Offsetting the Carbon Footprint when we Fly

To many of us, travelling around the world by plane has become as natural as taking the train or the bus, whether it be for business or pleasure. But nowadays we are all encouraged to think of the bigger picture as we go about our daily lives and consider the wellbeing of our planet, and ultimately, how to save it! Driving our cars and flying across the skies is having a big impact on global warming, along with a whole host of other factors.

Of course, the best way to reduce our carbon footprint would be to not travel around on anything but our two feet, but that is not realistic. Many of us live for our holiday travels, whilst many others travel the world for essential business. The only other options here, then, are to make changes in any way we can, however small.

Considerations when Booking a Flight

  • Travel from an airport as local to your home as possible, therefore avoiding unnecessary longer car journeys producing fewer emissions
  • Take a direct flight where possible, as take-off and landing use the most fuel
  • Tempted by the thought of travelling in upper class or first class? Remember that in economy there will be an average of 4 times as many seats available and therefore many more passengers are able to travel on that same tank of fuel
  • When choosing your destination, check out the the country you wish to visit and make a choice to travel to countries that are doing their bit to improve the environment
  • Pack less luggage. Some airlines charge a small fortune to check in that extra case, but when we bring global warming into the equation, it makes sense to travel light. For every extra bag there will be extra fuel consumption.

Choose your Airline Carefully

With information available at our fingertips to research, it is fairly easy to check out which airlines come out top on the carbon emissions front. Do a little bit of research before you book and consider not necessarily booking the cheapest flight but the most environmentally friendly option. Obviously, price is always a factor, but maybe just take this into consideration. You may be surprised to learn that some of the low-cost airlines come out on top. Here you can see Emissions measured in gCO2/passenger kilometre.

The technology is there to reduce carbon emissions by up to 25% but many airlines are reluctant to invest in the new planes. Take a look at the statistics and make an informed choice. For a few extra pounds you could be doing your bit to help.

As with all commodities we are being asked to make changes, however small. Some would argue that we need to cut these from our lives completely, but as this is unlikely to happen, making small changes is better than doing nothing.

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