Flights + Air Travel

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sustainable and ethical travel
 

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Airlines:
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Cathay Pacific
Centralwings
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Delta Airlines
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Monarch
Quantas
Ryanair
Singapore Airlines
Sky Europe
Sterling
Swissair
Thomson Flights
Thomsonfly
Tuifly
Virgin Atlantic
Westjet


Making your flying more sustainable

Sadly, air travel is not particularly susustainable -jet aircraft are responsible for putting huge amounts of C02 into the atmosphere -you can calculate the CO2 emissions resulting from your own flight by visiting Climate Care, who have an online emissions calculator -you simply enter details of your route. You can go further and assuage your guilt by making a financial donation to offset your emissions -perhaps not ideal but at least it raises awareness of the damaging effects of air travel.
 
It is an emotive subject, with lots of misinformation around (from both points of view) on the effect of air travel on CO2 emissions. The website sustainableavaiation.co.uk promotes the airlines' point of view. Friends of the Earth published a report in 2006 which sets about debunking industry claims about air travel. There is a well researched summary of aviation emissions in comparison with other means of travel available from Aviation Environment Federation (Word format). This acknowledges that the emissions per passenger mile are comparable with those of traditional mototor cars, but that it is the huge distances that airlines travel that makes aviation have such a huge effect -a return flight to New York can have a similar impact to a years motoring in an average UK car.
 
However, new planes are becoming more efficient -one of our frustrations with air travel is the difficulty of getting proper information -wouldn't it be good if airlines publishes comparable figures for the different type of plane in there fleets, so you can actually exrecise a consumer choice when you make your booking. Do ask the question -figures we have seen from Transport Watch show that carbon emissions per seat mile can vary by a factor of three when comparing older aircraft with new.
 
Of course there are other ways you can minimise the impact of your air travel -using a local airport rather than travelling further to major airports is a good start, and you could travel to the airport by bus or train.
 

Useful Sources of Information

  • Air Miles -the UK reward programme for bargain holidays and discount flights.
  • Aviation Environment Federation -the principal UK non-profit making environmental association concerned with the environmental effects of aviation.
  • BAA -British Airports Authority -airport news, timetables, duty free shopping.
  • Civil Aviation Authority -the United Kingdom aviation regulator.
  • PlaneStupid.com -is a network of groups taking action against airport expansion and aviation's climate impact.
  • IATA - International Air Transport Association.
  • Silent Air Initiative -a joint Cambridge-MIT research programme to develop an aircraft that is effectively silent from beyonds the airport boundary.
  • u-bag.com -excess and unaccompanied baggage shipping services provided to airlines, travel agents and passengers for delivery to destinations worldwide.

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Featured books:

Flying Without Fear
Keith Godfrey and Gordon Redrup Paperback
6 Aug 2007
Price in UK pounds
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Flying High with a Frank Steward: More Air Travel Tips and Tales from the Flight Crew
James Wysong
Paperback
3 Dec 2007
Price in UK pounds
Price in US dollars

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