Airplanes are contributing to global warming by emitting gases into the atmosphere and creating contrails. Aeroplanes are emitting toxins such as carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur oxide and hydrocarbons into the atmosphere.
The carbon dioxide in particular is contributing to global warming by trapping heat and raising the ambient temperature of the Earth’s surface to a more elevated level (according to the Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics).
The environmental impact of air travel is a growing concern. Rapidly advancing technologies and increasing demand have led to the constant rise in popularity of air travel. In 2015, it was reported that 4.7 billion passengers had been transported by plane, compared with 3.5 billion in 2011. This increase has led to an ever-increasing amount of greenhouse gas produced as a result of air travel.
According to scientists at the University of Manchester, if nothing is done to reduce current emission rates, planes will produce enough CO2 per year by 2050 – around 10 gigatonnes – to melt all the ice on Antarctica.
According to The Guardian, ”a roundtrip flight between New York and London produces roughly the same amount of emissions as an average household does over a six-month period”.
Air travel is a major contributor to global warming in two ways: it produces emissions which directly contribute to the greenhouse effect, and it consumes huge amounts of fuel which ultimately come from carbon-containing sources.
Further, the Co2 is emitted at a higher altitude, and this is considerably worse for global warming. Carbon dioxide emitted by airplanes are widely considered to be twice as harmful as carbon dioxide emitted on ground level.
Second, most of the air travel we do is not necessary – and that includes business travel. For most of us, air travel is affordable luxury, something we can do and that can give us immense value in the form of memories, experiences, connections or new business deals.
The fact remains that most of us don’t actually need to travel by plane, and because we choose to do so, the impetus is on us to compensate. Carbon offsetting is an easy and cheap way to do so, and fly with a green conscious.
How to offset your flight
With Offsetta, you can make one-off donations before or after your flight that funds tree planting and Gold Standard-certified projects that reduces the same amount of Co2 somewhere else on the planet. This effectively removes the carbon footprint of your flight and allows you to fly with a green conscience.