The holiday season is upon us. We’re on the move in planes, cars, trains, buses. Everyone is making plans…moving in different directions…trying to get home to family and friends.
This collective travel time finds many of us stuck in traffic, waiting in lines, and buying fast food along the interstate.
And yes, I know it may seem bah-humbug, but the holidays take a serious toll on the environment. We need to think about consuming less, taking our cloth bags shopping, and reusing gift bags instead of wrapping paper. But it’s the bigger environmental picture that is so impacted by our travel…our air and our climate.
Why is flying so harmful to our air and climate? Planes release large amounts of carbon dioxide in flight, and although this is a relatively small amount of our total carbon, it has a very large impact.
According to TIME:
“Commercial air travel is currently responsible for a relatively tiny part of the global carbon footprint —just 3.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But the unique chemistry of high-altitude jet emissions may produce an additional warming effect, while the explosive growth in air travel makes it one of the fastest-growing sources of carbon gases in the atmosphere. And unlike energy or automobiles, where carbon-free or lower-carbon alternatives already exist, even if they have yet to be widely adopted, there is no low-carbon way to fly, and there likely won’t be for decades.”