For those that like to travel by airplane, it is important to consider how air travel negatively impacts the environment. Airlines currently contribute 2% of the global CO2 released into the environment by man. As well as CO2, airplanes emit many other pollutants into the environment, including nitric oxide, nitric dioxide, sulfite particles, sulfur oxide, carbon monoxide and hydroxyls. Taken together, all of these pollutants have an extremely negative impact on the environment. So what is a person to do who likes to travel, but is interested in green living and saving the environment? Take the bus? This may be a limited solution, but for long trips it is impractical or even impossible. A better idea is to fly with an airline that is dedicated to saving the environment. Here is a countdown of the top 5 most eco-friendly airlines for people interested in green living and Eco-Tourism.
5. Virgin Airlines
Virgin Airlines is one of the carriers that is the proudest and loudest about their efforts to save the environment. They are dedicating themselves to recycling everything they can company wide. They are striving to have a paperless operation, and will reduce their paper usage by 25% over the next two years. They are committed to using less fuel with their aircrafts. They are doing this by using as much biofuel as possible. They are also phasing in the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which use 20% less fuel than any other jumbo jet on the planet.
This is the most eco-friendly of all the carriers based in the United States. They have completely modernized their fleet over the last few years, which has led to a 35% reduction in their emissions of greenhouse gases. They are also using twin-engine model aircraft whenever possible, which is further lowering their carbon footprint. In addition, they are currently experimenting with biofuels by mixing in 10% biofuel with their jet fuel in their Boeing 737s.
3. Easy Jet
This European airline which services Spain, France and Great Britain, is one of the pioneers of carbon offsetting in the aviation industry. They have lowered their carbon emissions per passenger by 18% since 2002. In the next five years, their plan is to go much, much greener. By 2015, their goal is to lower CO2 emissions by half, as well as nitrous oxide emissions by three quarters. They focus on using the most environmentally friendly aircraft possible by using the most compact aircraft available.
This German airline has been committed to being eco-friendly since the environmental movement started in the 1970s. They currently use 10% biofuels in their aircraft, and their goal is to cut their already incredibly low carbon emissions by 25% over the next decade. All Lufthansa aircraft have impressive instrumentation onboard that measures ozone, water vapor, NO2 and CO2. These measurements are incredibly useful for climatologists, and they also help to make weather forecasts more accurate. Lufthansa most impressive feat is increasing its number of passengers every year since 1991, while maintaining approximately the same amount of carbon emissions.
1. Nature Air
It only flies in Costa Rica, but it is the most eco-friendly airline in the world. They are the first airline to have a stated goal to be carbon neutral. They plan to accomplish this through a number of measures. They are reducing the weight of their aircraft, reducing fuel consumption, and participating in carbon offsetting. They also introduced the first bio-fueling station in Costa Rica. This is the company that is setting the bar for green living and saving the environment for every other airline on the planet.