Ways to Help Make a Difference
The Globalist reports that the world’s aircraft contribute to global warming by producing 600 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year, while U.S. airports alone generate more than 425,000 tons of garbage, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Trash Landings. So what are airlines doing to mitigate their environmental impact and how can travelers become wiser in choosing a carrier?
Without an authoritative source ranking airlines to identify the greenest, it’s up to passengers to search for information on the company websites. Terms to research include: sustainability; environmental policy; corporate and social responsibility; recycling; and carbon emissions or carbon offsets. The “About Us” sections might also have clues. An absence of relevant information also indicates company priorities. Look for the following information:
• A firm target for increasing fuel efficiency
Tips to minimize eco-impact of personal air travel:
• Write to favorite airlines about your desire to see them become more eco-friendly. Encourage them to establish waste recycling policies, fuel-efficient practices and carbon offset programs.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that greenhouse gas pollution from flying aircraft may be up to four times more damaging to the environment than the same levels of pollution emitted at ground level.