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The Costs of Air Travel

Sustainability Series
1. Series on Sustainability: An Introduction
2. The Costs of Air Travel
3. From Planes back to Trains and Automobiles
4. Sustainability and Telecoms
5. How to Become a Sustainable Business Using Telephony

In this installment of our Series on Sustainability, be prepared to learn the extent to which your air travel truly impacts our planet.

While the Environmental Protection Agency’s calculations state that carbon dioxide emissions from commercial air travel is only equivalent to about 9% of the total US emissions (reports here, table 3-12), it is on the top of the list of things we can do as individuals to engage in polluting the world just a little bit less.

How many times per month do your nationwide colleagues travel for meetings? Did you know that for a round-trip flight from New York to San Francisco (about 5158 miles), 1270 lbs (or approximately 0.6 tonnes) of carbon dioxide are calculated per person through fuel combustion? If we look at a rule of thumb of 4-15 trees planted to offset 1 tonne of carbon dioxide, it takes the work of about 6 healthy adult trees for a full year per person per flight. According to Google Flights, there are up to 41 flights per day between these cities. So if there are 100 people on the flight, that’s 600 trees per flight, or 24,600 trees per day needing to be planted for this route alone!

If that’s the number for coast to coast travel, think about how much pollution is created when travelling overseas for meetings. An average intercontinental flight – let’s say from Washington, D.C., to London, UK – is a 7332 miles round-trip. Pollution wise, that’s 1563 lbs (or 0.7 tonnes) of carbon dioxide. If we do the math, you would have to plant closer to 9 trees per person to counteract the effects. Given that international flying planes are larger, let’s say there are about 234 people, that’s 2106 trees to plant per flight.

Why teleconferencing helps the environment

We simply do not have the space or resources on our tiny planet to be able to offset such drastic carbon dioxide emissions. By minimizing air travel for business, think about the amount of pollution you could avoid contributing per capita.

In order to do so, we strongly believe in the power of conference calling using our non-geographical, virtual phone numbers. Any number of people can join in on business meetings through the ease of telephony without having to leave the office, deal with jet lag, and (arguably most important) pollute our precious planet.

Get in contact today for a free quote to implement your toll-free virtual numbers so we can help you do your part in keeping our planet just a little bit safer from the effects of climate change.

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