Eco-friendly flying? It’s possible!

Trekking in the mountains, sunbathing on the beach, or perhaps discovering other cultures, visiting historical sites, or wandering unfamiliar streets? Long-distance travel can be a beautiful experience with a clear imprint on our lives. And sometimes, the imprint is literal because transport is a significant part of an individual's carbon footprint. Thus, we should know how to lower it to give the planet some rest. Now eco-friendly flying is possible with TerGo!

3 min read


Ksenia Pisera

Journalist, popularizer of knowledge about environmental and climate protection

If we want to travel the world in its current condition, we all have to care about reducing anthropological CO2 emissions. This is what the scientists are advocating.

The world is open to us, not only during the holiday months. We can be on the other side of the globe every day, provided we have a valid passport and sufficient funds. People appreciated the possibility of travelling even more after the COVID-19 pandemic, when, for the safety of ourselves and others, it was best to put suitcases in the wardrobe for many months. The increased traffic can be now seen at railway stations, airports and in the first statistics of accommodation base booking systems, but we will not know the exact figures until soon after the season.

Emissions will skyrocket…

Among the most popular modes of transport for tourism is travelling by train, by own car, and by plane. A train journey by one person contributes to around 30-40 grams of CO2 per km. On the other hand, a small car contributes to roughly 120 grams of CO2. There would have to be at least four passengers in the car to compete with the train. By contrast, air travel emits about 285 grams of greenhouse gases per passenger kilometre. Over long distances, these figures add up quite a bit.

Among others, research on transport-related greenhouse gas emissions from tourism was presented at the Madrid COP25 international climate summit. The World Tourism Organisation report shows that these accounted for 5% of global anthropogenic emissions in 2016 and are set to increase. By 2030, such emissions are expected to increase by 25%, from 1597 million tonnes of CO2 to 1998 million tonnes of carbon dioxide produced annually.

Meanwhile, the facts remain clear. If we want to travel the world in its current condition, we all have to care about reducing anthropological CO2 emissions. This is what the scientists are advocating.

Among people who fly, there are those who care about the environment too. Not surprisingly, for some, it may create dissonance. Even worse is the spread of flight shaming. A 2019 survey conducted on 6,000 people in various European countries and America indicated that as many as 21% of those surveyed had opted out of air travel precisely because of environmental issues.

Shame and resignation are hardly the answer to the challenge of mitigating climate change. At TerGo, we are convinced that you don’t need to change who you are – you only need to change what you do. How does this apply to long-distance travel? For domestic travel, you can easily choose rail transport. On the other hand, it is not how you can get from Gdansk to Chiang Mai, for example. The answer to this problem is offsetting air travel emissions.

… unless we choose to fly green

Emissions offsetting is a mechanism that aims to offset greenhouse gas emissions or parts of them by paying the equivalent of reduced emissions. This is possible through special ecological projects aiming to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. For example, this is how the TerGo agroforestry programme in Belize works. The reach of this type of initiative is unlimited. That is, it can offset emissions from all over the world – regardless of where they are generated.

The emissions offsetting process can be successfully applied to tourism. Thus, utterly eco-friendly flying is within reach. Emissions offsetting can reduce the environmental costs of air travel to zero!

It is a solution available to everyone – digital nomads, tourists, and businesses. The first step is to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions accurately. You can do this via TerGo’s air travel carbon footprint calculator. All you need to do is fill in a few fields, click the ‘Calculate’ button, and the result will be displayed on the screen. The second step is to purchase the appropriate number of Eco-Flyer compensation packages. One package offsets as much as 500 kg CO2 emissions, sufficient to offset several long flights, for example, three economy air journeys between Gdansk and Venice, four flights between Berlin and France or nearly five flights between Vienna and Tirana.

Let’s fly together

The possibility of offsetting emissions does not absolve global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases – this is still crucial for climate protection. The lower the emissions, the lower the need for offsetting

If you want to know even more ways to lower your carbon footprint every day, read the TerGo blog. Here you will find practical tips and reliable knowledge.