Is There Such A Thing As Ethical Flying?

The ethical consumer has a confession to make. She has the travel bug. Bad.

Yes, I know flying is not environmentally friendly, and yet, it is still something I continue to do. I love to travel, and have traveled since I was a small baby. As much as I am willing to give up other things (I've gone with no heat or a/c for a year when I lived in LA, I've gone a year buying no clothes whatsoever, I've severely cut down on meat), traveling is something I am not willing to give up.

So, over the years I've come up with a few strategies to make flying ... if not eco, at least a little less environmentally damaging.

1. I order vegetarian meals on the airline instead of meat.

2. I fill up my water bottle at the fountain at the airport, instead of drinking bottled water.

3. I try to fly non-stop since its more fuel efficient.

4. I minimize my baggage and thus the weight on the plane.

5. I use the toilet before I get on the plane. The energy used to flush an airplane toilet is equivalent to the amount of energy used for a car to run for 10 kilometers!

6. I offset my flight. Yes offsets are controversial, but I figure that it's better than doing nothing. (For those that are curious, my offset company of choice is Native Energy.)

7. I try using alternate means of travel where possible. When I went to Amsterdam earlier this year, I took the ferry. Although it took considerably longer, I slept overnight on the boat, saved myself on a room for the night, and docked in the Netherlands remarkably rested. Plus, it was inexpensive! When I traveled from Paris to Nice, I took a 12 hour train ride overnight, but I met some really amazing people on the train.

8. When I land in a new place, I try to use public transit or my own two feet as much as possible. It's amazing how many cool things you will get to know about a city when taking their public transit or walking.

So, those are my tips for making your next travel experience, if not green, at least a little greener. What are your tips?