Offset Air Travel

If air travel is an important part of your plans, consider purchasing carbon offsets to lower your impact.  Until we find an alternative fuel for air travel (which many bright minds are working on!), this is a great way to make a difference when you need to fly.

Easy
Households: 1 completed, 0 committed
4000
Points ?
$-20
Annual Savings
$5 - $25
Upfront Cost
These are estimates
?

Energy and water savings

check icon
0
kWh Electricity
check icon
0
Therms Natural Gas
check icon
0
Gallons Gas
check icon
0
Gallons Water
  • Reduce carbon emissions

Purchase Air Travel Offsets

We are partnering with Carbon Lighthouse to provide high quality offsets for Air Travel. These offsets remove emissions directly from utilities in the U.S. and support more renewable energy.

For more information, go to Carbon Lighthouse"

Purchase offsets for air miles

Price: $3/1,000 miles

Total price: $

Purchase Once

Purchase Anually

*Purchase just for this year, or subscribe to purchase offsets anually.

Overview

The Action
We will lower emissions from air miles traveled by purchasing carbon offsets.
Is this action for me?
If you fly, this action is for you!
When and Who?
This action can be done anytime by anyone.
How long will it take?
Quick - only a few minutes to purchase an offset.
What is the cost?
Around $5 - $25 per flight, depending on the distance traveled

Benefits

  • Reduce carbon emissions

The Basics

Carbon offsets are small contributions to projects that lower carbon emissions like installing solar panels or planting trees. It’s easy - you contribute to a project and receive credit for a certain amount of carbon emissions reduced. It is doesn’t cost much and helps to offset your impact when air travel is an important part of your plans.

Checklist

Learn about carbon offsets
Find an offset program
Purchase offsets

How do carbon offsets work?

Carbon offsets are a way to balance out carbon emissions you can’t avoid, like air travel.  Since we don’t have an alternative to fossil fuels yet for air travel, this is a way to reduce your impact when air travel is an important part of your plans.  A lot of bright minds are working on finding alternatives, and in the future our impact from flying will decrease.  However, until then, an offset is a great way to lower your impact!

Here's how carbon offsets work:  you pay a small amount to support projects that lower carbon emissions, like planting trees or installing solar panels.  You can pay for a specific amount of reductions, in line with your air travel impact, and then get a certificate for those reductions.  The best part is, they are not that expensive.  For example, you can get an offset for 10,000 lbs of carbon emissions for just under $60 from Terrapass.  This will offset 5 average round trip air flights of 4 hours, costing about $12 per trip.  This is a small amount for a 4-hour flight (like from Chicago to San Francisco) that costs from $300-$500 or more.  This is about the same as the cost of going to the movies.

Find an offset program

There are many carbon offsetting options.  Some airlines like United and some travel agents offer carbon offsets with their purchases.  There are also other independent offset programs like Terrapass and others.  Carbon offsets fund many types of projects, from building wind turbines, to providing small solar panels to villages in developing countries to planting trees and restoring forests.  Before purchasing offsets, consider a few important cautions:

Be sure to choose the right program:  Many carbon offset programs are careful to make sure that your money goes to actual carbon emissions reductions.  However, some programs don’t follow best practices and it is hard to know if you are really paying for reductions.  It is difficult to check this out on your own.  The best way to ensure quality is to choose a well known program like Terrapass or to purchase through an airline where the offsets are generally required to meet strict standards.  One list of certified carbon offsets is available at Green-e.

Be aware of the pros and cons of offsets:  Offsets are helpful for emissions we can’t avoid, like air travel.  However, because they are relatively easy to buy, sometimes folks think "Why can’t I just offset my gas powered car or other emissions?"  It sounds good, and technically you could, but it will not solve the problem.

In order to stop climate change and protect our future, we must transition off fossil fuels.  This means transitioning our electricity, cars and home energy use to clean carbon-free sources of power like solar and wind.  If everyone looks to offsets rather than making these important changes, we will not get there.  The best plan is to offset air travel when you need to fly and make plans to transition your other fossil fuel uses where there are alternatives!