Contrails Are Not Pretty
We all know we're polluting the environment when we get behind the wheel. Turns out we're also damaging the environment when we board a flight. And travel organizations are lining up with ideas to assuage our guilt. It started with small eco-conscious tour operators, but now such major players as Travelocity have joined the crowd.
Here are some of the ways to offset those environment-damaging vapors:
* Go to www.sustainabletravelinternational.org and plug your flight plans into its carbon calculator. It'll tell you how much you need to donate to offset the flight. Two round-trip tickets from Washington to London, for example, create 4.49 tons of carbon dioxide, which requires a carbon offset donation of $68.47. The organization promises that at least 85 percent of your donation is invested in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in developing countries.
* Travelocity.com is working with the Conservation Fund with a "Be a Hero, Go Zero" program. Book a vacation package, and you can donate varying amounts to a tree-planting program. The carbon zero calculator used by the Conservation Fund is a bargain: 12,000 miles of flying equals a $15.56 carbon neutralization donation (it'll pay for planting two trees).
* Carbonfund.org's calculator says it'll cost you $31.35 to offset 12,000 miles of flying. Donations to that group go to a variety of programs, from renewable energy projects to reforestation.
* A guy in Wales started www.treeflights.com. He plants trees to make up for your flights. It costs $18.70 to plant a tree in the Welsh forest, which he estimates is equivalent to a round-trip flight to London.
Anyone feel guilty enough about flying to make donations? Know of any other groups that offer travel carbon offsets?
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