Carbon Offset your Next Flight: How and Why?
We are becoming increasingly aware of the damage we are doing to the green and blue planet where we all live. While deforestation and construction are the major contributors to climate change, transport is also a factor, and air travel is the worst. Not only does it require a lot of fuel to complete a flight, but also a huge number of toxins are produced during the flight, which are directly deposited into the atmosphere.
But traveling is an essential part of today’s culture. We are not saying you cannot fly because travel is an enhancing activity and great for both the mind and soul. But, if you are conscious of the harm being caused when taking a flight, we have found a solution for you. It is joining a Carbon Offset programme.
What is a Carbon Offset Programme?
A Carbon Offset Programme is a chance for you to “neutralize” your carbon dioxide contribution to the World, by donating money to a program working towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions and helping communities. For example, you could be financing:
- Soil Management program
- Building renewable resources, e.g. a wind farm
- Improving water access and energy resources in poor communities, around the World
How to Calculate A Carbon Footprint
CarbonFootprint.Com has a free calculator that does most of the work for you. You can work out your carbon emissions for your house, flights, car and more. It can then combine the emissions into one footprint total.
For example, to work out a flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to London Heathrow (LHR), you input that information, plus your class, any stopovers and whether it is a return flight or one way.
A return flight from LAX to LHR, in the economy, creates 1.54 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is the equivalent of donating:
- $26.12 to a reforestation program in Kenya OR
- $15.90 towards a Clean Development Mechanism project OR
- $12.72 for a Global Portfolio, working towards carbon avoidance and renewable energy generation.
Where Can I Find A Carbon Offset Programme?
Many airlines and airport advertise a carbon offset programme on their website and also during the booking process. You can also research the topic via a search engine and find one that you truly believe in. Sustainable Travel International, Green Mountain Energy, and Native Energy are popular programs within the USA. While Climate Care is popular within the UK.
For more information about Carbon Offsetting, read ‘A Complete Guide to Carbon Offsetting,’ by the British newspaper The Guardian. It’s brief and informative.
For more easy and helpful ways to be a conscious traveler check out ‘How to Become an Eco Traveller’.