Reduce Your Carbon Footprint During the Holidays

thekob5123/Adobe Stock

thekob5123/Adobe Stock

By Cheryl Scott

Visiting friends or family via airplane this holiday season? Don’t forget to bring Mother Earth a present by offsetting the carbon emissions from your flight.

Carbon offsetting involves financially supporting Earth-friendly projects, such as planting trees or building wind farms, which reduce the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide that your flight generated. Burning jet fuel produces carbon dioxide, one of the harmful greenhouse gases that is causing climate change.

Find Out Your Flight’s Emissions

Sometimes, your flight confirmation email will list the carbon dioxide emissions per person. If it does not, you can go to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s website to type in your departure city and your destination, in order to find out how much carbon dioxide will be emitted from your flight:

The results will show up in kilograms, which can be converted to pounds by typing in “X kilograms to pounds” at, if needed.

Amy Rosenthal, Rowe Family Director of the Keller Science Action Center, which advances environmental conservation and quality of life in the Chicago region, recommended the following websites that make it easy to offset your carbon footprint:

Terrapass At Terrapass, type in how many thousand pounds of carbon dioxide your travel is producing, and the company will reduce your carbon footprint by an equivalent number of pounds. It costs $4.99 per 1,000 pounds offset. Terrapass offsets carbon by putting the funds toward emission reduction projects, such as wind turbines. Once purchased, Terrapass sends you a certificate of sustainability that notes how many pounds of carbon you offset.

Carbon Fund At Carbon Fund, you can offset one metric ton (1,000 kilograms, or 2,205 pounds) for $10. You can also choose whether your carbon offset goes toward renewable energy, energy efficiency, reforestation, forestry projects or you can choose to let Carbon Fund decide on the best use. After donating, Carbon Fund emails you a certificate that shows what you offset.