Should You Cancel Your Travel Plans to Cut Carbon Emissions?

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Stephanie is a cherished member of the Sampling America writing team, dedicated to crafting captivating narratives that transport readers to thrilling adventures across the country and beyond.

In recent months, it’s come out that certain celebrities and high-powered CEOs are responsible for some outlandish pollution levels due to the excess consumption it takes to keep a mansion functioning, and most notably, hundreds of private jet flights.

For decades, governmental initiatives have told regular citizens to curtail any emission-causing behavior, take a bike to work instead of a car, use paper straws, and cut air travel to a minimum.

However, when it was released that a small number of people in society are responsible for the vast amount of carbon emissions, it begs the question, should regular people cut travel plans to save the environment?


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According to a recent article published in the journal Global Environmental Change, only 1% of the population is responsible for 50% of all carbon emissions, and a big part is air travel.

The rich and famous are well known for jet hopping for any small occasion, with celebs like Taylor Swift and Kylie Jenner receiving criticism for taking their private jets to get across town for a cup of coffee.

Private Jet
Image Credit: Instagram @swmexclusive.

These celebs have been labeled “super emitters,” researchers state that aviation emissions caused an estimated $100 billion in damage to the climate in 2018, with an average of 35,000 miles per year traveled.

These facts will probably sound outrageous to the average person, who, in a good year, might fly the 4,000 miles from the U.S. to Europe for a trip that took them months to save for.

These research findings show that the average person is not responsible for a dramatic amount of carbon emissions and, thus, environmental damage.

For now, your travel plans are safe. Curtailing your travel activities most likely will not cause considerable damage to the environment.

While it’s always beneficial to practice good environmental practices, it’s also important to think critically about who and what is causing the bulk of the damage.

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