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It seems as if the whole world is going green… from food to transport, clothes to electronic devices…Everything and everyone is adapting the eco-friendly mission. 

A general belief: the world is getting polluted through the emission of dangerous gases through vehicles.

Can we literally put a halt to travelling???? 

Definitely NO…..Although, the measures of riding a bike, walking or taking trains are prevalent almost everywhere but, is it enough????

In this fast-paced life we need to cross the oceans now and then and that too quickly, never wish to limit the vacations to nearby locations.

Getting concerned about the aviation’s carbon foot-print??? We all should be!

Your true travel companion Alexa Travel is going to give an insight into how air travel is accountable for global warming and what’s needed to combat this.

Do you know that Air transport is the major cause of the greenhouse effect emitting harmful gases like nitrogen oxide (the biggest source of greenhouse gas)? So, this public transport is not an eco-friendly option? The discharge during air travel causes more damage as compared to the greenhouse gases released at ground level because the Greenhouse gases produced in the upper atmosphere are quite persistent in existence and can hang around for even hundreds of years!!!!! Even the release of water vapor by aircraft exhausts is destructive in itself. As the upper atmosphere is naturally very dry and both water vapor and the ice crystals it sometimes forms, visible as contrails, contributes to the greenhouse effect at this level.

Amid all these the prospects are also a matter of concern. With the expansion in the world’s middle-class population, so does its ability to travel. Hence, the numbers of travellers are expected to double over the next two decades along with the carbon emissions from aviation by about 300 per cent by 2050.

The climate change contributed by the aviation industry faces the consequences with the shifting weather patterns it caused (In 2014 the U.S. had the highest number of cancelled flights in 25 years due to storms), ever-rising temperatures and more intense storms sometimes lead to travel delays.

The gnawing enhances with the emerging of new hashtags from Sweden #flygskamand #flyingshame creating a distressing awareness that you are consuming more than your fair share of the carbon budget.

So, now can we even have a guilt-free plane ride???

The answer is …. YES. As people are getting environmentally conscious so are the airports and airlines. Flying far from the speculations air travel, in fact, one of the most environmentally-friendly ways of travelling with the reported average fuel consumption per transported passenger by an aeroplane is below 4 liters per 100km. 

According to Kelsey Nowakowski, the emission from flights is half as much as they did in 1990; however, still further savings are required to meet the industry’s goal of capping its carbon emissions. 

In order to comply with the global climate policy and to accommodate more passengers in accordance with the predictions, the aviation industry is drastically taking measures in the making of more efficient flying machines by investing in following measures.

  •   New technology- Airplanes are upgrading with every generation to a more environment-friendly fleet. As the Older aircraft use more kerosene there are plenty of ways old planes can be spruced up. With the invent of new technology there is an obvious improvement in engine diminishing the emission of carbon-di-oxide to 80% since the first jet aircraft, Winglets can be added on to the end of wings to reduce drag and fuel consumption by 6 per cent and use eco-friendlier materials to make planes lighter (lighter planes burns less fuel) through creative means, like installing carbon fiber seats, cutting back on magazines, buying lighter beverage carts and removing in-flight phones.
  • Alternative fuels- An obvious substitute for the fuel emitting hazardous gases is a clean source of electricity. Several companies have taken initiative for this and are working on fully functioning small electric planes.
    • Airbus is designing the E-Fan X hybrid-electric jet, based on the BAE 146, which can accommodate approximately 100 passengers. The goal is to take a short-haul flight by 2021 with the replacement of one of four jet engines with an electric motor.
    • Horizon Aircraft is making a prototype of a five-seater hybrid-electric plane aiming the range of 1,500 kilometers with the operation through batteries and regular gasoline instead of jet fuel.

Nevertheless, commendable and fascination efforts are put into the eradication of contamination in air through air transport, but the electric measures are inappropriate for the long haul flights. So, for long haul replacing fossil fuel-based jet fuel is replaced with alternative fuels, like biofuels which can be derived from plants (KLM flew a passenger jet from the Netherlands to Paris on biofuel gathered from meat processing operations).

Operational advances- the usage of enhanced weather-sensing technology along with optimal altitudes and speeds are effective in minimizing the consumption of fuel as well as carbon-di-oxide emission without any modification in the plane’s design. The Replacement of preset flight plans with real-time updates is proven to be advantageous in fuel combustion as it allows aircraft to better avoid storms and take advantage of favorable winds (1.4 tons of carbon-di-oxide is saved per flight with the aid of flexible navigation system).

The improvisation in airport design like the installation of solar panels (100 airports installed solar panels) in addition to ground-control operations the discharge of dangerous gases can be diminished.

The preventive measures taken by the air transportation system are effectively outweighing the detrimental effects not to forget the pros of comfort and time saving, moreover, the advancement in technology is making every effort possible to curb the environmental damage.

Some airlines are providing (or future provider) green travel to you. These are Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Airlines, American Airlines, KLM, JetBlue, United Airlines, Easyjet, Cathay Pacific, Ryanair, Flybe, British Airways, Loganair, Qantas, Hi Fly, Virgin Atlantic, Etihad, Ximen Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Cape Air.

Apparently, the aviation industry is working tirelessly to undermine the damages, at the same time it is our duty as responsible natives of planet Earth to take a step forward in this direction. For this, travellers can adopt some measures like carrying along with some stuff like a pillow, water bottle, and utensils that will cut down on the disposable versions of the airline.

Now, each time you hop on the plane have a guilt-free conscious and enjoy your safe and hassle-free journey with the sprinkle of environment friendliness with Alexa Travel.

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