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SOURCE: Lars Leetaru, NY Times

IATAestimates that over 4.3 billion passengers flew on an airplane in 2017, with the average traveler flying at least once every 22 months.

With the demand for flights increasing annually, the environmental impact of air travel is significant. Some estimates show that the carbon impact of travel is over 3 times higher than expected.

Here are some steps you can take to become a more ‘sustainable traveler’:

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency aircrafts account for 12% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Using rail is a better alternative if available.
  • Avoiding multiple layovers and shorter flights are options to minimize your impact by reducing pollution per passenger mile. Fly direct as much as possible.
  • Using local public transport is an easy way for you to reduce your impact personally!
  • Consider using a bike rental to explore a new city.

Although air travel as we know it today has not been at the forefront of the sustainability movement, the prospects for a future of sustainable travel look promising. With fuel efficient planes on the horizon, the potential for low-carbon biofuels to replace up to 30% of jet fuel could lower the carbon intensity to about one third of what it was in 2016.

“Act as if what you’re doing makes a difference. It does” – William James

Read more tips on being a sustainable traveler here.  

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We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN

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Comments Off on We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN

Credit: Ringo HW Chiu/AP

Urgent changes needed to cut risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty, says IPCC

The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

At 2C extremely hot days, such as those experienced in the northern hemisphere this summer, would become more severe and common, increasing heat-related deaths and causing more forest fires.

But the greatest difference would be to nature. Insects, which are vital for pollination of crops, and plants are almost twice as likely to lose half their habitat at 2C compared with 1.5C. Corals would be 99% lost at the higher of the two temperatures, but more than 10% have a chance of surviving if the lower target is reached.

Overwhelmed by climate change? Read more on what you can do here.

By Jonathan Watts for The Guardian.

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