Flights can account for around 2.5 per cent of global CO2 production, and while the tourism might be working towards going greener to reduce carbon footprint, there is a lot that can be done by the stakeholders involved.
“The greenhouse gases emitted through airlines do more damage to the atmosphere than on the ground. The carbon footprint per person depends on the travel class. The economy class clearly contributes to lower carbon as it maximises the number of passengers that each flight can carry,” Gaurav Luthra, CEO, FCM Travel Solutions, the Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel, told IANSlife. He suggests that reducing carbon footprints is a collective process.
On a more personal level, people can opt for direct flights or alternative modes of transport to their destinations since they outperform connecting routes in being carbon efficient. “Passengers are also advised to travel light, as heavier baggage can result in greater carbon footprint.”
He added that airlines can contribute to spreading awareness by passing information to passengers about their carbon footprint based on route, baggage and seating class. “Multinational companies too should make changes in their travel programs and policies to make them more sustainable.”
Luthra also notes that India airlines have begun to adopt sustainable methods for single-use plastic.
“The Delhi international airport has initiated work on single-use plastic-free airport by the end of this year, including water, juice and soft drink bottles. As per the Airports Authority of India (AAI) there are 55 Indian airports currently that are single-use plastic-free,” he said.
The Indian government is also actively initiating measures to cut down on plastic use, he added.
While many laud the small steps being taken to promote eco-tourism and not put a strain on local resources, Luthra says that it is up to everyone, from tourism boards, local agents to travellers themselves to support local talent and promote sustainable choices.