by Ariel Miller

If you are planning a trip by plane, consider using ESRAG’s Flight Carbon Estimator and making a donation to The Rotary Foundation to support Rotary projects that reduce carbon emissions. By doing this, you’re increasing your awareness and turning it into action. Goal 4 of Rotary’s environmental global grant guidelines lists an array of eligible carbon reduction projects including solar power, sustainable transportation systems and cleaner cookstoves.

Type (The Rotary Foundation) into your browser.

This Raise for Rotary/Carbon Compensation Fund is the brainchild of past ESRAG director Larry Hands (Madison, WI, US) and Northfield, Minnesota Rotarians Bruce Morlan and Jesse Steed. “26,000 Rotarians travel every year to the Rotary International Convention,” says Morlan. “At a contribution of even $100 per attendee, that could raise $2.6 million to put towards real programs to reduce emissions. Repeat annually!” These donations are fully tax-deductible for US taxpayers.

While the cost of offsetting the harm done by a tonne of CO2 is $200-$300, Morlan says, this compensation program is “a way for conscientious Rotarians who are concerned about the environment to contribute to action to reduce carbon emissions.”

To use the calculator, all you need to enter is the total duration of your air travel, the number of flight segments (since takeoff and landing add emissions), and the seat class. First class uses more space and accounts for a greater portion of the flight’s emissions. The calculator offers two levels of donation: basic ($10 USD per tonne) and premium ($30 USD per tonne). “It’s easy. It’s there. Use it!” says Steed.