Continental Airlines recently announced they have partnered with Sustainable Travel International to launch a voluntary carbon calculation and offset tool through the carrier’s Web site. Travelers booking on Continental.com will be able to calculate their flights carbon footprint and purchase offsets offered by Sustainable Travel International, “including reforestation, renewable energy and energy conservation” programs. Great way to bribe the environment, if that’s your thing.
According to the press release, “Proceeds from purchased offsets are invested by Sustainable Travel International into high-impact sustainable development projects, including reforestation, renewable energy and energy conservation. These projects, which also benefit local communities, are located all over the world. Customers will have the option of selecting which kind of program they would like their carbon offsets to benefit.” My advice is to avoid reforestation projects, based on the study I mentioned previously.
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Sustainable Travel International provides carbon offset projects that are independently verified by third-party sources. The projects must verifiably reduce greenhouse gas emissions according to the CDM Gold Standard, consistent with the principles of the Kyoto Protocol, or have Green-e certification from the Center for Resource Solutions.