American in Spain

My First Carbon Offsets

July 31, 2008

Today, I was buying some airline tickets to give as a wedding gift to some friends who are getting married next month so they can come visit us after their honeymoon. My choices of airline were RyanAir or easyJet, the two main budget airlines in Europe. After recovering from the seizure and cleaning up the vomit induced by RyanAir's homepage, I went to They've cleaned up their interface and added more gradients (which I'm a sucker for) since I visited them last. As I was completing the checkout process and was scrolling through the attempts to sell me rental cars and hotel reservations, I noticed something I'd never seen before. Check this out:

My First Carbon Offsets

"Contribute £2.35 per person to balance the 180kg of Carbon Dioxide per passenger on this booking - there are no middlemen and easyJet does not profit from the scheme." Read more about easyJet's environmentally-friendly policies.

Good work, easyJet! Every airline, bus, subway, and train service should adopt a similar scheme. The gas station is not really where people want to be spending more right now, but an offer to buy offsets equivalent to the tank of gas might work too. Frankly, I think there are a lot of people out there like me who won't go out of their way to buy carbon offsets, but that, if given the chance of adding 4% onto a purchase for offsets, will. Carbon offsets are not the full answer to concerns about the environment, but they're a step in the right direction.

When our newlywed friends Robert and Ania come to visit us in October, their flight will be carbon neutral.