By Parker Davis
Can Air Travel Ever Be Compatible With Sustainability?
Environmental responsibility is a key concern for so many people these days. We are all making changes to our everyday lives to help reduce our impact on the planet, but what about the way that we travel?
There is a growing ecotourism movement that aims to reduce the effect that travel has on the overall environment and the destinations that we visit. Many people suggest that giving up flying and finding alternative methods of travel is the way forward, which could cause big issues in the aviation industry. But is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Can people be sustainable tourists without giving up flying?
The term ecotourism was first used in the 1970s to describe tours of locations that were sensitive or at risk. People wanted to visit areas but also wanted to protect them and their habitats. Since then, the definition has broadened and it is now used for any travel that improves awareness of environmental issues, creates economic benefits for local communities in the area, and also minimizes the negative impact on the environment and culture of places that are visited.
The movement has spread throughout the world in recent years and it is one of the biggest up-and-coming travel trends right now. It is a way for both locals and visitors to benefit economically from tourism without causing damage to an area’s natural resources or destroying its cultural identity. Many ecotourists are now deciding not to fly to their destination but to use trains or boats instead. This can drastically reduce their carbon footprint and also allows passengers to enjoy new experiences.
If everyone follows the example of environmentalists and chooses not to fly, then that would cause serious disruption to the aviation industry. It is estimated that around 1 billion flights take place every year. To fill these planes, the airlines would have to reduce their fares dramatically in order to entice people into flying and this may not be viable, in most cases.
One way that people are trying to be sustainable tourists while still flying is by offsetting their carbon footprint. This helps the environment by making up for all of the emissions that a person produces on their travels.
Carbon offsets are produced in projects like wind farms and tree-planting schemes. When someone buys an offset, they are basically helping to reduce the environmental damage that is caused by the flights. It seems like a sensible solution and many companies are now offering this service to their customers in order to make them feel better about flying.
In many ways, it makes sense for airlines to offer carbon offsetting as an add-on or service provided on flights. People want to help protect the environment, but they also want to continue flying because it is such a convenient and inexpensive mode of transport.
Many airlines are currently pursuing green policies to appease the increasing concerns of their customers. Some airline companies are now offering sustainable flights which include extra recycled materials in the construction of planes, use less fuel when they fly, serve seasonal food on-board, and also offer flexi-tickets.
These companies are trying to educate people about the importance of all of these measures and get them to see how they can incorporate more sustainable practices without giving up on flying altogether.
However, there are certain changes that need to take place in order to make flying more sustainable. Airlines should work hard on developing more energy-efficient aircraft parts and encourage people to fly less by charging higher fares for flights and offering them a better service. They should also invest in new technologies so that planes burn fuel more efficiently.
These changes are necessary if the industry wants to survive in the long run. People want to see some success in protecting the environment and, at the moment, people do not see flying as a very sustainable way of traveling since flights are a big contributor to carbon emissions.
For businesses in the airline industry, this is a difficult time. The way that people approach travel is changing a lot and the focus on ecotourism will only grow in the future. Airlines are already in a difficult situation due to the recent COVID pandemic, so it’s crucial that they consider sustainability when they are making plans for their recovery. While it is possible for sustainability and flying to go hand in hand, this is only possible if the aviation industry invests in green technologies.