In a previous post (catch up here), I wrote about being a frequent flyer in the face of climate change. I’m not boastfully proud of it, but I don’t believe that any alternative is a realistic conversation at this point. Now, before you condemn me forever, let me say this – I deeply believe that climate change is real, the science is irrefutable, it’s affecting our livelihood and at the moment, it’s not getting better.
Things must, and should be done to offset what humans are doing to the planet.
In other areas of my life, I try to be as conscious of this as humanly possible by not owning a car, using a recycled, reusable coffee cup and eating locally grown food and flying more fuel efficient planes amongst other things. If you don’t agree that climate change is real, it’s probably best to jog on now, because you’re not going to agree with any of the other things I write here very much, either.
That’s fine, it’s your choice, no super hard feelings.
When I wrote that post a few weeks ago, it naturally received the same horribly divisive commentary our politics enjoys these days, but there was a major silver lining.
My friend Jonathan tweeted back to me, simply saying that it could be worth supporting a cause called Offset.Earth. I listened, I learned, and within 5 minutes, I was signed up. If you, like me, plan to travel, need to travel or whatever – but wish to do something unanimously positive as well – this is a fantastic initiative, doing good that you can actually see and understand.
As someone who’s never been accused of being the sharpest tool in the shed, there are a few things I really enjoy about this simple, easy to digest setup. For one: you simply join a monthly plan, rather than contributing every time you fly. Of course, you can top up or give more, but Offset.Earth works like Netflix, or any of your other monthly subscriptions.
Someone once said to me “by the time the tree grows enough to have an impact, you’ll probably be dead”, and that’s fine by me. I hope someone I love won’t yet be. This stuff isn’t all about personal reward, it’s about what I believe to be a greater good.
From day one, Offset.Earth lets you know what your monthly plan brings to the world. I signed up for the “Mega” plan geared towards frequent flyers, which bills £18 per month but plants 48 trees in the process and fully offsets 56 tonnes of Carbon Emissions each year. It’s visual, it’s simple, and even has tags to let you know where your trees are planted each month.
This doesn’t absolve me of my travels, nor the impacts they create, but if any future impact is offset, I’m more glad that I did, than any reason not to. If this sort of thing isn’t for you, that’s totally fine too. We’re each entitled to our own personal opinion – except on science – which is based on quantifiable facts, numbers, tests and outcomes of course ; )
Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...
More by Gilbert Ott
Travel Better, For Less
Stay up to date on everything travel, with our handy newsletter