On average, a registered vehicle in Australia drives 14,000 kilometres in a year (based on ABS data). While this doesn’t exactly equate to how far the average person drives because cars may be shared, it gives an indication of just how huge the emissions from my one flight are in comparison. In just one week long trip, I will be responsible for the same amount of emissions as if I had driven a car in an average manner for two years.
So what’s a green blogger to do? Purchase some offsets!
The Australian National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) defines a carbon offset as…
Carbon offset: Represents reductions or removals of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by sinks, relative to a business-as-usual baseline. Carbon offsets are tradeable and often used to negate (or offset) all or part of another entity’s emissions.
There are various options to purchase voluntary emissions offsets, however many of them are aimed at organisations who want to obtain carbon neutral status. One option to purchase offsets as an individual is through Greenfleet. Offsets can be purchased to cover certain activities, or on a per tonne basis. The Greenfleet offsets come from native Australian reforestation projects that capture carbon from the atmosphere to compensate for the emissions from different activities (like flying to Italy).
Based on my flight distance of 32,000 kilometres, with an emissions factor of 210 gCO2-e per kilometre, these flights alone will contribute over 6.7 tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Offsetting them at $13.99 per tonne with Greenfleet will cost me $94. I’m not sure how this compares to purchasing the offsets directly though the airline, but in the grand scheme of international travel, it is not a lot of money. It is sort of like the old phrase – if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. Replace travel insurance with offsets and I have a recipe for a much greener trip!