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The tourism industry is booming, but as a consequence the airtravel industry as well. Every year, more and more people use an airplane to get to far away or even close-to-home destinations. Knowing that on average 55% of the CO2-emissions of your entire trip are derived from your flight, you might be interested in carbon offsetting. But what is it exactly, how does it work and what are the most trustworthy companies to offset your travels with?
What is carbon offsetting?
The most important guideline for minimizing your carbon emission is to prevent it. Try to avoid motorized transportation and airtravel (for example by slow travel), but also meat, fish and dairy consumption as much as possible. All the other, inevitable emission can be compensated through carbon offsetting programs. This ensures that the emission the traveller produces are less emitted elsewhere or are removed from the air entirely. There are roughly three kinds of programs you can invest your money in:
- Investing in planting trees
Trees ensure that CO2 is removed from the air and converted into oxygen and biomass.
- Investing in environmentally friendly alternatives
These are projects that replace environmentally polluting things for environmentally friendly alternatives, such as replacing a coal-fired power station by a wind farm.
- Investing in energy-saving projects
These are projects that ensure that energy is saved, which limits the amount of greenhouse gasses.
Carbon offsetting while travelling: how and where to do it
Most of the time, you can compensate your airtravel emissions directly with your airline. This will increase the price of your flight ticket with around twenty to fifty euros. It’s also possible to work with Fly Green: a website that allows you to compare flight tickets from different airlines that automatically compensate your emission. Fly Green also notifies you when you can easily switch to a different form of transportation, such as the train or the bus.
If your airline doesn’t offer a carbon offsetting program, you can compensate your emissions independently as well. Hivos is a good company that invests in biogas projects in developing countries, Trees for All invests in planting trees, Green Seat invests in renewable energy in developing countries and Fair Climate Fund invests in multiple projects, such as the planting of trees and biogas projects. If you’re considering other companies, make sure to always check for the ‘Gold Standard‘ quality mark, which is supported by the World Wildlife Fund.
TIP: Another great way to make your trips more sustainable is by banning plastic waste. In this article we give you lots of tips and tricks on how to ban plastic while travelling!
If you have any questions regarding carbon offsetting, please drop a comment in the comment section below!