Driving home from the store my daughter spotted a Jet flying across the sky with the white trailing behind it and with her little mind always working she asks. “do airplanes cause pollution?”. And as I looked up at the airplane, seeing the white stream clouds flowing from the back of it, I said, I don’t know.
How much does an airplane pollute? Some quick facts: Air Travel causes 0.17kg/km/per person, compared to driving a car which causes 0.14kg/km/per person. The worlds 16,000 commercial jet aircraft produce more than 600 million tonnes of CO2 annually, almost as much as the entire African continent. A return flight from London to Miami produces 2,415 kg of CO2 per passenger, more than 2,255 kg produced annually by the average British motorists 16,108 km.
In an article from USA Today they address the Concern over pollution from jets.
Aircraft emissions pollute the air and threaten by 2050 to become one of the largest contributors to global warming, British scientists have concluded. With the projected explosion in worldwide travel, air pollution from aviation is a growing concern among scientists, and it’s drawing increased scrutiny from governments, particularly in Europe.
To read the complete article click here.
What can we do about it? Airplane travel is not going to stop. People are always going to have the need to get to another destination in a quick manner. So you ask, what can we do to lessen our impact on this earth? We have to think of the things we do daily and attack those. The best way to lessen your carbon footprint would be to walk, bike, ride the bus and carpool when you can. If traveling inside the US, take the train instead of flying, when possible. Another way to help offset the CO2 emissions is to buy carbon credits/offsets, which in turn contribute to projects meant to help reduce global warming caused by burning fossil fuel.
Next time you are thinking about flying, see if there are any other options for your travel and try to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum.