Drawdown Montague maintains a community investment fund to collect voluntary contributions from members and friends to offset the carbon impact of their air travel. Everyone is invited to estimate the carbon footprint of their flights using an online carbon calculator, and to make a proportional donation to the fund. Once a year, we will use the money collected to fund a local, small-scale carbon reduction initiative. We use the local payment system Common Good to collect donations and allow contributors to vote annually on which projects to fund.
The purpose of this fund is to raise awareness of the climate impact of air travel, to familiarize our community with tools for mitigating that impact, to grow support for voluntary carbon pricing as a funding mechanism, and to encourage community-scale carbon sequestration projects.
Did you know?
Air travel adds a tremendous amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere—for many Americans, it’s the biggest component of our carbon footprint. On a single one-way flight across the United States, a plane emits 1.84 metric tons of carbon dioxide per passenger. That’s almost as much as the average passenger vehicle emits per year (2.52 tonnes). And it translates to roughly 368 tonnes for a standard Boeing 767 aircraft with every one-way flight from JFK to LAX.
What can I do?
Of course, the best way to reduce the climate impact of air travel is to fly less often. When that’s not an option, there are other ways to lesson the environmental harm:
- Fly coach – emissions associated with business class are 3x greater
- Fly non-stop – about 25% of airplane emissions come from takeoff and landing
- Purchase carbon offsets to support carbon capture projects
How do I contribute to the offset fund?
- Use a carbon calculator to estimate your travel footprint before you fly:
- Use your Common Good account to make a donation to Drawdown Montague in Common Good credits. Don’t have an account? Sign up here or learn more about how Common Good credits benefit our community.
- Ask yourself whether the unbelievably small cost of an offset is really enough and think about offsetting at a higher rate or making an additional donation.
- Offsets are a stop-gap harm reduction measure that must be accompanied by efforts to reduce emissions and shift to a less carbon-intensive culture.
- Ensia: If You’re Flying, You Should Be Buying Carbon Offsets (3/14/19)
- NY Times: Flying is Bad for the Planet, You Can Help Make it Better (7/20/17)
- Medium: The Frequent Flier Footprint (6/20/18)
Although we would greatly appreciate your support of our carbon offset fund, you can also donate through these larger-scale organizations to support projects whose carbon reduction impact has been independently verified.
- Purchase offsets for individual flights:
- Or sign up to automatically contribute $0.01 per mile of every flight you take to an environmental cause of your choice (including the New England Wind Fund):