The airline industry has been growing fast over the last two decades, due to increasing living standards and decreasing costs of air travel. Even though emissions are supposed to decline to reach the global climate goals, the sector continues to expand year after year. It is predicted that nearly 40 million flights will be performed in 2019. An insane amount. And all these flights have a significant impact on the planet.
How to reduce your carbon footprint?
It may be stating the obvious, but the most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint is to stay close to home for your travels and not fly around the world. Yet, there are a couple of things you can do to balance out your carbon footprint when you do choose to fly. This is called carbon offset: reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) or other greenhouse gases made, to balance out the damage your flight does to the planet.
There are a couple of ways to offset. One way is to plant trees, as trees absorb CO2 and use it to grow. They also release oxygen, making it a win-win situation. Another way is to invest in environmental friendly projects such as replacing coal-fired power plants by wind farms. More and more airlines these days are investing in such carbon offset programs for their customers.
How to book a CO2 neutral flight?
KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) is one of the pioneers when it comes to offering their passengers a CO2 compensation service when booking flight tickets. For a return flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles you can fly CO2 neutral for only 12.66 EUR. A bargain for a flight that will easily cost around 750 EUR.
Travellers are becoming more aware of this and are willing to pay a little extra to balance out their impact on the planet – if only for their conscience. In 2018, already 88.000 passengers travelled CO2 neutral with KLM’s CO2ZERO program; an increase of 50% compared to 2017. Besides KLM, there are more airlines that offer environmental friendly programs for their customers including Delta Air Lines and Air Canada.
Next time you take the plane, take some time to see if your airline has a carbon offset program and reduce your carbon footprint!