This travel planner helps you cut down the climate impact of your holidays

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Earlier this week, I published a story about Doconomy, a Swedish mobile banking service that shows customers the environmental impact of their purchases. Doconomy’s vision is that in 10 years or so it will be normal to buy products considering not only their price and quality but also their carbon footprint.

In a way, Dutch startup Green Tickets aims to do the same for travel planning. Founded in Amsterdam by 26-year-old Jeppe Bijker, Green Tickets, which is still in its beta phase, offers travelers the possibility to calculate the climate impact of their European trips alongside other more usual factors like duration, price, and comfort. The planner allows comparing different modes of transportation including plane, train, car, bus, and ferry.

But Green Tickets isn’t only about calculating the climate impact of your journey. On their website, it’s also possible to compensate for the carbon footprint of your trips by supporting a CO2 offsetting scheme. Green Tickets’ offsetting scheme supports Terra Clear, an organization that promotes clean water access for rural communities in Laos by producing and distributing ceramic water filters.

If you’re wondering what’s the link between the CO2 emissions of your flight to Paris and contaminated water in Laos, the answer is not “it’s the butterfly effect, baby” but that over 80% of Laotian households must still boil their water to make it safe to drink. To boil the water, they need to burn wood, and to burn wood they need to chop down trees. As you may remember from primary school, trees take CO2 from the air and use it to produce oxygen, thus distributing water filters to halt deforestation is an effective way to tackle carbon emissions.

In this time of “fygskam” and “tågskryt” (“flight shame” and “train brag” in Swedish), it’s easy to imagine that an eco-friendly travel planner like Green Tickets will be able to carve out a niche for itself in the market. And it’d be even more impactful if larger route planners like Google Maps followed suit, showing the carbon footprint of your trips (there’s already a browser extension that does that but it’d obviously be better if it was a built-in feature of Google Maps across all platforms).

However, it’s evident that, if we want to effectively tackle the problem of transport pollution and in particular aviation pollution, we can’t rely just on a bunch of conscious travelers that have the time and money to shun flights.

We also need policy changes (and this is the spirit of Sail to the Cop, a sailing trip to the UN Conference Cop25 in Chile, promoted by, among others, Green Tickets’ co-founder Jeppe Bijker) and, above all, technological developments that could make aircraft more efficient and aviation, one of the greatest human achievements, more sustainable.

Jeppe Bijker is gonna speak at our event on sustainable travel on the 17th of June at TQ, Amsterdam. Wanna know how to #flykinder? Then secure your seat here

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    2) MushLabs
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    3) Legendairy Foods
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    4) Greenwise
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