San Francisco International Airport has just unveiled its new “Climate Passport” program, which allows passengers to purchase carbon offsets for their flights.   The program works by travelers visiting one of the 3 kiosks inside of the terminal or going online to, travelers will input the number of miles their trip will cover, how long it will take and the number of passengers they play to buy offsets for.  The kiosk and/or website then can calculate the carbon footprint of the flight.  Once the amount of Verified Emission Reductions is set, 3Degrees – the local San Francisco carbon and renewable energy marketing firm that manages the Climate Passport kiosks, “sources carbon offsets from The Conservation Fund’s Garcia River Forest Project and the San Francisco Carbon Fund, to ensure an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases has been reduced. ”

The cost of offsetting your carbon footprint can be anywhere for a few bucks for local flights up to $70 for international travel.  Contributors get a certificate that indicates  what preservation effort their money is going towards.

The initial reviews of the program are mixed, as people don’t really have a concrete explanation of where their money is going, even though a certificate is printed.  But the airport is excited about being the guinea pig because they believe that whether or not travelers donate to the program, the Climate Passport undoubtedly raises awareness about the environmental impact of flying.

Will you contribute the next time you are flying out of SFO? I know I am definitely going to check it out next time I am there.  If you have any thoughts, we want to hear from you!

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