2008 Holiday Air Travel
By now we all know of the environmental burdens of air travel, and at certain times—particularly during the holidays—flying becomes a necessary vehicle for bringing together family members who may live thousands of miles and/or continents apart.
But even if you can’t get around jet travel this season, there are a few steps that you can take to reduce your flying impact…
- When booking your flight, choose the most direct route possible. As take off and landing require most fuel, you will contribute to less fuel utilized by taking a non-stop flight.
- Fly economy instead of business class. You send a message to airlines to market fewer business class seats. Less leg-room translates into room for more people, which equals fewer emissions per person.
- Learn to travel with less. The less baggage you bring onto the plane with you, the less fuel the plane needs to carry its weight.
- Research which airlines offer carbon offset options, and which ones utilize newer and less carbon-intensive planes.
When choosing an offset company for your holiday travel plans, there are a few guidelines to consider:
- Be sure to research the company beforehand to ensure that it istruly investing in projects that are beneficial to the environment and local communities.
- Look for The Gold Standard—currently the strictest available standard for carbon credits—and VCS (Voluntary Carbon Standard).
- Avoid forestry projects (also called sequestration projects), which function to protect forests for their carbon absorbing properties. Opt instead for projects wth a focus on transitioning away from dependence on fossil fuels and a concentration on energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Here is a short list of a few reputable carbon offset companies to choose from: