Monday, August 8, 2011

Mother Earth Monday - Air Travel Carbon Emission Offsets

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Last week, Chris and I purchased our flights to visit family over the Christmas holiday. 

When we went about purchasing our flights, one of the first things that popped into my mind was..... holy carbon footprint.  Two of us flying (with a stop) to and from Philadelphia = 4 take offs, 4 landings and 3.5 tons of carbon emissions. Yowza. 

Luckily there are many options to offset this impact through donating to carbon emission offsetting programs.  Many airlines have programs of their own and there are outside sites that allow you to donate to their programs, as well.

For example, United, Continental, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are a few of the more popular North American and European airlines that have carbon offset programs available online.  Virgin America allows passengers to offset their carbon emissions in-flight, while partaking in their awesome "entertainment experience." You can also offset Virgin America flight emissions through visiting Carbon Fund.

I have seen press releases about Delta, Southwest & Northwest airlines all offering carbon offset programs.  So, if you are flying those airlines, I would call and ask a representative about what they can do for you.

If you are flying an airline that doesn't offer a carbon offset program, Sustainable Travel International allows you to offset your carbon by donating money to their various carbon offsetting programs.  These programs range from planting trees to helping redevelop the rain forest. 

Terra Pass & Native Energy also have carbon offsetting programs.  These two companies allow you to also offset your lifestyle carbon emission trough donation - SUPER COOL!

If you are wondering what the cost may be to offset your emissions, its not too bad!  For Chris and I to offset our emission for our flights to Philly, the total cost for both us is a little under $100.  Totally worth it to be able to help planet Earth, don't you think?!

What do you think about Carbon offset programs?  Totally rad or totally bad?  Do you have a program you love?  Have you ever offset your carbon emissions before?!



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