Carbon Offsets for Gap Year Plane Travel
Gap year travellers who plan trips abroad tend to include at least one plane ride in their travel plans. As planes are known to contribute a great deal of carbon to the environment (estimates put it the carbon emissions of one international flight as similar to the emissions of a year of driving), finding a way to neutralise these carbons emissions is important.
One way to neutralise such carbon emissions is to purchase carbon offsets. Below are some basic answers to frequently asked questions about carbon offsets.
What Are Carbon Offsets?Carbon offsets are vehicles by which an individual's carbon emissions are neutralised. These emissions may come from plane travel, car travel or even simply the use of electricity.
Carbon offsets can be purchased in measures of metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, and these equivalents are usually generated by renewable energy sources. For example, wind farms and hydroelectric projects are often sources of carbon offsets.
Basically, by purchasing a carbon offset an individual, company or government purchases enough carbon dioxide equivalents to neutralise the carbon emissions generated by a specific plane flight, project or year of living. This is sometimes referred to as reducing a carbon footprint or becoming carbon neutral.
Why Are Carbon Offsets Important?Carbon offsets are important because if carbon emissions are not neutralised then they can contribute to greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are a combination of gases that stay trapped below the earth's atmosphere and cause the earth to warm.
This is known as climate change or global warming and affects the earth's ecosystem. But by fighting greenhouse gases with carbon offsets, it is accepted that somewhere on earth a project is carried out to keep new greenhouse gases from being emitted, so the overall total of greenhouse gases is minimised and their affects on the earth are reduced - or at least kept from increasing.