Flight carbon footprint calculator

A big part of the LiLi trip experience is the people we meet and many of our destinations are third world countries. The people in those countries particularly are great examples of people who have done very little to contribute towards climate change, but will feel the most affects as the impacts become more extreme. This doesn’t sit very well with us.

There is an upside to tourism with the short term income it brings to these countries, but it carries a heavy cost with our contribution towards climate change, particularly the long haul flights involved in many LiLi packages have a significant impact.

We’d love for you, if you are able, to take a part in bringing down the overall negative impact by carbon offsetting your flights. It’s super easy, and surprisingly inexpensive to offset your flight using the tool below:

Forward thinking

Have you ever sat and listened to a news bulletin about an international global warming conference and been ashamed at how little responsibility that most of the governments were taking for the pollution they were producing?

Further thought brings this down a level…

What about us, the individuals? What pollution do we produce and do we take responsibility for our own actions in the way that we expect governments, organisations and others to?

There is a significant proportion of the western world, LiLi included, who realise that Global warming and care for the environment is a very important issue. We accept that there is a problem and would like to see steps made to improving the global situation, it is hard to fight the feeling that there is very little that we as individuals can do.

It is clear that within our lifetimes, the effects of climate change are going to hit every last one of us – for many they already have. Conserving the environment is no longer an issue that can be swept under the carpet. Sooner or later, each and every country, business and individual is going to be forced to accept responsibility for their own actions. This is not something that is entirely the governments responsibility, nor can individuals or single businesses make significant changes on their own. This is a collective responsibility – this is everyone’s problem. Knowing and accepting that climate change is a problem and that something serious needs to be done about it, we are faced with a simple choice..

We continue as we are and hope that sooner rather than later, governments and big business and others take some serious action to deal with the problem.

We step forward and, for our small part, we try and take steps to minimise our impact. We can try to spread the word of environmental conservation and inspire other organisations and individuals around us to do the same.

What is CO2 emission and how does it effect global warming?

The burning of some materials, most notably fossil fuels, releases Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. A characteristic of CO2 is to strongly absorb infra-red radiation (like that emitted from hot objects on the earth) but it allows short wavelength to pass through (like that of light from the sun). Put simply, CO2 in the atmosphere restricts heat leaving the atmosphere considerably more than it restricts heat entering the atmosphere – this results in a net increase in temperature – Global Warming.

Air travel

A source of CO2 emission that is particularly relevant to LiLi is Air Travel. The fuel from aeroplanes currently contributes 3-5% of all CO2 emissions, this is particularly harmful because of large amounts of fuel used at high altitudes. At a time when we should be reducing CO2 emissions, air travel is one of the fastest growing contributers to global warming. Something needs to be done to minimise this contribution. Ideally, but not realistically, we would all stop using air travel as the primary means for international travel.

What happens if we all stop flying?

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation states that one in ten jobs around the world are in tourism and the fastest growing areas of tourism are in the third world. Tourism is a major industry in many of the world’s poorest countries and for many of these countries tourism is the only major form of income. Grounding all but the essential air travel would create economic recession in many countries and possibly world wide.

Businesses and countries in recession are considerably less likely to invest extra money in environmentally clean technologies and take steps to reduce CO2 emissions.

Stopping air travel would be seriously unhealthy for the world’s economy, and hence detrimental to the search for stable and environmentally friendly technologies. However, there are steps that need to be taken to reduce the impact of air travel. Certainly, something needs to be done to slow the growth in air travel.

What does LiLi do for the environment?

We care about the impact we are having, and wherever possible and practical we take steps to reduce our impacts.

Our Uganda operations are single use plastic free and we try and minimise excessive single use plastic elsewhere also.

We offset some of the emissions associated with the trips and LiLi team’s flights and in 2018 donated a significant amount of money, and also helped fundraise, to establish a riverbank reforestation scheme in Uganda. The project, with it’s reforestation, has significant carbon capture, it benefits the local community with long term, sustainable income generation and it is preserving and creating a precious habitat for all sorts of indigenous species of plant and animal. This project, is very close to our hearts, and we’d love for you to check out the project and organisation running it here http://www.bubugoconservation.org/Projects.html

The LiLi founder Sam Ward runs a podcast about his own personal exploration of the climate change topic, so check it out if you are interested in hearing more about how the LiLi story weaves in to an environmental one www.climatechangeunfolding.com

What is carbon offsetting?

The basic idea with offsetting carbon emission is to work out how much CO2 you are responsible for releasing into the atmosphere, then buy a corresponding amount of carbon offset through organisations like CarbonFootprint.com. That money is then used to fund projects that reduce an equivalent amount of carbon emission on your behalf. For example:

Forest restoration – absorbing carbon as the trees grow.
Renewable energy – replacing non-renewable fuel such as fossil fuels
Energy efficiency – reducing the amount of fuel needed.

Enter your flight details (or a guess at your route if you haven’t booked flights yet) into the carbon calculator on this page and hit the green button and CarbonFootprint.com will work out how much carbon your flight will emit. You can follow the “Offset now” link and follow the simple instructions to make it happen. It’s super easy, and surprisingly affordable – between $8 and 34$ (depending on the project) for a multi-leg return flight from UK to Uganda.
If you like, you can also offset other sources of greenhouse gas while you’re there… see carbonfootprint.com for more details.
If carbon offsetting was made compulsory by airlines or governments, then the detrimental effects of CO2 released from air travel would be dramatically reduced.

It should be noted that Carbon offsetting is not a perfect solution. Critics point out that it distracts from the real solution to the emissions problem, a drastic cutting down of carbon emissions and that occasional poorly managed schemes do not actually create the offset promised.  It is unquestionably better for the environment to first to reduce your emissions as much as you can, and then to offset the rest, and to make sure if you are offsetting you do so with a legitimate operation.

What can an individual do for the environment?

Offset your own CO2 emissions.

Fly direct to your location – significantly reducing fuel emission per person. Taking off and landing consumes a considerable amount of a flight’s fuel so changing not only increases distance but also fuel efficiency.

Investigate ways that could reduce your CO2 emission in day to day life… For example car sharing or using public transport. Recycling and re-using as much as you can.
Take fewer and long vacations instead of short each year – making the most out of each flight.

Look out for potential opportunities to put pressure on large organisations and governments to be more environmentally friendly.

Help pass this message on and inspire others to take the same steps.