The Environment: “Offsetting” that cheap flight

It’s undeniable that an increase in flying is contributing to the degradation of the environment. In Europe, news reports about the effects of low-cost airlines on the environment are a regular occurrence.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that low-cost flights in Europe are undeniably contributing to global warming. But what can you do about it, aside from taking the train or bus?

Carbon Offsetting: One Option

Carbon offsetting involves calculating the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the environment by pollution-heavy activities (like flying on airplanes) and then purchasing a corresponding credit to be used on projects that counteract, or offset, the damage.

Carbon offsetting is not a perfect solution to the problem of global warming, but it does limit the damage done by budget-savvy air travelers. Airlines are getting into the spirit of things as well. EasyJet, for example, has incorporated a carbon emissions offsetting option into its booking page. And, the smaller Aer Arann operates a few of the new ATR 72 jets, dubbed “the world’s greenest aircraft” for fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emission.

The carbon offsetting industry is more or less unregulated. We like the U.S. organization Clean Air Cool Planet’s rankings of carbon offsetting organizations. Clean Air Cool Planet gives top marks to the following carbon offsetting companies, all of which will help you calculate your carbon “footprint” and offer you a way to offset it.

AgCert/Driving Green
atmosfair
CarbonNeutral Company
Climate Care
Climate Trust
co2balance
NativeEnergy
Sustainable Travel/MyClimate

What do you think?

Is carbon offsetting a worthwhile endeavor? Would you be willing to pay a little extra for your flight if the money was given to a carbon offsetting program? Have you ever “offset” your carbon before? Enter your comments below.

About the author

Tom Meyers
About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]
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Cheapo Comments

One Response to “The Environment: “Offsetting” that cheap flight”
  • Bernadette says:

    I’d totally be willing. It’s a price to pay, but it’s well worth it. Drivers should also check out the “Terrapass” – another option to offset your carbon emissions.

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