Flying Through Cleaner Air

Many years ago, taking the time off to travel was a pipedream for many people. With cheaper flights now being made available, it seems many people have started living the dream and traveling all over the world. But then, with so many chartered flights now going from country to country and continent to continent, many fear that all this traveling is doing more harm than good… to the environment, at least. Air travel is the world’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, which cause climate change, and this has become quite the hot button topic among the general populace as well, particularly in light of the whole global warming debate.

Whatever your stance on that issue, it’s undeniable that airlines do tend to consume quite an amount of fossil fuels, severely depleting one of the world’s most limited and valuable natural resources. Of course, the carbon emissions they produce are also significantly high. According to an article on environmentalism campaign website, “long haul flights produce on average twice as much emissions per mile traveled per passenger than cars.” More alarmingly, “short haul flights produce three times as much.”

Thankfully, a good number of major international airports have since taken it upon themselves to do what they can to reduce generated pollution and improve sustainability; and in the process, hopefully blaze the trail for other airports to follow.

Among these airports is Logan International in Boston. Being one of the world’s busiest airports, Logan was well aware of the scale of environmental damage it could create. To that end, the airport saw fit to undergo an overhaul dedicated to greener operations; a move that has subsequently made it one of the world’s most environmentally conscious airports. All of its terminals have been LEED-certified, its public utilities are energy-efficient, and it’s the first airport in the US to use eco-friendly construction materials for their runways. Furthermore, its employees are all required to use public transportation when going to work.

Another noteworthy green airport is London Heathrow in the UK. As UK’s busiest and the world’s third busiest airport operating more than 90 airlines, according to Parking4Less, environmental impacts have always been a major concern, but in the past several years, the aviation facility has managed to rack up several accolades for their green initiatives and exceeding biodiversity benchmarks. The airport continues to amaze as they implement more strategies in their Responsible Heathrow 2020 Plan to reduce carbon emissions, noise, water and waste production, and ground based nitrogen oxide emissions.

There are many more airports gradually adjusting to become more environmentally conscious, such as Denver International in Colorado, Zurich Airport in Switzerland, and Helsinki Airport in Finland. Hopefully, we might yet see them give a significant enough impact in reducing our carbon footprints. Of course, you could take matters into your own hands and try backpacking instead!


This was a contributed post, the article wasn’t written by me.

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Soy un médico de profesión y blogger, fotógrafo y viajero por pasión.

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