One of my first-ever blog posts was on Less Offsets and what they are doing to help combat the CO2 emissions from air travel. As the demand for more environmentally responsible travel increases, more airlines and travel companies are stepping up to do their part in the fight against climate change. In late 2019, low-cost European carrier Easy Jet has announced their plan to make traveling with them a climate-conscious decision.
Net-Zero Carbon Flights
Easy Jet has pledged to become the first-ever net-zero carbon emissions carrier by offsetting its emissions through investments in several climate action initiatives. The primary method they will use to achieve this is by planting trees.
Deforestation in South America and Africa is a problem that not only displaces much of the wildlife who live there but also takes out a huge portion of the trees responsible for absorbing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Easy Jet is planning on planting enough trees to offset the emissions from all flights by the company. They say that this will help to stop deforestation and provide jobs for the people who live in those regions.
Other climate projects
India, the world’s most populated country, relies heavily on fossil fuels for energy. Easy Jet pushing to change the way India produces energy by investing in the installation of solar energy farms to cut thousands of pounds of carbon emissions annually.
Easy Jet is also working to provide clean drinking water to communities in Uganda and Eritrea who otherwise rely on water from rivers and lakes. This puts these already disadvantaged people at risk for developing water-borne illnesses like typhoid and cholera.
A carbon-free future
Though all of these initiatives are incredible, offsetting flight emissions still mean that there are emissions in the first place. These “solutions” are all interim while we work towards having planes that fly on renewable energy sources only.
While working on their current climate and community programs, Easy Jet is also supporting Wright Electric, an American start-up building electric planes. Their goal for the future? For all planes to be low- or zero-emissions.
So what can you do in the meantime? For starters, you can choose to fly with companies like Easy Jet who are taking responsibility for their environmental impact and actively working to solve the problem. You can choose to spend a little bit of extra cash and pay to offset the emissions of your next flight. You can also ensure that you bundle your trips together and use land transportation whenever possible, to minimize your own carbon footprint.
Whatever you do, always remember that when you travel: Leave only footprints, take only memories.