What is a carbon offset?

A carbon offset is an official recognition of the reduction or removal of one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. Many industrial, commercial, and agricultural activities produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. When a project developer implements a project that reduces the amount of emissions stemming from an activity, or undertakes a project that removes CO2 from the atmosphere, these projects can generate carbon offsets by following an approved methodology from a recognized standards body.

For example, many landfills emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This methane can be captured and sold to power generation companies to produce electricity, instead of being emitted into the atmosphere. However, in many places the price that the landfill operator could sell the methane for is not high enough to pay for the landfill gas capture. By selling carbon offsets as well, the landfill can implement the project. In this case, the greenhouse gas impact of methane is converted to the impact of carbon dioxide before it is sold as a carbon offset.

An offset (or carbon credit) is the reduction, removal or avoidance of emissions from a specified project that is used to compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere. Each offset represents one metric ton of CO2e. It is important to note that each offset must meet the following criteria:

  • Real: Offsets must be accurately measured in accordance with scientifically based protocols.
  • Additional: All offsets must pass a regulatory surplus test to ensure that they are not required by regulation or any other legal requirements; project activities cannot be business-as-usual as defined by the applicable registry and protocol.
  • Verifiable: Offsets must be independently verified by an accredited third party and are subject to extensive data collection and review prior to credit generation.
  • Enforceable: There must be undisputed ownership of the credits and no double counting of offsets.
  • Permanent: There must be an established buffer account within the applicable registry to ensure that any net reversals are accounted for and compensated.

Why should I offset my travel?

By purchasing carbon offsets, you can mitigate the environmental impact of your travel. The modes of transport we use, including airplanes and cars, contribute to 14% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. On an individual basis, a single business-class round-trip flight between New York and Los Angeles is responsible for the same global warming impact as operating the average car for 3 months! Purchasing carbon offsets empowers individual travelers to reduce their contribution to climate change.

What is The Good Traveler?

The Good Traveler is a first-of-its-kind program that brings leading airports together to offer their passengers an easy way to mitigate their environmental impact. An airport-led nonprofit collaboration, The Good Traveler offers a convenient, affordable, and meaningful step travelers can take to address climate change. Since its inception, The Good Traveler has offset over 23 million passenger miles!

How does The Good Traveler work?

The Good Traveler brings together leading airports to offer a simple carbon offsetting option for their passengers, who can offset their flight through The Good Traveler’s website or, in some cases, right in the airport terminal. Funds from offset sales support emissions-reducing projects in communities across the country. Every offset sold through The Good Traveler is third-party verified to be of the highest quality.

How does my individual purchase make an impact?

The Good Traveler program aggregates funds from all individual user purchases. When funds reach a threshold related to a purchase minimum of 1,000 metric tons, The Good Traveler then purchases certified carbon offsets from Anew. By aggregating user funds and purchasing in bulk, it allows The Good Traveler funds to go further by purchasing offsets at cost-effective volumetric based pricing.

How is The Good Traveler different from other offset providers?

The Good Traveler is the first airport-based offset provider. By partnering with airports and their local communities, The Good Traveler is able to provide a simple and sustainable solution for airport customers. It is also the only offset program dedicated to accelerating the decarbonization of the aviation industry. The program achieves this by combining regional, place-based, climate mitigation projects with long-term aviation industry travel emission reductions.

Who administers The Good Traveler?

The Good Traveler is operated by Jet-Set Offset.

How can I contact The Good Traveler?

Email us with any questions or comments at [email protected]. We’re here to help!

What projects does The Good Traveler support?

You can learn more about our project portfolio on the “Projects” page on The Good Traveler’s website. When selecting projects, The Good Traveler looks for sound climate science, robust third-party verification, and benefits to communities.

How do I know how much to buy?

We use a robust estimate of 344 lbs. of CO2 for 1000 miles of air travel. The exact amount of carbon for your flight will depend on your seat class, how full the flight is, weather, aircraft type, and a number of other factors. If you are interested in exploring more about flight emissions, a good resource is the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Carbon Emissions Calculator, available here.

Can I use The Good Traveler if I live outside the United States?

Yes! Anybody can offset their travel through The Good Traveler, even if your home airport is not one of our current partners.

How will my purchase appear on my credit card statement?

Your offset purchase will appear as “JetSetOffset ThGdTrvlr” on your credit card statement.

How many emission reductions has The Good Traveler supported to date?

The program is monitored and offsets are retired yearly on behalf of our Good Traveler partners. Take a look at your support to date.