The Bottom Line:
- “Carbon offsets” let you make up for the carbon emissions your air travel creates
- Many airlines let you buy carbon offsets as you buy your airplane ticket
- You can live greener every day by switching your electricity supply to clean, renewable wind and solar power sourced by CleanChoice Energy
Carbon Offsets Trim Your Carbon Footprint
Planning for a mid-Winter getaway? Or maybe your next business trip? Time for a "green living" tip that will make your life happier and the planet greener...
Did you know that tourism, including air travel, accounts for around 8 percent of global greenhouse emissions? Then there’s business travel by air, which though also a problem, has been key to creating a globally connected, international marketplace.
How can you, as a tourist or a business traveler, keep flying while also reducing your carbon footprint?
Now you can do both—by using carbon offsets.
Of course, the best thing to do is first make sure your air travel is necessary and smart. Fly direct when possible, since airplanes burn about a quarter of their fuel on ascent and descent. Consider taking one longer trip with on-the-ground side-trips instead of singular shorter flights (it takes less fuel to maintain high altitude cruising speeds than it does to take off and land).
Want to know which airlines are doing the most to use fuel efficiently? The International Council on Clean Transportation has already done that research so you don’t have to. Their 2015-2016 report showed Alaska Airlines to be the most “efficient domestic carriers” of the 15 largest airlines. Virgin America ranked at the bottom.
How to Offset Carbon When You Have to Fly
When you buy a carbon offset, it’s a way to balance the impact you’re making with high carbon-emitting activities like air travel. Carbon offsets work to neutralize your carbon footprint.
Typically, a carbon offset can mean you’re helping to save or plant forests, or support renewable energy or energy efficiency programs. But, a carbon offset can also mean you’re helping carbon dioxide or methane to be captured (aka sequestered) to avoid it getting into the atmosphere.
Many airlines, including Delta, JetBlue, United, offer offset programs. They partner with organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Carbonfund.org, and Sustainable Travel International to offer their passengers an easy way to offset their carbon travel. Often only $10 to $20 will help offset an entire flight. You can calculate the carbon footprint of your flight—the amount you need to offset—using handy online calculators.
Of course, it’s better not to fly at all in the first place, but if that’s not realistic, then carbon offsets are a great solution when you have to fly.
Live Greener Every Day by Choosing Clean Energy for Your Home
Offering green living tips and supplying clean energy for your home are things we get excited about. Why? Because we want to help people live healthier, happier lives on a cleaner planet.
CleanChoice Energy is a renewable energy company with a mission to make clean energy accessible to all. Learn how you can switch your home or business to 100% pollution-free clean, renewable energy sourced from wind or solar today.