Carbon Emissions Fail: Air Travel

ImageI knew it when I walked along Dockweiler Beach in Los Angeles on Saturday, the wide stretch of sand directly below the flight path of one of the world’s busiest airports: air travel is not good for the earth.

Yes, air travel brings with it the promise of adventure, the ability to connect with new cultures, the possibility for the expanding of one’s personal/philosophical/psychic/spiritual horizons. But at the same time it’s awful for the air and climate change. 

As jet after jet spewed its noxious stream of carbon behind it, I wondered: is air travel my biggest sin?

ImageAnd then the NY Times answered. The answer was YES.

Thankfully, there are options for those of us concerned about our carbon footprint. For one, we can start by making fuel-efficient travel choices, such as less stops, an economy seat, and lighter luggage. We can also offset our emissions through programs like my personal favorite, Terra Pass

We can also become a powerful lobby — just as Americans have increasingly turned to LED lighting, reusable bags, and hybrid vehicles, we can put our money where our feet (carbon feet, that is) are: sustainable airline industry practices and airlines that place sustainability at their core (these include recent sustainability measures enacted by American Airlines and Virgin Airlines). 

About Kaitlin Solimine

Kaitlin Solimine was raised in New Hampshire but has considered China a second home for the past two decades. She is the author of the award-winning forthcoming novel Empire of Glass and co-founder of Hippo Reads, a media start-up connecting academic insights with real world issues. She lives in Singapore.
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