Starting today, eco-conscious travelers through San Francisco’s International Airport (airport code: SFO) will be able to purchase carbon offsets for their flight right on the way to their gate! The Climate Passport program is making it super simple for even the most busy passengers to reduce the impact of their flights by conveniently placing carbon offset kiosks in the airport after security on both sides of the International Terminal and in Terminal 3. The offsets will go to support tree planting projects in the San Francisco area.

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Since air travel is sometimes unavoidable and emissions from flying are so high, the only way to mitigate that environmental impact is to offset the impact through other projects. The city of San Francisco and SFO have partnered with 3Degrees, a San Francisco-based carbon firm, to provide this convenient service to travelers. After significant research and study, San Francisco chose to source their offsets from the Garcia River Forest, a conservation-based forest management project located in Mendocino County, California. This forest was previously heavily deforested and carbon offset purchases will help bring back Redwood and Douglas fir trees, restore and protect habitats, and absorb and store CO2.

Additionally some of the sales will go to the San Francisco Carbon Fund, which will develop other carbon reduction projects in the area. The first project is Dogpatch Biofuels, a biofuels filling station, which will reduce as much as 660,000 pounds of CO2 in its first year of operation. Funding will also go to help plant trees around the city. It’s great that SF chose local projects that people can actually see and enjoy the benefits of. In a few years, people will be able to walk in the Garcia River Forest or around the city and see new, growing trees and know that their money is funding that.

Mayor Gavin Newsom himself made the announcement today via a post on Cleantechnica (we didn’t know he was a blogger!), and would also like to encourage travelers to use public transportation to get to the airport. They also have a lovely website where you can learn more about the Climate Passport program and where your money goes. Keep up the good transparency SF.

+ San Francisco International Airport