We all have to use air travel, whether we need to fly to Edinburgh for a business trip, visit family in Canada or go on holiday to Spain. Each time an aircraft engine is operated fossil fuels are burnt, which in turn causes carbon dioxide to be released into the atmosphere. The aviation industry is responsible for approximately 2% of carbon emissions globally. According to Greenpeace one flight is ten times more damaging to the environment than taking a train.
What can we do to help minimise our air travel carbon footprint? A large number of airlines offer passengers carbon offsetting, which is a voluntary surcharge added to the price of a flight. One of the ways that a carbon offset fee is used is the funding of energy conservation schemes and activities. A recent survey undertaken at Stansted Airport has shown that only 7% of air travelers currently offset carbon emissions to fund green energy projects.
Another way we can minimise our air travel carbon footprint is by taking a direct flight wherever possible, or by choosing to fly on a new plane as they are more fuel efficient than older models. Bringing items with you such as eye masks, toothbrushes or other necessities rather than using the disposable items provided is also another way to make your trip more eco-friendly. We can also minimise air pollution near airports by travelling by public transport rather than driving a car to the airport.