In late February, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the group responsible for assessing the scientific causes of climate change – released its 2022 report. The report examines “the state of scientific, technological, and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its effects and options for mitigating future risks and the rate at which climate change is occurring.”
Those familiar with the report’s findings know that (1) the approach is complete, and (2) immediate action is needed. Indeed, it will take a holistic, holistic approach by governments, corporations and individuals to tackle the climate crisis.
Below, I examine part of that equation – what individuals can do – because it has to do with being a responsible world citizen and traveler. In particular, I have closely watched carbon offsets, a popular offer to combat climate change that many travelers may have heard of, but may not be familiar with.
Let’s dig into what carbon offsets are, whether your travel-related carbon footprints should be offset, and what else travelers can do to reduce their impact on the environment.
What is carbon offset?
Carbon offsets are purchased to compensate for carbon emissions. Often, carbon offset is an investment in a project or action. For example, you can offset the amount of flying carbon emissions by investing in a new tree planting project.
Travelers can buy carbon offsets:
- You are flying directly through the airline. Airlines such as Air Canada, Air New Zealand, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, JetBlue, Quantas, United and Virgin Australia offer such carbon-offsetting programs.
- Through a certified carbon-offset program, E.g. Gold Standard, Green-E, and Climate Action Reserve. You can learn more about the initiatives that support each program, and then decide which offset project (s) to donate.
Tip: TripIt’s carbon footprint feature enables you to track and understand the environmental impact of your air travel. Learn more>
Also, some airlines (e.g., Emirates) automatically offset the carbon emissions from their flights, so another way to benefit the environment সহ with your wallet নেওয়া is to choose to fly on these airlines.
Need to buy a carbon offset for your air travel?
The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. Yes, donating to certified carbon-offset programs is a meaningful way to mitigate your environmental impact.
However, some critics of the carbon-offset program say that offsetting puts individuals responsible for taking action and moving away from more effective solutions that can happen when, say, governments better control emissions or agencies make more meaningful changes to their practices. Business
But what about the person? What should you do to combat your contribution to climate change? Absolutely not. Is buying carbon offset the only solution? And no.
So, what can travelers do? In an interview with Dr. National GeographicKelly Kijia, a carbon market expert with the Environmental Protection Fund, suggests: “Consumers and companies should look first. [reduce] Their emissions are not possible before the source offset is seen to reduce emissions, which is not possible or affordable in the near term. ”
Read more: How to travel more responsibly (and take better care of the world)
What else can travelers do to limit their environmental impact?
If carbon offsets are not purchased the way you want to reduce your impact on the environment, or if you want to do more than offset your emissions, there are other meaningful ways to travel more sustainably.
- Embrace slow travel. Slow travel also involves spending more time in less space and deliberately moving from one place to another. The idea rejects the idea of parachuting into major cities on a cyclone tour; Just jet from place to place with just enough time to get a feel before you move on. Instead, get acquainted with your new surroundings — and make thoughtful choices about where you spend your time, where you spend your money, and how you can leave as soon as you find your destination.
- Off-peak season travel. Doing so means fewer tourists and lower prices, more flexibility and options, and it helps better protect natural and urban environments – especially for historically overcrowded destinations during the busy season.
- Where you travel is being reconsidered. In addition to the time of year, you can change your travel experience by visiting “Second City” or off-the-beaten-path destinations that are not as popular and thus, are less likely to experience the harmful effects of overturtiism.
- Flying straight. During take-off, aircraft consume more than 25% of the fuel needed for the entire flight. Once at cruising altitudes, however, planes become much more fuel efficient. In general, a direct flight has a smaller carbon footprint than a series of small hops.
- … And in economics. Flying economy – vs. first class or premium economy – more eco-friendly choice. The front seats of the plane provide more space and comfort, which means they carry a larger portion of the weight of the plane. Overweight High fuel consumption. More emissions. Points for cheap seats.
- Taking public transport. By moving more people in fewer vehicles, public transportation helps reduce a city’s overall carbon footprint.
- Local business support. The most powerful tool in your travel arsenal is your wallet. The next time you travel, look for opportunities to support sustainable tourism efforts in your destination. Choose to support eco-conscious tour companies that employ local, full-time staff and highlight local businesses on your tour. You can also support local businesses participating in sustainable practices; Their food scrap compost eaten at restaurants; See local farmer’s markets for freshly grown and locally sourced items.
Related reading: 10 Tips for Sustainable Travel
Fighting climate change is not all or nothing. Everyone needs to contribute in a way that is meaningful, meaningful and sustainable for them. Companies need to come up with new ways to balance people, planets and profits. And it is up to the world leaders to follow through on the promises they have made to support a world where we can all improve.