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.