Author Topic: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?  (Read 5579 times)

Prairie Stash

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #50 on: August 13, 2019, 02:39:27 PM »
I was recently trying to use one of those carbon footprint calculators and I still can't figure out if for someone like me who only flies one every 5 years or so (if that) can off set that flight by my lifestyle alone. I don't have kids, don't commute but do have a vehicle for long camping road trips, mostly vegan - and mostly raw foods vegan at that so no cooking usually,  am a pretty extreme minimalist so rarely buy any newly manufactured products, and mostly ride my bike.  I would think that would make my one r/t flight overseas every 5 years a good off set.

To me it still seems like I would be more polluting if I drive a vehicle that averages 30 mpg alone  cross country 6000 miles R/T then it would to fly the same distance with 300 others onboard. I'm in the process of driving from the west coast to the east coast (taking a month and a half to do it) then will hop on a plane to Europe and stay a couple of months or longer riding a bike and using public transit before flying back and then driving back to the west coast. It seems to me the solo road trip R/T would be much more polluting then if I just skipped it and flew to Europe directly from the west coast. Am I wrong about that?
GHG/gallon of gas = 19.60 pounds of CO2/gallon source: US EIA
https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/co2_vol_mass.php

so 6000, miles at 30 mpg is 200 gallons. That's 3,920 pounds of carbon.

Flight calculators aren't something I use. Plugging LA to New york in the link below show 1.3 t/person.
https://co2.myclimate.org/en/portfolios?calculation_id=2328432
This calculator spit out 1.29 tonnes I hate american sites, 1t = 1.1 ton, learn to use metric already ;)
https://www.offsetters.ca/education/calculators/flight-emissions-calculator

At a cursory inspection, ignoring other variables, on a fully loaded flight its less emissions than driving. However driving you can carpool (2 people) and the emissions/person is lower. We can argue about the variables, but you aren't wrong that in some cases its less GHG to fly.

Prairie Stash

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #51 on: August 13, 2019, 02:43:34 PM »
I was recently trying to use one of those carbon footprint calculators and I still can't figure out if for someone like me who only flies one every 5 years or so (if that) can off set that flight by my lifestyle alone. I don't have kids, don't commute but do have a vehicle for long camping road trips, mostly vegan - and mostly raw foods vegan at that so no cooking usually,  am a pretty extreme minimalist so rarely buy any newly manufactured products, and mostly ride my bike.  I would think that would make my one r/t flight overseas every 5 years a good off set.
By American and Canadian standards, you are very low. By international standards you are likely above average. Its all about who you compare against.

To make you feel better, you're lower than I am in terms of GHG emissions. To make myself feel better, I'm lower than the average where I live.

pigpen

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #52 on: August 14, 2019, 10:03:38 AM »
OP comes in asking for help virtue signalling so they can feel OK about flying.

The majority of other posters have to virtue signal even harder about how terrible flying is and if you don't bike everywhere from your 100 square foot vegan solar paneled lean-to that you are a terrible human being.

Worked out like most of these threads. Well done everyone!

Agree with BicycleB's perspective on the above. The thread sounds like people sincerely discussing/debating something that's important to them. I'm reading it because I have a similar dilemma of being concerned about global warming and other environmental issues but also enjoy traveling, and I find the information useful. If you want to read my assertion that I'm "concerned about global warming and other environmental issues" as an attempt to show how great I am to a group of completely anonymous strangers, then so be it.

One other thought: a lot of debates like this are also implicitly debates about whether the debater subscribes to a Kantian or Utilitarian view of ethics (very roughly: do it/don't do it because it's "Right" or "Wrong" vs. do it/don't do it because of its impact). Thus the threads in which two groups of people are more or less in agreement about something (feeling that flying has a negative effect on the environment and should ideally be avoided) but still argue vehemently about the topic.

