By Maeve Hogel
The other day, I was making arrangements for traveling in South America after the COP is over. I was purchasing my plane ticket on Student Universe when I noticed, under a box asking me if I wanted to purchase travel insurance, a box that was labeled “Fly Green: Offset Emissions”. Show above, the box asked me if I was interested in taking 3500 lbs of CO2 out of the air and help with forestry projects in the US and China for the low low price of $24.95.
Airplanes are obviously a source of large emissions, but as someone who loves to travel, I’ve never been able to commit to idea of decreasing my use of airplanes in order to reduce my carbon footprint. I feel that many people probably feel a similar guilt when traveling, but are also unwilling to cut airplanes out of their lives. The ability to donate a little money after purchasing a plane ticket that goes to apparently taking CO2 out of the atmosphere could alleviate that guilt. However, what is the $24.95 actually going to? 3500 lbs of CO2 being taken out of the air how? In theory it seems like such a good idea, trying to offset your carbon emissions from flying through. But is this really just a way to feel less guilty and not actually a practical way to help the environment? Or is this an option we will be seeing more and more off when purchasing plane tickets in the future?