Flying Green

It’s been on my mind lately. How much harm are we doing to the environment, flying around in fuel-guzzling jumbo jets? Being a large city dweller, I haven’t owned a car for years. However, I’ll jet around any chance I get.

On a per-passenger basis, flying is still less damaging than driving. (Here’s a nifty carbon calculator to see how much CO2 your next flight will generate.) However, airplanes do burn a lot of fuel and generally push pollutants up higher in the atmosphere than cars (the effects of which are being debated).

Fortunately, there is some hope for the guilty-minded. Some companies are offering the ability to pay for carbon-sequestering, sometimes by paying to have trees planted to offset carbon emissions, including and TerraPass. Information about these programs is available on the web, including recent articles in the NY Times and Wired, and MyClimate’s site

Expedia, apparently, now offers to sell you offsets directly, charging $5.99 per 1,000 pounds of CO2, or about the amount from a 2,200 mile flight.