Why You Should Carbon Offset Your Flight
We all love to travel to broaden our horizons, our experiences and our cultural boundaries, but planes consume fuel, generate carbon emissions and pollute the planet. In fact, air travel is the fastest growing source of the greenhouse gas emissions that are responsible for climate change. If you dream of heading off to a far flung and exotic part of the world but you’re worried about the damage you’re doing to our planet, you should think about carbon offsetting your flight.
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting scheme providers, such as Carbon Footprint, Carbon Neutral Company and Climate Care agree that while everyone inadvertently produces carbon dioxide emissions (some more than others of course!), there are ways that you can help to reduce the earth's total emissions to balance it out. By making a small contribution to one of these offsetting scheme providers, you can render the carbon emissions produced by your flight neutral. This is usually a tiny percentage of the cost of your flight and can be simply done online after making your purchase.
Where does your money go?
The money you donate will help to pay for any number of development project that reduces carbon emissions by the amount emitted by your share of the flight. This could be anything from a reforestation programme where trees are planted to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen to helping to fund wind farms to generate virtually carbon-free electricity.
Can you continue to be green on holiday too?
You don’t have to limit your good work to neutralising your flight; you can be super green once you arrive at your paradise destination too! Here are some examples of things you can do during your holiday to help reduce wasted energy and help the environment.
-Turn off air conditioning, lights and power outlets when you aren’t using them and try and use them as little as possible
-Take showers instead of baths. If you’re in a hot country it can be even more helpful (not to mention refreshing) to take a cool shower!
-If you’re staying in a hotel, let the staff know that you’re happy to reuse towels and don’t need freshly laundered ones every day
-Reduce your excess baggage. Not only will you save risking a fine for being over the baggage allowance, but every kilogram you carry counts towards more carbon emissions.
-Try and fly direct wherever possible- multi-leg trips pollute more, not to mention they’re a hassle.
-Get a feel for life as a local and use public transport instead of taxis
-Rent a pushbike to do some old fashioned sightseeing
-Get a bus or train to the airport instead of driving, it’ll save you the bother and cost of finding a parking spot
-If you’re travelling once you arrive, skip the internal flights and make a feature of travel via train or bus. It’ll save you money and you’ll get to see a whole lot more of the country too.
So if you’re tempted to get in on the offsetting action and want to do some good for our Earth, most companies will have the option for you to neutralise your flight. A great example is Expedia who have partnered up with TerraPass – a leading carbon offset provider – to help you easily reduce your carbon footprint. With your money, TerraPass supports projects that help to fund wind farms, as well as funding farm power that supports anaerobic digesters which can destroy methane or use it to create clean energy.
You can calculate the carbon footprint for your flight here. For example, a return flight to Phuket from London generates 1.71 tonnes of CO2 per person and would cost approximately £12 to offset. Not bad for a flight that costs you a few hundred pounds!
So have a hand in helping to save our planet and carbon offset your flight the next time you fly.