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Flying With Ed

Flying With Ed

It’s just not fair. I was so looking forward to my vacation next week, a trip to sunny Hawaii. Warm sand, cool breezes, lush greenery and the star of the show: The ocean. Ahh. There is just nothing better than swimming in the ocean in my book. But this blissful anticipation was squashed!

So what happened? Ed happened. I was reading Ed Begley Jr.’s book “Living With Ed: A Guide to the Eco Friendly Life,” when I came upon the section about flying. And boy am I sorry I did!

Apparently, flying is bad. Real bad. I mean I had an inkling, but I didn’t know that jet fuel is kerosene with mold retardant, a pollutant that creates carbon dioxide, a leading cause of global warming, among other charming little things like soot, sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen. Oh boy! And with no trees to mitigate the carbon dioxide at 31,000 feet, airplanes are thought to be a major contributor to climate change. So yeah, bad. Real bad.

Ed, the saint that he is, doesn’t fly if he doesn’t have to. For acting jobs in Vancouver or New York, he drives his hybrid car. Apparently, cross-country trips are a regular occurrence for Ed. As his wife, Rachelle, says: “He might be a little tired when he gets where he’s going, but at least he knows where his luggage is.”

Well, obviously I can’t drive to Hawaii, even if I did have the time, which I don’t. So what’s the answer? Luckily, Ed’s book didn’t leave me hanging.

TerraPass to the rescue! For $39.60, I can help fund carbon reduction projects such as wind farms. TerraPass goes into the marketplace and buys new, clean power such as solar. Ed is clear that this doesn’t negate the real pollution created by air travel. “That’s real. That’s out there. You’re not taking that away,” he writes. But putting new, green power sources into the system is an excellent start, and if every passenger bought one it would be a real contribution. That’s good enough for me. Aloha!

Whew! Problem solved. Now I can go to Hawaii with my conscience relatively clean, if not the air. I admire Ed and like his TV show “Living With Ed,” but his no-flying policy might not be just a little too hard-core for me. I mean, if I am heading to Southern California or something I might consider driving over flying. A nice cruise down 101 is nice. But for longer trips, I’ll just have to be content to offset my damage. It’s the best I can do.

Saving the Earth, one carbon offset dollar at a time.

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Jana Ballinger

Jana Ballinger has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and copy editor for daily newspapers. She lives in a vintage house in Northern California with her husband and an orange cat.

14 comments

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2:06AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

thank you for sharing

1:35PM PST on Nov 12, 2011

Thanks Jana!~

1:35PM PST on Nov 12, 2011

Thanks Jana!~

12:29PM PDT on May 31, 2011

thanks for sharing

12:36AM PST on Dec 11, 2010

Thanks for the article.

3:17PM PDT on May 31, 2010

You really have to weigh out the benefits of flying virus driving. Sometimes your time driving is just as bad as the time spent on the plane and your time is just more important.

12:27PM PST on Jan 31, 2010

Thanks.

9:04AM PST on Dec 22, 2008

Living With Ed is an excellent book! Everyone should read it who's looking for interesting ways to reduce their footprint. Won't weigh in on the widsom of flying to Hawaii or places only avail by plane, but if you're staying on the continent, America is really so beautiful, you're doing yourself an injustice if you don't motor cross country at some point in life! Of course, that could mean train or Greyhound, no need for 300 million individual car trips!

5:37PM PDT on Apr 24, 2008

Sadly, they paid me nothing! ;)

12:02PM PDT on Apr 24, 2008

How much money did you get from Terra Pass for this article and for the link to their website ?

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