Green Travel: How To Use Carbon Offsetting To Minimise Your Footprint
For business people, travel is inevitable now and then. Of course, we’d all like to participate in responsible, green travel as much as we can. That often means limiting your carbon footprint but decreasing the number of flights you take, or cars you use. This is not always possible though.
You may have a client in a different country, or you may need to get somewhere very quickly. The point is, there are times when long-distance travel is unavoidable. That is out of your control. But, does this mean that you have no control over your carbon footprint? It doesn’t! You can still implement green travel practices while taking a flight, or any other mode of transport, to your destination.
There are many ways you can travel more sustainably, but in this article, we’re going to focus on carbon offsetting. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry. We’ll cover all the information you need to know. Read on to learn more.
What Is Carbon Offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is a practice that allows you to take responsibility for the emission of carbon that your trips produce. Essentially, it is a manner of counteracting the carbon your travelling produces.
How it works is that you find a carbon offset scheme and you tell them the length of your trip and your mode of transport. Usually, the scheme will take these values and use a specialised calculator to determine a fee for you to pay. Your fee is then used to fund carbon-reducing or carbon-capturing projects. In this way, you counteract the damage caused to the environment and atmosphere.
Let’s take a deeper look at this, using the example of a plane. When a plane flies, its engine produces greenhouse gases. These gases are emitted into the atmosphere. Your carbon offset fee is calculated, and when you pay it, the fee is invested into a project which reduces emissions by the same amount that you caused. This means you don’t actually decrease your own carbon footprint, but you make up for it by reducing it elsewhere.
This green travel practice is internationally recognised. The practice takes into account the fact that we cannot make immediate changes in our emissions, business models, and travel, and it finds a way around this.
How Is Your Carbon Offset Calculated?
There are a number of factors that go into the calculation of a carbon offset fee. As we mentioned earlier, the calculation considers the length of your trip and mode of transport. It also takes into account the class you’re flying in, the model of aircraft or car, the time of day you’re travelling, and even the weather. Usually, each carbon offsetting scheme has its own specific calculation. Sometimes the fee can be quite high, but it’s worth it for the purpose of green travel!
How To Find Carbon Offsetting Schemes
If we’re being honest, finding carbon offsetting schemes to help you in your green travel efforts is not that difficult. Really, all it takes is a quick Google search. There are several schemes around the world, and there are schemes dedicated to specific countries too.
Companies like Sustainable Travel International and ClearSky Climate Solutions support projects around the world. Then you get companies like myclimate, based in Switzerland, atmosfair, based in Germany, Forest Carbon in the UK, and Eco-act in France. Most companies produce reports that detail the impact their efforts have had to date. This information can help you to decide which scheme you’d prefer to use.
You should also consider what types of initiatives you’d like your fees to go to. Each scheme usually has specific efforts that they put the money towards. Some focus on reforestation, while others give money to clean water projects or sustainable energy projects. Before you choose a scheme, have a look at what they use the money for, and decide if that is a project that you would like to give your money to.
The Pros and Cons Of Carbon Offsetting
As with most things, there are both advantages and disadvantages of using carbon offsetting. Below we’ll give you the details of each so that you can make the best decision.
Really, the advantages of carbon offsetting are limitless. You can play a role in saving certain species, slowing down global warming and contribute to sustainable development. Another benefit of this practice is that it increases the fair distribution of social costs that are connected to carbon emissions.
In addition, the more people that participate in the practice, the more companies will have to start paying attention to the issue. It can draw attention to sustainability efforts, which will improve the efforts of the cause in the long run.
For businesses, participation in carbon offsetting can also bring many benefits. For example:
- It will show your employees that you are serious about sustainability.
- It can improve your public image and reputation.
- It can assist you in spending your money wisely.
- It gives you insights into your companies practices so that you can make improvements where needed.
These benefits are almost too good to pass up!
The disadvantages of carbon offsetting are mostly focused on costs, both for the individual and for companies.
For instance, the cost of an offsetting scheme is quite high, and as a result, it may cause the price of other products to increase. The schemes also require expert knowledge, which is expensive. For companies participating in carbon offsetting, total profits may decrease.
Other downfalls of carbon offsetting may be that:
- People now feel they don’t need to be careful with their carbon emissions because they can simply offset them if they want to.
- Carbon offsetting on its own will never be enough to stop global warming, so it must be done in parallel to many other efforts.
- Some carbon offsetting schemes are known for their lack of transparency, which is worrying because you won’t know where your money is going. There have been schemes that have been found to be scams. Here, however, you simply need to ensure that you do proper research before signing up with a scheme.
There will always be some negatives, no matter what we do. But, we shouldn’t let the negatives stop us from trying our best to limit our carbon footprint!
EnterAnGo and Your Green Travel Efforts
Using EnterAnGo can help business travellers be more sustainable in several ways. In fact, it can even help you with your carbon offset calculations!
When you travel using our platform, you can get reports that show you the total carbon footprint for your trip. This will make it much easier to calculate your offset fee. In addition, you can organize trips with a focus on having the lowest possible impact on the environment. The platform gives you options for modes of transport and tells you the carbon footprint of each option, so you can make the best green travel decisions! To find out how else you can participate in green travel, read our post on sustainable travel hacks.
These days, sustainability is trending, and that’s a good thing! The trend can be seen in business events and travel, and also in holiday-makers behaviours. If you want to continue the effort toward sustainability, then green travel practices like carbon offsetting is a great option. Be sure to do your research on the carbon offsetting scheme that you choose.
And, to increase your efforts toward sustainable travel practices, get in contact with EnterAnGo today!