I spoke about CO2-compensation in the “Bad Sides of Travel” and I decided to honour a blog post about the impact of CO2-compensation. Let’s talk about what it is and what the impact is. More information and explanation so you’ll know what to do if you have the option of CO2-compensation.
I like the idea of CO2-compensation. However, it does not change anything about the CO2-emissions that happens with flying around the world. It is a nice way to contribute to the environment if you need to travel around the world or simply want to travel around the world. I’ll keep it short and simple for you guys!
To start off – when we talk about “our carbon footprint” it means how much we contribute to the pollution. Your carbon footprint is higher if you take the airplane a lot or drive a lot with your car. If you take the train to work, your carbon footprint is lower because you’ll share the emissions with the fellow train travellers. If you take a cruise ship, your carbon footprint is way higher. Ultimately, a cruise ship has the highest CO2 emission of all travel transportations. This is basically how a carbon footprint works, but there are more factors that contribute to it. Travelling isn’t the only thing.
So to talk about the CO2-compensation, this is a price you’ll pay on top of your airplane ticket. This extra price can be included in the airplane ticket price itself, so if you don’t see the option – it might already be included since many airlines are trying to give back to the environment.
Not everyone is a fan of the CO2-compensation. They feel like it’s about doing something good for the environment while covering up the negative impact we made. Personally, I like the concept of CO2-compensation because it’s better than doing nothing at all. I like that we’re trying to do something good.
Read more: The Bad Sides of Travel
So what’s the impact of CO2-compensation? Many people take planting new trees as the biggest example of the impact that happens when paying CO2-compensation. This is kind-off true, because they used to plant trees from the compensation. This is mainly focused on rebuilding (rain) forests to improve the oxygen in the air. However, nowadays – there are way more possibilities to make a positive impact. Companies are using the compensation to use green energy, safe drink water and some are even using it for clean cooking stoves in third world countries.
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The big benefit of these projects are that they are not only providing positive impact to the environment, but also to the people on the destination. Responsible and sustainable travel is not only committed to the environment, but also people and animals. It’s good to think about these alternative ways.
Read more: 7 Ways To Give Back To The Local Community
In short, CO2-compensation has three main options: planting trees, reduce activities that cause CO2-emissions like the non-environment friendly stove and replace it with the clean booking stove, and investing in green projects. Some organizations leave it up to us and let us decide what should happen to the money.
If you’d like to contribute more or if you couldn’t find the option when booking your flight – here are some websites that provide you with more information and possibilities. The Dutch website “Green Seats” can do this for the Dutch readers of this blog and it has an international website as well. If you’re an international reader – the website “My Climate” is another good option for you. I know that airlines like KLM do offer the option on their website, but if not – these might be a few good options for you. Tree-nation is an organisation who (surprise, surprise) plants trees. Carbon Fund plants trees as well and you have different options – one tree costs $1.
Read more: How To Be A Responsible Traveller
Fair Climate Fund is an example of an organisation who offers more than just the option of planting a tree. Other options are the cook stoves I mentioned earlier but they offer much more. This website has stories on the positive impact regarding the locals. Very interesting and motivating to read if you want to get more insight in the actual impact. It’s good to read this since we’re all wondering where our money is actually going.
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The purpose and the impact of CO2-compensation is something I learned during my Tourism Management study. I learned so much about sustainable and responsible traveling. Ultimately, it’s up to us travellers if we want to contribute into creating more positive impact. Knowledge is key in this process so we can create our own opinion about these subjects. Are we interested in contributing and are we willing to pay more? Or do we want to contribute in another way?
Did you know what CO2-compensation is?