So for us and many of the tour operators we work with, the question becomes how to reduce the environmental impact of flying for our customers. Many operators have embraced carbon offsets, which we think can be a good way to support the development of renewable energy but aren't a full solution to the problem. The only long-term answer is to put a price on carbon that will speed up the transition to more efficient use of fuel and conversion to sustainable fuels. Here is a good place to let your representatives know you support climate legislation.
One simple and inexpensive first step that all airlines can take is to recycle onboard waste. Up to 7.5 million pounds of waste is generated every day on airplanes according to a recent New York Times article, of which 75% is recyclable. I'm frequently frustrated at how few airlines recycle, though was pleasantly surprised recently to see the flight attendants on Alaska Airlines separating their waste for recycling. Conservation group Green America has just released a new report on how awful airline recycling is and which airlines are better than others. Check out the report and let the airlines know you want them to recycle here. You can also fill out a survey on your experience to help their research. Delta came out as the top recycler and US Air came out the worst (seems to be a pattern with that company).
Another simple solution for airlines to reduce waste would be for airline attendants to ASK people if they actually want the little bag of peanuts instead of just handing it out. Asking people to think before handing those out would almost certainly reduce the number of bags given out and disposed of, also reducing the weight that the flight carries.
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