a little part of our little planet for a little while.

What do you think? Am I an idiot for not taking the money?

[What's that funny-looking language on the rest of this blog? See the explanation that I posted previously.]

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