Travel author – TV personality – tour operator Rick Steves recently announced his company is pledging $1 million each year as a carbon tax.
Many of us travel frequently, if not at least somewhat regularly. Should we pay our own carbon taxes?
The Rick Steves Carbon Tax
Steves writes that “every international flight emits damaging carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to the climate crisis.” But instead of shaming people into not traveling or complaining about frequent flyers somehow ruining everything, Steves takes a different approach.
“Staying home isn’t the answer,” he declares. So he’s pledging a million bucks annually of his tour company’s profits, which is apparently very lucrative. (Note to self: launch The Rene’s Points Travel and Tours company.)
“The recommended carbon offset for a roundtrip flight to Europe is $30,” Travel + Leisure’s Cailey Rizzo notes. “Because Rick Steves Europe takes approximately 30,000 travelers to the continent every year, that would add up to $900,000 in annual offsets. The company is rounding up to an even $1 million.”
Steves explains the money goes to “a portfolio of carefully selected nonprofits that fight climate change through government advocacy and on-the-ground work. Our goal: to pay our fair share of the environmental cost that our travelers incur, and to do so in a way that empowers communities throughout the developing world.”
Do Impose a Carbon Tax on Yourself?
I applaud Mr. Steves for putting his money where his mouth is.
Should we fellow travel enthusiasts do something similar? Or should it be left solely to travel providers?
Delta, for its part, has been at least somewhat environmentally active. The Nature Conservancy points out the mothership was the first US airline to launch a carbon offset program. The airline reports they’ve purchased over 12 million tons of carbon offsets “MORE THAN ANY OTHER GLOBAL CARRIER,” they proudly tout. Delta is also investing in a biofuel made from forest floor debris.
That being said, do you somehow atone for the carbon footprint produced by your travels? Do you feel you should? If so, what and how?
Please share your thoughts in the Comments section.
Cover photo credit: ©iStock.com/SCI_InDy
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.