Jul 22 2008

It’s official!

by at 8:04 pm

We bought our tickets! Non-stop from a New York airport that’s actually in New Jersey (Newark) to the Geneva Cointrin International Airport—which is partly in France.

New York/Newark, NJ (EWR – Liberty) to Geneva, Switzerland (GVA)

Depart: 5:55 p.m. Fri., Aug. 22, 2008 New York/Newark, NJ (EWR – Liberty)
Arrive: 7:45 a.m. +1 Day Sat., Aug. 23, 2008 Geneva, Switzerland (GVA)
Aircraft: Boeing 767-400ER
Travel Time:7 hr 50 mn

After confirming the purchase, Continental helpfully suggested we buy some carbon offsets. They partner with Sustainable Travel International, which calculated that the two of us will contribute 1.1624 metric tons on our 3868 mile trip (that’s one way). I’ve heard a bit of the arguments for and against carbon offsets, including the hilarious Cheat Neutral. Obviously, conservation is ideal, but that’s not an option in this case (though we are flying non-stop…does that help?)

In any case, there’s other ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Two awesome ones I’ve come across recently are the PB&J Campaign, which makes the case for planty meals over meaty ones:

Every time you eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or other plant-based meal instead of one that features red meat, such as a hamburger, you save the equivalent of almost 3.5 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. Eating a strictly plant-based meal compared to the average American lunch still saves 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. That’s about 40 percent of the carbon you would save by driving a hybrid vehicle for the day instead of a standard sedan.

And then there’s Paradise Unpaved, in which a committed individual turns her paved driveway in Toronto into a green driveway and flower/herb garden. It’s all detailed with nice illustrations.

But I’m already a vegetarian (though the PB&J Campaign questions my pesco-ovo-lacto habits) and I don’t have a driveway to dig up.

So if you want to help, here’s the pitch. 1.1624 metric tons of carbon is 2,563 pounds. At 2.5 pounds per plant-based meal that’s 1026 meals—or just one person becoming a vegetarian for a year (assuming you eat carbony foods 3 times a day). So that’s the story. Either I buy the offsets or someone reading this decides to become a vegetarian. For just one year. You can have the ~$30 that carbon offsets cost, if you want.

P.S. Don’t book your tickets by calling Continental because they levy outrageous surchages. But if you do need to call them or any other large corporation with an automated prompt (say, to request planty carbon-lite meals) use GetHuman. The preferred method for Continental? Keep hitting 00 until it gives up and connects you to a person.

P.P.S. So much for entering the 2,000 watt society. Maybe in 2009?

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “It’s official!”

  1. Annaon 25 Jul 2008 at 10:57 pm

    Haha, I couldn’t be a vegetarian in Korea even if I tried! There’s comparatively little meat being served, but almost everything is made with some sort of beef or fish stock. But the other day, I had delicious octopus tossed with steamed broccoli. Mmmmm!

  2. Joelon 28 Jul 2008 at 5:00 am

    That’s exactly the same flight Rachel and I took 1.5 weeks ago. We endorse it. Continental seems to have a little more leg room than American did on the way back and the screen on the back of the seat in front of me had a pretty sweet alien-invader type video game. We’ll post our pictures soon.

  3. […] his cousin are becoming Weekday Vegetarians. Does this mean I don’t have to purchase those carbon offsets? […]

  4. SwissWatching » Newsflash!on 18 Aug 2008 at 4:23 pm

    […] leave in 4 […]

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