6 Ways to Cut Carbon Without Sacrificing Your Journey
Image credit: Singapore Airlines
Flying Economy Means Fewer Emissions
OK, this one won't go down well with the luxury crowd. But it's a simple fact that business class takes up more room per passenger. And that means fewer passengers per plane, which means more emissions per passenger. (One commenter in this discussion of airline offsets claims business class emissions are 1.4 times those of the average flyer, while Gulfstream passengers emit 4 times the average!) So why not forgo the extra leg-room, free champagne and whatever else you get beyond those hallowed curtains, and join the rest of us great unwashed in economy? You can take the money you save and spend it on an extra few nights at your destination...
Image credit: Bombardier
Find a Green(er) Airline
We are a long, long way from seeing sustainable aviation - but moves are afoot to cut emissions as much as possible. As I've already noted, airlines are shaving weight any way they can, but some are doing more than others. On shorter journeys, airlines like Continental are seeing a return of the turboprop, which are 30% more fuel efficient than their jet engined counterparts. Meanwhile Japan Airlines are finding that biofuels may actually increase efficiency, and Airways New Zealand are landing jumbos in idle to save fuel. So why not ask what your airline is doing to green up its act before you commit to that ticket?
Image credit: Climate Care
Offset Your Emissions
They might not be popular with climate protesters, but offsets remain a popular way to take responsibility for the emissions you create. While eliminating CO2 emissions completely would be the most desirable option, the fact remains that people continue to fly. And I personally think it's great to see travelers funding clean tech projects to balance their footprint - if nothing else it is a step toward acknowledging that our actions have consequences and it may make folks think twice before booking that next journey. Just make sure you choose a reputable offset provider by taking a look at our guide on How to Green Your Carbon Offsets.
More on Alternatives to Flying
Obama plans high-speed rail investment
Planet Green's Top Public Transportation Tips
Re-Viewing Video Conferencing
Seat 61: Get There Without Flying
Eurostar to Cut Emissions 25% and Offset the Rest
Spainâ€™s New High-Speed Rail Challenging the Airlines
High-Speed Rail Comes to the Americas
CA High-Speed Rail Initiative: â€œIf We Donâ€™t Pass This, We Will Never Have High-Speed Trains in the USâ€