FAQs

What is a carbon offset?

A carbon offset is an official recognition of the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Many industrial, commercial, and agricultural activities produce carbon dioxide emissions. When a project developer implements a project that reduces the amount of emissions stemming from an activity, or undertakes a reforestation project that removes CO2 from the atmosphere, these projects can generate carbon offsets.

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.

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 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.

How can we reduce aviation industry emissions?

Aircraft manufacturers and airlines have focused on efficiency for decades. Fuel is the single largest cost and reducing aircraft weight, minimizing drag, flying smart and maximizing seat sales combine to provide fuel economy at, or better than, hybrid electric cars on per passenger basis. Cost effective efficiency actions have mostly been deployed. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) are the next source of carbon reduction. SAF supply is limited and RMI is working on new ways to advance this technology. When SAF supply is viable The Good Traveler will offer this option to passengers.

Who administers The Good Traveler?

The Good Traveler is operated by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). RMI’s mission is to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and low-carbon future. The Sustainable Aviation team at RMI is forging innovative partnerships with airports to decarbonize the aviation industry. Learn more here.

How can I contact The Good Traveler?

Email us with any questions or comments at info@thegoodtraveler.org. 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 “RMI - TheGoodTraveler” on your credit card statement.