Search for "trolley problem" or "Kantian vs. Utilitarian Ethics" if you're interested.


insufFIcientfunds

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #53 on: August 14, 2019, 11:10:22 AM »
OP comes in asking for help virtue signalling so they can feel OK about flying.

The majority of other posters have to virtue signal even harder about how terrible flying is and if you don't bike everywhere from your 100 square foot vegan solar paneled lean-to that you are a terrible human being.

Worked out like most of these threads. Well done everyone!

HA! I was wondering if someone was going to point that out. Best quote all day.


spartana

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #54 on: August 14, 2019, 12:43:19 PM »
OP comes in asking for help virtue signalling so they can feel OK about flying.

The majority of other posters have to virtue signal even harder about how terrible flying is and if you don't bike everywhere from your 100 square foot vegan solar paneled lean-to that you are a terrible human being.

Worked out like most of these threads. Well done everyone!

HA! I was wondering if someone was going to point that out. Best quote all day.
Geeze I hate it when someone turns a nice informative thread into a crap fest. Some of us actually do give an F and are trying figure out ways that we can do all the stuff we want to do while being aware of the consequences and impact. I'd smuggly stomp off now but that may virtue signal that I'm walking instead of driving and we can't have that kind of thing around here ;-).

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #55 on: August 14, 2019, 03:01:06 PM »
OP comes in asking for help virtue signalling so they can feel OK about flying.

The majority of other posters have to virtue signal even harder about how terrible flying is and if you don't bike everywhere from your 100 square foot vegan solar paneled lean-to that you are a terrible human being.

Worked out like most of these threads. Well done everyone!

HA! I was wondering if someone was going to point that out. Best quote all day.

I had to look up "virtue signal" since I'd heard the term but didn't know its definition. I think @davisgang90 was implying I was virtue signaling so I wanted to know what it meant. It seemed snarky and cynical, but I wasn't sure.

Wikipedia says, "Virtue signalling is the conspicuous expression of moral values. . . . In recent years, the term has been more commonly used within groups to criticize those who are seen to value the expression of virtue over action."

Maybe Davisgang90 wasn't referring to me, but I was sharing actions I've taken and how they led to joy, discovery, and personal growth that I think is available to anyone. I didn't imply anyone was a terrible human being. I didn't read others expressing virtue over action. Being in my 4th year of not flying doesn't feel like inaction.

I also don't think of joy and discovery as moral values. I feel like if someone asked how to make dessert with corn syrup and I suggested fresh fruit. Is that virtue signalling or just sharing what I found works?

Davisgang90, or @insufFIcientfunds , if by virtue signalling you mean people are expressing virtue over action, what would constitute genuinely, authentically acting, since I thought I was? Should we give up on environmental issues and not do anything?

Or did I misinterpret?

BicycleB

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #56 on: August 14, 2019, 08:51:05 PM »
^Interesting post! Will explore those articles.

I'm barely better than average (maybe 40%) re personal daily conservation, no special skills other than desire to support OP's offset quest (hence my question) and raise my fledgling mitigation game. Really liked the post upthread about changing the church lights, for example.

IPCC's position that both conservation and mitigation are needed makes sense to me. Anyway, keep up the good work.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #57 on: August 14, 2019, 09:31:57 PM »
I'm glad you didn't find it too long.

I found the article I mentioned in the last bullet and recommend it. It changed how I looked at the internet and energy use: Why We Need a Speed Limit for the Internet https://solar.lowtechmagazine.com/2015/10/can-the-internet-run-on-renewable-energy.html.

mtnrider

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Re: How to offset carbon emissions from a plane flight?
« Reply #58 on: August 15, 2019, 06:04:50 PM »
In my experience, I couldn't have stopped flying without first acting in smaller ways, finding meaning and joy in them and learning to expect greater meaning and joy in bigger actions. I didn't expect that avoiding flying would improve my life but it did. If someone had suggested that outcome earlier, I probably would have tried avoiding flying earlier, but I haven't found that message anywhere.

+1 This is a good quote.  Good advice in the video too.