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How To Fly Responsibly

How To Fly Responsibly

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“The Amazon is burning. Greenland is melting. Ecosystems are crashing. Emissions are accelerating.” These are just a few environmental news stories that I'm sure you've heard over the past year. It all sounds quite alarming! Maybe you're like me and you've asked yourself, what am I supposed to do with this information? What changes can I make in my everyday life to lessen my ecological footprint while traveling?


While recently reading CBC news, I came across an article titled Air travel emits a lot of carbon, but there are ways to fly more responsibly. It caught my eye right away because I love air travel and consider myself to be a responsible person. It never dawned on me that my love for air travel could be irresponsible and harmful to our planet.

According to an article within the news series, “Air travel is responsible for about two percent of global CO2 emissions. If aviation were a country, that would put it among the top 10 emitters in the world.” With this in mind, some people have conscientiously decided to give up air travel altogether and travel by train instead. I know that realistically, for economical and logistical reasons, I and many others won't be able to do that. So, what can we do instead?

The article shares these 5 tips to fly responsibly:

  1. Fly economy

  2. Take direct, non-stop flights

  3. Take daytime flights, where possible

  4. Choose a greener airline or plane

  5. Consider buying offsets

Air travel

I especially love tip #3 and #4. I always encourage solo, female travelers to take daytime flights. It's not only safer but it's more environmentally friendly! This is because "contrails and cirrus clouds generated by aircrafts trap heat, cause extra warming - but mostly at night. During the daytime, they reflect sunlight back into space, counteracting the heat-trapping effect." Tip #4 indicates that as consumers we have a choice. We can fly responsibly by choosing which airline to fly with based on how green they are. Check out the International Council on Clean Travel's fuel-efficiency rankings on 10 routes between Canada and the United States. These airline rankings just might surprise you!

Greenest Canada-U.S. Flights

I'm definitely going to apply these tips to my future travel plans. How about yourself? What tips do you like the most? Do you know any other greener air travel tips? Leave a comment and let me know!

Anakée Chantal

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