What Are Carbon Offsets And Should You Be Buying Them Before You Fly?


As a travel writer, I fly a lot. It’s part of the job and I enjoy it immensely. But in mid-March, I had a crisis of confidence: I was about to book my fifth flight this year alone, and I started to think about my carbon footprint. Air travel is a high-carbon-footprint activity, and U.S. airlines are especially guilty of pumping greenhouse gases into the environment. I started to question if a core part of my job was doing more harm than good.

I’m surely not alone (even on our staff) in worrying about this. Americans are flying more than ever. We need to take the environment into consideration, in ways large and small, and that includes when we travel. After my mid-March mini-breakdown, one of the ways I found to help me deal with my flight angst was to purchase carbon offsets — donations which help mitigate a person’s carbon footprint. Here’s how donation dollars can help you create an overall greener flight experience.