advertisement
31 January 2012

Your tree in Africa

Air travel is the fastest growing cause of global warming. But you can soften the blow by calculating and offsetting your flight emissions with the My Tree in Africa project.

0

Given that air travel is the fastest growing cause of global warming, participants at environmental conferences can't escape the irony of jetting thousands of kilometres to get to the venue. 

(Image; US Airforce)

But there are ways to partly absolve such sins.

Delegates flying to Durban for the recent COP17 climate change conference could offset their emissions by buying virtual trees at King Shaka International Airport. Each virtual tree (cost = R90) translates into a real one planted by Food and Trees for Africa, and offsets four hours flying time.

You too can easily calculate and offset your jet fuel emissions this way by using the My Tree in Africa carbon calculator. But follow these steps or it won't work!

1. Enter the flight duration in hours (for a single flight)

2. Enter the number of flights

3. Click "Add Flight"

4. Click "Calculate"

5. The next page to open will show you your flight's carbon output and the number of trees needed to neutralise it.  

A cautionary note on offsetting: it helps the climate change crisis, sure, but it's certainly no perfect solution and is rife with complexity and controversy. The first action to take for the environment should always be to reduce your emissions and THEN look at ways to offset what you absolutely haven't been able to reduce. For more on this thorny topic, see Is planting trees stupid?

You can also plant a tree yourself of course, but keep in mind that some species - especially those indigenous to an area - are rather better at keeping carbon out of the atmosphere than others. See Tree Tips for ideas.

- Olivia Rose-Innes, EnviroHealth Editor, Health24, updated January 2012

More EnviroHealth Tips 

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Hit the road »

Advice for the long runner Hill training: how to do it Why running is good for you

What to wear when you run

You do not need a gym membership to run. All you need is the correct clothing and you're ready to reap the benefits.

Carb danger »

Why we get fat Why you need to worry about fructose Craving sugar? Blame your brain

Carbs make you sick

Dr Gary Fettke, who believes that the foods we eat are the leading cause of lifestyle diseases speaks of Carbohydrate Diabetes, not Sugar Diabetes.