Traveling is a unique experience because it allows you to explore other cultures and yourself in the process. One drawback of traveling is its negative environmental impact; it is one of the largest individual contributors to climate change. Airplanes emit particles and gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, lead, and black carbon which interact among themselves and with the atmosphere causing pollution. A New York Times article called flights an environmental sin.
So, what can be done to curb our flight’s carbon emissions? One option offered by airlines is to buy carbon offsets. The money from these credits funds green projects, some of which are pioneering renewable forms of energy. It’s not exactly negating your CO2 emissions because the pollutants are still in our atmosphere but it does mitigate their effect in the long run. Buying carbon offsets helps further the development of clean energy and technology, which decreases our reliance on fossil fuels. If your money is going to reforestation projects, it can actually negate your carbon dioxide emissions because TREES.
If adding an extra fee to your plane ticket is out of your budget, try offsetting your carbon footprint in other ways! Take alternative transportation to work instead of driving a single occupancy vehicle, or SOV for short. Carpools, vanpools, trains, and walking are popular ways to get there. The My Open Road app measures your CO2 reduction when you take these modes, so you can keep track of your progress if you’re serious about reducing your carbon footprint. There are different ways of mitigating the negative effects of our travel; just choose one and let My Open Road help keep you on track!
Here’s a carbon footprint calculator that tells you the amount of carbon dioxide emissions your flight produces. Take a look if you’re curious!