Air travel made the world a smaller place and connected different countries and cultures. But, as the number of planes increased, they became responsible for a huge amount of emissions released into the atmosphere. Reducing emissions is a pressing issue which needs to be addressed by the aviation industry, using new technology as well as simple preventive measures which can be followed by the airline personnel and passengers. Read on to find out more:
Digitising tickets, itineraries, receipts
With the number of passengers growing every year, airlines have to printout thousands of tickets, boarding passes, itineraries etc which is a wastage of paper. Airlines as well as travel agents can reduce the use of paper and work digitally, giving out SMSs instead. This would be a much more eco friendly way of ticketing than the method used now.
Providing passengers with greener options
Airlines can inform passengers about greener options available to them while travelling to and from airports. Personalized message systems can inform passengers about traffic closures or eco friendly transport options, including car pooling options. By notifying travellers about alternative transport options can prevent emissions due to congestion during their journey to the airport.
Use RFID tags
By using RFID tags for baggage, paper wastage can be reduced. Paper tags are just thrown away after one use, but RFID tags can be used again at different points of the journey. This not only saves precious paper, but is also a great way to reduce the number of lost baggage, as every passenger’s baggage can be tracked on a real time basis.
Use apps to provide in-flight entertainment
Airlines can give the option of apps to passengers to read magazines and newspapers online on their own devices, rather than printed reading material.
Using biofuels instead of jet fuel
Jetfuel is harmful for the environment, so airline industry should focus and support the development of biofuels which can fuel aircrafts in a sustainable manner.
What can you do to enjoy eco friendly air travel
Airlines and passengers have to work hand in hand to ensure an eco friendly travel experience. So what can you, as a passenger, do to reduce the carbon footprint associated with air travel?
Opt for non-stop flights
Booking non-stop flights may cost a little bit more, but you’d be doing the environment a good turn, as these flights use lesser quantity of fuel.
Use latest materials and design to construct greener aircraft
Aircraft manufacturers can use the latest, lightweight but effective materials to construct aeroplanes which will lead to lower fuel use, thus conserving a huge amount of fossil fuel.
Aerodynamic improvements will enable planes to increase fuel efficiency and reduce drag, leading to more energy efficient aircraft. Including pneumatic systems instead of electric systems will conserve electricity. Manufacturers should also adhere to international environmental standards while building aircraft. Choosing to recycle aeroplanes can reduce upto 95% energy, when manufacturers use carbon fiber which is recycled, rather than making new virgin fiber.
Fly on new planes
If you can choose between an old or a new plane which is more fuel efficient, book the new plane. Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350 are green choices for long haul flights.
Do lower window shades
There is a very good scientific, eco friendly reason why flight attendants ask you to keep the shades closed, when it’s hot outside. This simple thing keeps the plane cool, and if all passengers do this, the plane would become at least 10 degrees colder. The reduction in the cooling load saves energy and also reduces emissions.
Airlines are reducing the baggage load by restricting the amount of luggage each passenger can carry. Even though you may hate these low-weight restrictions, especially when you’re on vacation and want to buy all kinds of things. But a lighter load makes aircraft more fuel efficient, thus reducing the use of fossil fuel.
Improving fleet efficiency, implementing aircraft modifications such as winglets, developing operational efficiency and optimizing navigation and efficiency worldwide are some other measure which the airline industry can take, in order to benefit the environment.
Passengers too can cooperate and choose better, thoughtful, eco friendly options while flying.