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[greenyes] Airplane Environmental Loadings
NEW YORK TIMES -- 2/18/03
Offsetting Environmental Damage by Planes

Do you feel guilty about global warming every time you get behind the wheel
of your car? If you are a frequent flier, start feeling more guilty.
On a round trip from New York to London, according to the calculations of
the Edinburgh Center for Carbon Management in Scotland, a Boeing 747 spews
out about 440 tons of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. That is about
the same amount that 80 S.U.V.'s emit in a full year of hard driving.
But short of swimming to London or jogging to Los Angeles, what is the
concerned business traveler to do? The airline industry, busy trying to
avoid bankruptcy, is not offering tips on how to limit the environmental
damage. And chances are your travel agent has not given the matter much
But a few organizations, among them the Better World Club and American
Forests in the United States and Future Forests in Britain, have stepped
into the breach. They have devised ways for the environmentally concerned to
mitigate their role in the collective output of carbon dioxide. For a
contribution, they will plant trees in Siberia or Texas; replace inefficient
oil-burning boilers in Portland, Ore.; supply energy-saving light bulbs in
Jamaica; or take some other conservation measure aimed at offsetting the
harm of an individual's commercial flight.
Take that Boeing 747's round trip to London. It will discharge a total of
880,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, or 126 pounds for each mile flown. At an
occupancy rate of 78 percent, each of the 317 passengers will be responsible
for 2,776 pounds of the pollutant.
Future Forests, which is based in London, allows a traveler to help offset
those emissions by planting two trees or installing two energy-saving light
bulbs in a developing country for each round trip to London.
At Future Forests you cannot save the world on the cheap: each tree or light
bulb will set you back about $12. Americans cannot deduct that from their
taxes, as Future Forests, which was created by British marketing and
advertising executives, is a foreign for-profit company.
On the other hand, its Web site ( offers a wealth of
information about the environmental impact of lifestyles and travels and
about the steps that can be taken to soften that impact. It also features an
impressive database with thousands of airports worldwide. That
once-in-a-lifetime round trip from Akiachak Seaplane Base in Alaska to the
always exciting city of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England? Chalk up 3,430
pounds of carbon dioxide on the debit side of your environmental account,
but still just two trees or bulbs on the credit side.
Future Forests offers a no-frills menu of one tree or bulb for each
short-haul flight, two trees or bulbs for each medium-distance trip and five
of either for each long-range odyssey. Each transaction will net you a free
luggage tag made of recycled leather.
Future Forests is not the on

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address

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