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.
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.