Now, you can offset the Number One Eco Sin—at the airport.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 4, 2009
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Just so long as you don’t have a house as big as John Edwards or Fiddy Cent, your number one environmental crime is liking flying around—even if you only go cross continental roundtrip once a year. If you do much more than that…well, click here and read up and consider whether it’s a worthwhile course of action (action is the literal translation of karma). 



This spring, travelers entering San Francisco International Airport will see a new type of kiosk at check-in — one offering carbon offsets for those who wish to counter the greenhouse-gas emissions from their trip. It will mark the first time that an airport will be peddling offsets, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Details — such as how exactly the offsets will reduce carbon emissions — are as yet vague. According to The Chronicle, S.F.O. has partnered with 3Degrees, a San Francisco-based offsets firm that invests in clean-energy and carbon-reduction projects. The airport is supplying the kiosks and putting $163,000 into the program — and while the prices from are yet to be determined, a 3Degrees official told The Chronicle that offsetting a trip to Europe currently costs around $36.

Many airlines, most recently Virgin America, have already begun selling offsets of their own. Virgin has recently promised that it will soon give customers the opportunity to buy offsets while in flight, via the seat-back entrainment system.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


4 Responses to “Now, you can offset the Number One Eco Sin—at the airport.”

  1. Todd says:

    Or why not take the train? Lower eco impact per passenger mile for sure, and realistically, how often is it so crucial to be there asap on short notice?

  2. Heather says:

    I remember a convo we had about driving vs. flying a few months ago. I’d much rather take a plane every few months and go without a car in my everyday life. (I have no idea if the carbon emissions balance out—planes are much, much heavier emitters than cars, I’m sure, even if only used a few times a year.)

    It seems like plane travel is more “necessary” in a way—like when I go somewhere on a plane, it’s because I need to really get away, or see something different, or visit the fam. But shorter car trips seem easier to do without. I can always walk, or bike or public transport if it’s farther away, or find an alternative destination.

    Trains are a great suggestion, I just wish our national train system was faster and more reliable—like those in Europe or Japan. I once took Amtrak from Miami to Orlando and it took 9 hours with constant stops and delays (a drive between the two cities is usually about 3.5 hours.)

  3. admin says:

    Don’t you get rides with your hottie boyfriend, like, every day? Every other day? Twice a day? Still, you do walk allllll the time, and yeah that’s way better than driving, though like you say I don’t know how that balances against a few plane trips a year. I was shocked a couple years back when I calculated my carbon footprint and the one flight I take a year, roundtrip, alone made my footprint totally unsustainable. That’s why I found the above article inspiring.

    I think this article is interesting bc it points to a third solution—flying, which I agree with you, Heather, is ‘necessary’ for many, at least sometimes…but offsetting that flying when you have to do it.

  4. Farnoosh says:

    I plan to fly around and see the world and enjoy the technology that is airplanes and I refuse to apologize for it or get in a car to do so (crossing oceans would be interesting) so I'm afraid I will be flying around around the 100,000 miles to see the world.