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Published on November 18th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans


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:

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