Its Earth Day…Do You Know Your Travel Carbon Footprint?

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22/04/2009 – Its Earth Day…Do You Know Your Travel Carbon Footprint?

Happy Earth Day!

I know that every day should be Earth Day, but one day each year we stop and actually think about saving this 3rd Rock From The Sun that we live on.

As travellers we often have a larger carbon footprint than our neighbours. Even if you ride a scooter to work and the airport and have solar panels on your home, as soon as you sit down on an airliner, you have increased your footprint for the day significantly (although if you use solar panels and ride a scooter to the airport you get two thumbs up from me!)

I am a big believer in reducing my carbon footprint on the road. I tend to use public transit, I rarely check baggage (which reduces weight, allows the baggage loading/unloading to be faster and is one less baggage sticker the airline has to print), and I am a supporter of carbon offsets.

Regardless of how you fly, a small ATR-27 turbo prop or a large Airbus A340 four-engine jet, you leave a carbon footprint behind. Next time you plan your travels, while you’re booking your flights consider calculating your air-travel carbon footprint and purchasing offsets.

TerraPass offers some great carbon offset products and very easy to use and detailed flight emissions carbon footprint calculator. Check it out here:

As I have previously written on Flying With Fish One of my most common routes is New Haven (HVN) to San Francisco (SFO). This trip, with one stop in Philadelphia (PHL) is approximately 5,230 miles, and produces 2,490lbs of CO2. To offset the 2,490lbs of CO2 I simply purchase a carbon-offset equal to 3,000lbs of CO2 for US$17.85.

This $17.85 goes towards the creation of, sustaining of, and maintaining of clean energy. Some of this money also goes towards the regrowth of trees and other actions to reduce the environmental impact of my travel.

If you take a few flights a year, consider purchasing TerraPass’ ‘One Year’s Flying Carbon Offsets’ package for an affordable US$50.

For long-haul Asia flyers, one of my favourite ‘green airline’ stories of the year has been China Airline’s change in its menu to reduce the airline’s carbon footprint. China Airline’s and MOS Burger created a menu to reduce green houses gasses on a multiple levels. You can read about their unique concept here:
10/10/2008 – China Airlines Reduces Its Carbon Footprint In A Unique Way

In Europe KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and German paint manufacturer Mankiewicz have created a more environmentally friendly paint for the airline’s aircraft. The new paint uses 15% less paint, weighs less than conventional paint, and lasts longer than convention aircraft paint, which created multiple levels of environmentally friendly improvements in the painting of KLM’s fleet of aircraft. Learn more about how KLM is making painting aircraft more environmentally friendly here:
22/01/2009 – KLM’s Flying Blue Paint Goes Eco-Green

We only have one planet we share; it is everyone’s responsibility to preserving our environment. So while we only celebrate Earth Day once a year, be mindful of how you can protect ‘our home’ every day.

For an Earth Day virtual tour of some of spectacular places on Earth…check out Bob Krist’s photography here:

Happy Flying!

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