How to reduce your carbon footprint- air travel

reduce your carbon footprint air travel

A few years ago I wrote about how to reduce your holiday carbon footprint.  This is something more prominent at the moment as many make plans to head off sunnier climes over the next 6 months. For most people, flying will be the largest part of our carbon footprint.

So here is the thing, you want to be more sustainable. However you also want to explore and experience different places on our stunning planet. Whether you travel on holiday by plane, boat or car your mode of travel will have some form of environmental impact.

Currently there are no laws in place to monitor or regulate this, so it is up to us to be a little bit more aware when we are making our holiday choices. Minimising the environmental impact or carbon footprint of your travel does not have to mean pledging to travel by bike. Or holidaying in a yurt for the rest of your life.

Carbon offsetting is a good place to start making your travel a little more greener.  Essentially you pay to offset, which essentially helps take the carbon dioxide that your travel produced out of the atmosphere. Simply calculate your carbons emissions and offset this by making contributions that will benefit the environment.  Alternatively, some helpful airlines and travel companies let you offset at the booking stage. A classic example is offsetting by planting carbon dioxide absorbing trees.


The airlines helping you travel a little more green

Since 2011, British Airways has been running their Carbon Fund which allows customers to offset their travel. When booking these passengers can help build cleaner and greener communities in the UK and Africa by donating in support of low-carbon, energy efficiency or renewable energy projects.  Projects include the installation of solar panels on school roofs, a biomass boiler in a leisure centre and LED lights on community buildings.

Emirates have proudly been investing billions in eco efficient and low emission aircraft, but their awareness of environmental impact goes further. through conservation based tourism developments and sustainability initiatives including waste minimisation they offset their emissions.

Qantas is leading the way and has the largest airline offset program in the world! Using their dedicated offset site is incredibly easy! You can simply add in your flight details and how many passenger before deciding if you want to support local action, developing communities or global renewables.


Other ways to reduce your environmental impact when flying

  • Turn right – flying economy instead of business or first class reduces your footprint by about mitigate environmental impact
  • Blinds down – Lowering your blinds on arrival at deliciously hot destinations. This helps reduce the amount of fuel required to keep the aircraft cool
  • Fuelled up and good to go – choose an airline that combines fuels including biofuels. Made from natural oils, agricultural waste or even algae, these biofuels significantly help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Fly direct – less take off and landing equals less fuel being used
  • Bring your own water refillable water bottle to help reduce waste
  • Efficient packing – do you really need to take half your wardrobe away? Pack light.