Carbon Emissions: The Downside to Travel- think Carbon Offsetting!


For those of us that have a passion for seeing the world, we typically share the same passion in preserving the world in which we get to experience.

I recently was shocked to hear that tourism is the 4th largest industry in the world and carbon emissions being emitted into the atmosphere due this industry alone is contributing to 40% of CO2 pollution. Not only is this number staggering, but it is also important to understand that emissions coming from airplanes is much more dangerous because it is going straight into the troposphere which in turn causes greater potential damages from the pollution. Enough depressing facts (although important to become aware of..)

So, what can we do as vagabonds, travelers, adventurers and wanderers to give back to the atmosphere? Carbon Offset. The idea of carbon offsetting looks for ways to counter your carbon output by reducing carbon somewhere else. A very practical and easy way for us to picture this is by planting a tree. However, a roundtrip flight from Denver to Los Angeles for one passenger emits 1.26 tons of CO2, that a lot of trees! You can only imagine a flight from here to New Zealand.

Don’t distress, thankfully there are many programs that are being implemented to make this process easier. For example, United Airlines offers a carbon offset option to your itinerary before you proceed to checkout. These contributions are being made to ongoing carbon offset programs. Also, many tourism outfits are implementing carbon offset options as well.  I have included the link to United’s program. Additionally, there is a link to sustainable travel international that allows you to calculate your entire carbon output for your full itinerary.

Fun fact: FIFA is implementing plans to carbon offset the entire 2014 World Cup!

Have you ever heard of carbon offsetting? Is carbon offsetting something that you think is important? Would you consider offsetting your next adventure? Do you think offsetting is working?

10 thoughts on “Carbon Emissions: The Downside to Travel- think Carbon Offsetting!”

  1. There are better methods of carbon offsetting than trees. It’s just that trees kill 2 birds with one stone, since we need the oxygen as well.

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