Responsible Travel changes their mind

For the children, folks.ResponsibleTravel.com, a website known for providing eco-friendly vacation options, has changed their mind about something important. Especially after all our climate change talk yesterday (Blog Action Day), with the topic fresh in our minds, let’s talk about carbon offsets.

A recent report by Friends of the Earth states:
“Carbon offsets distract tourists from the need to reduce their emissions. They create a ‘medieval pardon’ for us to carry on behaving in the same way (or worse).”

Interesting point. So interesting, that Responsible Travel has removed the carbon offset widget from their site. The company has offered travelers the option of calculating their trip’s carbon footprint since 2002, so as to enable them to offset the environmental cost — but no more.

According to Responsible Travel’s Justin Francis:
“We believe that the travel industry’s priority must be to reduce carbon emissions, rather than to offset. Too often offsets are being used by the tourism industry in developed countries to justify growth plans on the basis that money will be donated to projects in developing countries. Global reduction targets will not be met this way.”

So, there’s some food for thought. We certainly don’t want to make anyone feel guilty for traveling, and if you’re going to travel, carbon offsets aren’t a bad thing, but keep in mind that you can make smart choices that will reduce your emissions. Responsible Travel can help.