Copa Airlines, the airline that is big time in Central and South America, has joined the ranks of the carriers that offer a voluntary carbon offset program. I’ve made it pretty clear I don’t think you can bribe the environment to offset the guilt caused by ozone depleting traveling, but for those of you counting your carbons this is great news.
As in all self respecting carbon offset programs, the dollar value of your offset is based on a carbon calculator, with which you can calculate the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions you’re responsible for. Shame on you.
If you don’t trust the company who is accepting your donation to properly compute your carbons, there is in fact a Carbon Calculator Firefox Plugin where you can DIY, an iPhone (and iTouch) app called Airshed and there’s even a carbon calculator for Android, Google’s new mobile operating system.
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The carbon-offsetting program is part of Copa Airlines’ commitment to the environment, which includes a totally renovated fleet equipped with fuel-efficient engines, an investment in new technologies, and streamlining of operations to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The airline also is implementing an Environmental Adaptation and Management Program that encompasses the measurement, reduction and offsetting of emissions, in addition to promoting cleaner production, consumption of renewable resources and a corporate culture of environmental responsibility.
Copa’s voluntary carbon offset program was developed in association with Sustainable Travel International (STI), the same folks behind Continental Airlines’ offset program.
At the very least, I hope that this program gets some of our neighbors to the south thinking a little harder about environmental issues. I love Central America to pieces, but the whole eco movement just hasn’t made it down there. It’s a beautiful region and I’d love to see some steps taken to keep it that way (like fewer people throwing trash out of the chicken bus windows).
For all the latest and greatest on the subject of going green, check out the Eco Tourism Logue.