27 October 2006

Eco Granola Hippy Travel

In a bit of last minute preparation for my jaunt to Africa, I’ve been investigating ways to make my trip “climate neutral,” whereby the pollution generated by my air travel is offset by investment in reforestation and renewable energy sources.

Air travel is one of the largest producers of CO2 gas and releases emissions high in the atmosphere, where the climate change impact is even greater. I was somewhat horrified to learn, for example, that my return flight to Ghana will contribute as much to climate change as an average household's gas and electricity use over a whole year! Yikes!

Rough Guides together with Lonely Planet and others in the travel industry are supporting a carbon offset scheme run by climatecare.org. They have interesting projects which would seem to have direct and beneficial impact to local people, such as distributing fluorescent lightbulbs in Central Asia or efficient cook-stoves in Bangladesh. (There's also carbonzero.ca if you'd prefer a Canadian slant on carbon neutralisation).

Offsetting my flight is going to cost about 40$, a tiny fraction of what I paid for my ticket, and definitely money well spent. While I generally dislike all the additional fees that come along with buying a plane ticket, I would support a mandatory ‘climate change tax’ to be included. If IATA made this mandatory for all air travel, the impact it could have would be tremendous.
If off to the airport in about an hour. Enjoy my blog while I'm gone!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


You can buy 'green' electricity