Carbon Offsetting Your Flight 101

You recycle. You drive less and walk more. You don’t waste food, try to cut out plastic. Maybe you even purchased a new electric car and recently installed solar panels on your roof. In other words, you do what you can to reduce your carbon footprint, you’re super eco-conscious. But you have to travel for work or maybe travelling all around the world is on top of your bucket list. In any case, that one action generates more carbon emissions than any other activity. For instance, flying round-trip from London to New York is the same as what it takes to heat a single-family home for a year.

Air Travel Carbon Emissions are on the Rise

Aviation is one of the fastest-growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Especially, the ones from commercial air travel are rapidly increasing. By 2020, global international aviation emissions are projected to be around 70% higher than in 2005. The United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) expects that by 2050 they could grow by a further 300-700%.

Flying produces substantial carbon pollution. Every time you catch a flight, you add a significant number of planet-warming gases to the atmosphere and that only adds to the problem of climate change. Minimizing air travel is the best thing to do, but if that’s not quite possible, don’t worry. You can still reduce your carbon footprint and take action against climate change by offsetting your carbon emissions.

Here is how:

Offsetting your Flight

It’s a fact that flying makes up a large portion of our carbon footprint. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) aviation, it contributes about 2% of the world’s global carbon emissions and the number of passengers are predicted to be doubled to 8.2 billion in 2037. Carbon offsetting is a great way to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions produced by your flight and remove or reduce emissions from the atmosphere. It does make a big difference.

How does Carbon Offsetting Work?

Carbon offset is a form of trade. It is no longer a nice to have, but a necessity for any comprehensive approach to fighting climate change. You can balance out your share of emissions from your flight by investing in environmental projects all around the world. These projects include everything from planting trees to building solar panels to transforming biomass to energy. By purchasing an offset, you can lower carbon emissions equal to the value of the emissions you’ve produced.

Carbon Offset Calculation

Offsets are measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent.  You can figure out how much carbon emissions are associated with your travel by using online calculators. Co2nsensus offers a very easy to use calculation software Co2nnector which adopts the ICAO carbon emissions methodology. It applies the latest standards to accurately estimate flight emissions attributed to your flight. You can use this interactive calculator and find out your carbon footprint. As a next step, you choose a carbon offset project that reduces greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and makes a purchase in order to balance out your carbon emission.

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The Cost of Carbon Offsetting

By purchasing a carbon offset project, you fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of these projects are more robust than others. To be effective, choose the ones that are independently certified. For instance, all Co2nsensus carbon offsetting projects carry the label of Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard. This way you can make sure that your money is going to where you’ve intended to spend it.  

With carbon offsetting, you’re essentially paying for the reduction of emissions. Emissions per traveller vary according to the size and type of aircraft, the altitude, the freight and passenger occupancy rate, the distance flown and the route stops. The range of carbon offset prices can be anywhere from $13 per tonne to $55 per tonne. 

Why Flight Carbon Offsetting Matter

As concern about the climate crisis increases, the demand for offsets is growing as well. Carbon offsetting enables you to contribute to sustainable development. Air travel is toxic to the environment, the carbon emissions associated with it shouldn’t be underestimated. We already know that aeroplanes put great amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. However, cancelling your honeymoon to Bali or missing that conference in Los Angeles is not always an option. So, when flights are unavoidable, purchasing carbon offset minimizes your contribution to the buildup of greenhouse gases.

Offset your Flight with Co2nsensus

Let’s assume that you live in London and your best friend is getting married in the Bahamas. Surely, you don’t want to miss that, but as an eco-friendly person, you also care about the emissions associated with your travel. You want to offset your carbon but this will be the first time, so how does it work?

You’ve made a quick search on Google and found Co2nsensus, easily navigated yourself to the calculator page.

1- You pick your departure destination.

2- Enter the number of passenger travelling.

3- Choose round-trip as the travel option.

4- Lastly select the class of your flight.

5- You put all the information needed to do the calculation of carbon emission to be created. The calculator CO2nnector makes the calculations instantly and you click on “Add to cart”. You can also add your trip back home.

6- Before proceeding to the next step you can select “Add 10% to your offset by clicking this box”or “Add one tonne of CO2” options.

7- Afterwards, four certified carbon offset projects come up which you choose the one you’d like. The decision is entirely up to you. You can choose a renewable energy project for example or a reforestation project.

8- Once you decide on the project, you add your personal information and make the payment via PayPal or credit card.

9- Following the payment, you immediately get your carbon offset certificate by email.

10- You can always check your offsetting on Co2nsensus website by entering your ID number and our transparency page!

11- Feel free to share your certificate on social media. What a great way to raise awareness and inspire!

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