If you’re reading this blog, it’s because you are a traveller: you love to get out and explore our world. What sets you apart from the rest, however, is your desire to travel in a way that improves the lives of the people living in the places you visit and has a positive impact on the health of the planet.
You do everything you can while on your trip to be as sustainable as possible. You use environmentally friendly products, you walk or use public transit, and you only support companies that align with your values. All of this is incredible, but what about one of the most environmentally damaging aspects of travel: Flying?
Emissions in the Clouds
Flying accounts for two per cent of carbon dioxide emissions world wide. This may not sound like much, but per passenger it actually pumps the highest amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when you include dangerous secondary effects from high-altitude emissions.
So what are we to do? We want to go to far off places, meet new people, and experience cultures that are different from our own. We can’t walk to Japan from London or take a boat from Australia to Canada (well, you could take a boat, if you have six to nine weeks extra vacation time to play around with).
LESSening Your Impact
There are companies working to build low to zero-fossil fuel-using planes, but it will be some time before they are ready for commercial flights. In the meantime, companies like Less by bullfrog are doing their best to help travellers offset the carbon footprint of their flight.
With Less, travellers can put in their flight information into a carbon emissions calculator. The calculator then shows you how many emissions your trip will produce. It will then give you two options to pay either $20 or $24 per tonne of emissions that it then donates to various national (Canadian) or international organizations working to improve the environment.
Check out some of their projects here.
Air Canada is partnered with Less, however many other airlines also give you the option of paying a bit extra on your flight to offset your carbon costs.
This is by no means a perfect solution, but it is better than doing nothing!