There’s been a lot of attention paid in recent years to the environmental costs of car travel. We know that combustion engines don’t do Mother Earth any favors, and we realize that electric motors provide a cleaner source of power for our cars, trucks and buses. But what about air travel? Planes burn a lot of fuel, and this can harm the environment. If you’ve secretly hungered for a way to figure out the exact environmental toll of each of your plane flights, you’ll want to take a look at a site called Shame Plane.
- Shame Plane aims to lay out in specific terms the damage that air travel causes to the environment.
- The site calculates how much Arctic ice melt is caused by a traveler’s flight.
- By entering your departure point and destination, you can get a precise figure for each plane trip.
The cost of each plane flight
The site allows you choose from first class, business class and economy class when calculating the effect of your plane trip. Let’s say you’re traveling economy class on a round trip from Los Angeles to Paris. According to Shame Plane, this trip will result in a loss of 10.5 square meters of Arctic ice. For further clarification, the site points out that this single plane trip creates as many carbon emissions as 8.2 years of sustainable travel.
If those numbers have you feeling blue about your jet-setting ways, take heart: The site also offers a path you can take to reduce emissions in your daily life. It shows you the effect that certain lifestyle changes can have in lowering carbon emissions.
For example, going car-free can reduce your carbon footprint. So can adopting a vegetarian diet, recycling and using only LED light bulbs. Shame Plane provides you with an estimate of how each of these lifestyle changes would work to reduce the emissions you produce in day-to-day living, over the course of a year.
WHY THIS MATTERS
To find solutions, we have to start by being brutally honest about our problems. Shame Plane makes it clear that air travel as it currently exists creates undesirable consequences for our planet. Happily, engineers are tackling this head-on via the development of hybrid and all-electric airplanes that are more eco-friendly than our current jets. In the meantime, Shame Plane offers steps you can take as a consumer to reduce emissions in daily living.