Most travel by plane without giving a second thought about the impact that flight has on the environment. People think more about the excitement of seeing a new destination, checking in on time, or finding a spacious seat with plenty of legroom.
While the environment might not come to mind first, people are becoming increasingly conscious about the environment and their personal choices. Air travel accounts for about 2% of the total carbon emissions in the atmosphere. That is unless we make conscious efforts toward using environmentally friendly technology and greener flight choices. Keep reading to find some easy ways to make more eco-friendly choices when traveling.
Fly with Greener Airlines
Certain airlines prioritize sustainability more than others. When booking air travel, look out for a few of these carriers who work toward minimizing their carbon footprint.
Alaska Airlines consistently ranks as one of the most fuel-efficient airlines among US carriers. Their Greener Skies program at Seattle’s SeaTac airport, for example, has saved 87 gallons of jet fuel for each flight!
JetBlue Airlines sets an example with its rigorous sustainability policy that aims to reduce carbon emissions, lower the use of fossil fuels, and cut wastes during operations. The airline uses 25% less water on board. Their planes also use energy efficient NextGen technology, saving 18 gallons of fuel per flight.
United Air has a commendable Eco-Skies program that emphasizes “fuel efficiency and carbon management”. United also partners with AltAir Fuels to research the development of biojet fuels, which could reduce carbon emissions by 60% or more!
Bring your own (water) bottle, that is. We all know the troubles of carrying any liquids on board. But flights allow you to take empty water bottles, which you can fill up at terminals before your flight. Reusable water bottles cut back on plastic, which can pollute our waterways, contaminate soil, and harm animals.
Believe it or not, over 25% of fuel gets used during takeoff. Once a plane reaches cruising altitudes, it becomes much more energy efficient. So when you can, fly direct to avoid wasting fuel during multiple takeoffs.
Book Economy Class
Sure, who doesn’t love some extra leg room on a plane? But less leg room and smaller aisles allow airlines to carry more passengers per flight. Economy seats may not have as much space as business or first class, but everyone benefits from the fuel of that flight, with lower emissions per person.
Fly with Fuel-Efficient Aircraft
When it comes to a greener flight, size matters. Small, twin-engine planes like Airbus A350s or Boeing 787 Dreamliners are more fuel efficient than giant four-engine planes like A380 or 747. When booking, fly greener by choosing smaller planes. Also, consider airlines that update their fleets with more fuel-efficient aircraft.
Although aircraft contributes to carbon emissions, that doesn’t mean you have to stop flying. Increased awareness of greener flight options will help reduce carbon emissions and encourage the development of more environmentally friendly aircraft in the future.