There’s more to flying than carbon emissions

When soot particles from jet engine exhaust attach to water molecules in the sky they create contrail cirrus – high-altitude clouds that can spread over vast distances. They contribute to climate change by trapping heat coming off the earth. If air travel increases as forecast, the contrail effect will become even more potent than the carbon dioxide impact of flying.

Read the study(external link)

Choosing not to fly is the most significant thing most of us can do to reduce our personal carbon footprint.

3 ways to reduce your impact

  1. 1

    Do business online

    Hold business meetings online or by video conference saves time and stress as well as flight emissions.
  2. 2

    Holiday at home

    Take a break in New Zealand to enjoy a gorgeous country without jetlag, support local industry and save a load of carbon emissions. One person’s return trip to Australia can generate nearly a tonne of emissions, the equivalent of driving the length of New Zealand in a petrol car.
  3. 3


    Balance out your flying emissions by funding programmes to remove or reduce their impact. Most airlines have a programme - you can opt in when you book your flight or choose a different emission offsetting service.

    Air New Zealand offset calculator(external link)

  • How much does it cost to offset?

    Offsetting flight emissions is good value for feels. Depending on the type of offset you buy, a Wellington-Auckland flight can cost between $1 and $4. A Wellington-London flight can cost between $50 and $160.

  • Where does the offset money go?

    Different offset providers offer a range of carbon-reducing projects such as preserving forests, increasing biodiversity, recovering methane from landfills and building renewable energy.

  • What makes a good offset?

    A good offset is one you trust will make a difference. To make sure your money ultimately goes to worthwhile projects, look for certifications by auditors or standards groups like the The Gold Standard or Green-e.

  • Tell people what you’re doing

    Small choices by many people make big things happen. Tell others about the changes you make – the ripple effect could lead to positive changes on a grand scale.

More information