As technology advances, our need to travel by plane is reduced. Teleconferences instead of face-to-face meetings, convenient public transport and sustainable approaches to car use can all help us avoid air travel as much as possible. When air travel is unavoidable, we have several options to minimise its impact, such as carbon offsetting.
Carbon offsetting is the purchase of offset units to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, which are emitted as a result of activities such as air travel. Offset units support projects that reduce or remove emissions from the atmosphere, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation. It is important to remember that you should make every effort to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible before carbon offsetting to compensate for them. Offset credits should be purchased from accredited offset scheme providers.
In addition to offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, purchasing offset credits can:
Going carbon neutral is a combination of reducing your greenhouse gas emissions, where possible, and using offset units to compensate for the remaining emissions to achieve net zero emissions – carbon neutrality.
Many websites offer 'carbon calculators' that allow you to estimate the carbon emissions generated by activities such as air travel. You can then buy carbon offsets, either directly through a carbon offsetting organisation or through third parties such as airlines.
Travelling via public transport will benefit you and the environment in many ways. Travel within Victoria and interstate via public transport is convenient and comfortable and quicker than you might think (no airport commuting or waiting time). If flying is necessary, try to take public transport to and from the airport and to get around once you reach your destination.
If public transport isn't possible, can you carpool with friends or colleagues to meetings or events? And, if flying is necessary, can you carpool to and from the airport?
Why commute to a meeting at a regional, interstate or international office when you can save time and reduce emissions by attending from the convenience of your own home or local office? A range of videoconferencing tools are now available online, many at no cost for smaller meetings. It's even possible to attend conferences online. And while nothing can compensate for seeing family and friends in person, a regular video chat can help you feel more connected.
Reducing your air travel footprint doesn't mean giving up your holidays. Instead, think about taking trips closer to home, avoiding flights entirely wherever possible and choosing sustainable holiday options. Where flights are unavoidable, travel overland and use local public transport in the countries you visit. Research the airlines to find the newer, more fuel-efficient fleets, and take direct flights whenever possible, as these approaches will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And don't forget your feet and legs! Walking, trekking and cycling are wonderful ways to explore.
Buy carbon offset units to reduce the impact of greenhouse gases released as a result of your air travel. Offset units support projects that reduce or remove emissions from the atmosphere, such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation. Offset credits should be purchased from accredited offset scheme providers.
Minimising your air travel and carbon offsetting your flights are not the only ways to reduce your 'carbon footprint' and take action against climate change.
“Working together, we pledge to play our part and take action on climate change for Victoria, our country and our planet.”
Join thousands of others already playing their part to help keep the temperature rise under two degrees, so we can avoid the worst of climate change.
We can make a difference, if we all act today for a better tomorrow.
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