I worry a lot about the planet and the bad things we’ve done to it – it makes me sad that humans are damaging things and all the other species we share the world with just have to put up with it.
And while I recycle everything that moves, buy local vegetables and re-use things as much as I can, I can’t escape the fact that I do like to travel. On average I seem to take one return flight within Europe each year, and one longer flight (recently to North America). The carbon emitted by these flights means that I do a lot of damage to the planet, more than I can ever hope to repay by recycling. The travel section of the Times this week reported that:
“…one passenger flying to New York and back [from London] creates 1.5 tonnes of emissions. That’s roughly the same as the domestic emissions (heating, hot water and cooking) that the average British individual is responsible for in a year.”
So I’m making a new year’s resolution to start contributing to one of the organisations that plant trees or take other steps to help you offset your carbon emissions. On the Climate Care website you can use their calculator to work out your contribution – my flight to Seattle earlier this year would call for a donation of £16.35, and my trip to Amsterdam £0.90. If you’re made of stronger stuff than me, you could consider the Flight Pledge – a promise not to fly at all.