With airline companies increasing their provisions of aircrafts, to travel on air has become more accessible to more people all over the world. While it is of great convenience for travels, it is also affordable which is why more people nowadays are flying when going to other places. Even though the invention of flying has really stepped up humanity’s game, the colossal number of airplanes operating globally every single day has greatly contributed to air pollution. The carbon emission from the planes is one of the many factors of global warming, and thus, climate change. Roundtrips abroad actually produce carbon up to 1 metric ton which is the equivalent of driving a Prius down 35 km or 20 miles every day of a year. Knowing that, you can only imagine the responsibility air travel holds for how polluted the skies are.
Every day, the world introduces a great many complexities of the world, and we almost always find a way to fight back by taking advantage of science and technology. If flying, although very convenient, is environmentally dangerous, is there anything us humans can do to make air travel climate-friendly?
Here are some tips on how to make a climate-friendly air travel doable:
Think twice before planning a trip
Since flying causes pollution, conversely, one of the ways to reduce atmospheric pollution is to fly less. Although it can quite delay things, you can still take the bus or the train if you’re really not that in a hurry or even if you are, you can take an early schedule. By doing this, you’d be reducing your carbon footprint of flying. Land transportations like these produce less carbon emissions. However, if you plan on going long distances, flying might be the most practical option. Hitting the road burns more fuel when driving long distances.
Do your research
One of the best options when flying is to use the most fuel-efficient. It is the least passengers can do. You can go online and search for airlines that offer fuel-efficient aircrafts to avoid massive carbon emissions. By doing so, you are supporting eco-friendly airline companies thus supporting climate-friendly air travel. To find out if your plane is eco-friendly or not, check the number of premium seats. Having more premium seats means the plane burns more fuel. Also, find out what type of aircraft you are in. Turboprop planes fly at a much lower height, and they use 64% of fuel than jets.
Take non-stop flights
According to a 2010 report by NASA, 25% of the increase of carbon emissions from planes is caused by the take-off and landing of planes. Flying continuously will save more fuel than making stops at certain places to go fly again. By taking non-stop flights, you can help make climate-friendly air travels a reality.
Choose economy flights
Atmospheric scientist Peter Kalmus writes in his book that sitting in economy emits only 0.5 kg of carbon dioxide. First-class seats emit 9x more carbon footprint compared to economy flights. Even though you might be used to getting business or first-class flights, you can still be happy for yourself and the environment for doing something helpful and relevant like supporting climate-friendly air travel.
Fly during daytime
According to experts in the aviation industry, daytime flights are more eco-friendly than nighttime flights. Exhaust plumes, called contrails, are the ones you see trailing behind airplanes. During the daytime, contrails can reflect the sunlight or the heat away from the Earth. However, in the nighttime, instead of reflecting the heat away from the atmosphere, it traps and accumulates it.
Buy carbon offsets
To offset carbon footprint, you can support eco-friendly airlines by purchasing their offers for them to achieve a climate-friendly air travel. However, you have to make sure that you are paying for legitimate and genuine offers. In addition, you can also do carbon offsets by yourself like planting a tree, participating in coastal cleanups, and many more.
It is encouraged that all passengers pack light. A plane with less load means it is faster and that it only requires less fuel. Pack only the absolute essentials to avoid unnecessary weight. It’s easy and it won’t cost you any money. In fact, it makes traveling easier for you. To support a climate-friendly air travel, pack light. It can actually speak volumes about your commitment to green travel.
Close the window shades
The reason for having to lower the window shades when you fly is for helping cooling the plane because it has less fuel as it lands. By closing the window shades, you are helping conserving fuel and helping the airlines as well.
Is It Possible to Achieve a Climate-friendly Air Travel?
Big changes start with small steps. Taking part in supporting climate-friendly air travels can make a big difference in the world. By following all these tips, you can definitely call yourself a hero and a friend to the environment.