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Travel Responsibly, Reduce Carbon Footprints

Air Plane Emissions

To travel or not to travel, that is the question.

In the last decade, traveling has become more accessible. Hence, the travel market has expanded drastically. With globalization, affordable air travel and technological development in the industry, travel aspirations have raised in people. And it is not just business travel that has increased in frequency, but also leisure travel.

However, this frenzy in the travel industry has started to leave carbon footprints in the atmosphere at an alarming level.

According to the EDGAR database created by European commission and Netherlands environmental agency, India’s per capita carbon dioxide emission in 2015 was 1.9 tons. The number has increased by 1041% since 1971.

Air-travel is one of the major contributors for this. When you fly from one place to another, the carbon dioxide emission is almost 20% of the total annual emission. For example, personal carbon footprint for taking a flight from Mumbai to Delhi would be about 288 kg CO2e.

Other than the carbon dioxide, other aviation emissions such as Nitrogen Oxides, water vapor and other particulates also affect a lot in climate change. According to Stefan Gossling, the co-editor of the book, ‘Climate Change and Aviation: Issues, Challenges and Solutions’, “The aviation sector makes a contribution to global warming that is at least twice the effect of CO2 alone.”

Knowing all this, is it really possible to not travel at all or to even reduce traveling? The question may have had an answer few years ago, but now it is almost rhetorical. However, there are few things we can try to do while traveling to reduce the size of our carbon footprints.

One of them is driving instead of flying. It is not to say that driving does not emit green house gases in the atmosphere. But the amount is significantly less than air travel.

If you do have to travel by air, choose coach instead of business class for the trip. According to a study conducted by the World Bank, the emissions associated with flying business class are nearly thrice as flying in coach.

And lastly, plant more trees to offset the damage caused to the atmosphere because of you.  According to a study conducted by the United Nations as part of their ‘Billion trees campaign’, an average tree absorbs about 12 kg of carbon dioxide in a year. Considering the average life span of a tree to be 20 years, it absorbs about 240 kg Carbon dioxide in its life time. So approximately it takes about 4 trees to neutralize the impact of a carbon footprint of 1 ton.

The damage can be controlled if every individual owns up to their responsibility for their own carbon footprint. It is high time we travel more responsibly and look out after our beautiful planet.

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The CSR Journal Team