SAGE Advice: Come Fly With Me

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Ok, I’ll admit it. When I think “August” I don’t immediately hear Frank Sinatra crooning that oh-so-memorable tune “Come Fly With Me.” I do, however, get excited for my vacation to the sunshine state and look around at my empty office, a tiny bit envious of my colleagues who are undoubtedly sunbathing (or melting) in Florida and California. And then I put on Frank. August is undoubtedly a season filled with flying migrations—of people, trying to squeeze in every possible minute of sunshine before the dreaded school year begins. So when you’re packing your sunglasses and flip-flops this month, try these quick tips to lower your carbon footprint:

  • Take a direct flight: Not only will this save you time, but it will also buy the environment a bit of time. Planes use the most fuel during takeoff and landing, so the less your trips require these, the better.
  • Choose a newer airline: This might result in more decadent (if you’d describe them that way) snacking and more comfortable seats, but more importantly, that aircraft will most likely be newer than the jet that older airline has been using for 20 years. Newer plane = more efficient. It’s that easy—thanks, technology.
  • Fly during the day: Surprising? While day and evening flights produce the same amount of carbon emissions, the warming effects of airplane contrails during the day are cut in half thanks to sunlight reflection.
  • Bring your own reusable water bottle: This way you won’t end up wasting a bottle and buying a new one after passing the scrutiny of the TSA. Midway airport and others around the country (SFO, for example) have stations after security where you can fill your bottle with tap water
  • Think sustainably: Sure, you’re hungry, but before you grab that large to-go plastic container filled with goodies, consider dining there on porcelain plates or going for smaller containers. Bottom line: what goes in the trash goes in a landfill, so when you’re tempted to grab a big plastic bowl of raspberries (and you don’t see recycling around), get a banana instead. No packaging means less plastic in landfills.

Whether you float down to Peru or find yourself in Ipanema, travel safely and allot extra time for all that summer terminal traffic. Happy flying!

*Source: Rogers, Elizabeth. Shift Your Habit: Save Money, Save the Planet. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2010 Photo Source

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This page contains a single entry by Christy Perera published on August 11, 2011 8:12 PM.

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