Greening Your Flight

Traveling is a large part of our eco-footprint. If you can’t be a homebody, take the time to find the most efficient mode of transport. The International Civil Aviation Organization has a carbon calculator where you can learn the impact of a proposed airline flight. Then take that info and compare plane travel to taking a car, train, bus, etc. Chances are you should keep your journey on the ground.

Sometimes though we can’t avoid flying. In those circumstances, you can invest in carbon offsets to counter your impact. Buying offsets is a strategy where your money is put towards a sustainability project like reforestation or diverting landfill gases. Many airlines provide offsets that have been certified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or you could use a verified third party like Terrapass.

Other ideas to “green” your flight:

– choose Economy class. The space required for a First class seat limits the amount of passengers that can fit on the plane.

– travel during the day. The contrails your plane emits will reflect sunshine and limit the warming effect.

– lower your window shades. This lowers fuel usage for heating or cooling.

– pack light. A lighter plane uses less fuel.

– choose a newer model plane with a higher passenger capacity.

– fly non-stop. Take off is the most fuel intensive part of a flight, so one long flight is more efficient than multiple short flights.