Flying Green & Clean Has Never Been So Easy- Here’s How!

Flying to Bangkok over Viet Nam. Photo by Larry Miller. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Flying to Bangkok over Viet Nam. Photo by Larry Miller. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Kiss any nagging guilt about air travel goodbye! Flying green and clean has never been so easy, inexpensive and important! All those monster clouds of greenhouse gases spewing from jet engines are countered the minute you buy carbon offsets and bing, bang, boom, your air travel just got clean and green! Once you discover how quick and inexpensive it is to do, you’ll make buying carbon offsets a happy travel ritual. And Mother Earth will smile on you!

Many airlines, including United, Delta, British Air, Air Canada, Cathay and Quantas, already offer carbon offsets right on their websites. Just fill out a short form, pay a tiny fee and you’re done. It’s so quick and easy, you can’t afford not to fly green.

But if your air carrier isn’t up to speed on clean and green flying, here’s how to do it.

Buy your carbon offsets in 3 easy steps:

  1. Calculate your flight’s carbon footprint at the Carbon Footprint Calculator. Simply enter the departure and arrival airport codes and what class you’ll be flying. Click “calculate.” You’ll get a number that represents the amount of emissions for that leg of your flight in tons of carbon. Jot the number down. Do this for each leg of your trip to get the total carbon. If you want to go the extra mile, calculate the carbon footprint of any bus or rail legs of your journey and any miles you might put on a car rental, too.
  1. Decide on a carbon offset provider. Conserve Energy Future has a list of the 11 Best Carbon Offset Programs in the U.S. These providers have demonstrated they’re both reliable and transparent. Most providers offer a selection of great, green offset programs to choose from. I use Cool Effect for my offset provider because they operate where I live, fund programs all over the world, and heck, I like their name! 
  1. The fun part! Purchase carbon offsets. Log on to the carbon offset provider, find a program that makes your heart sing, enter your flight’s carbon emission number from the calculator, and purchase the offsets. When you see how little it costs, go ahead and buy a bunch more offsets to retroactively make up for the years of flying you’ve already done. It’s so inexpensive and ridiculously easy!

I recently flew from the West Coast to the East Coast non-stop. The carbon emissions from the round-trip were just a tad over one ton. I logged on to Cool Effects and found a wind farm in Costa Rica that generates clean energy to offset one ton of carbon for just $8. I was so thrilled, I bought a whole trunkful of offsets to make up for years of air travel! How easy is that? It felt so good to do something so beneficial for the environment and to travel green.

So go ahead! Plan that grand vacation, book an important business trip or visit family members you haven’t seen in forever- guilt-free. You never have to push aside thoughts of what flying is doing to the environment again. When you purchase carbon offsets, you’re flying green and clean and Mother Nature thanks you!

Bon Voyage, happy traveler!

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