Travellers can off-set their CO2 emissions using self-service kiosks at SFO International Airport

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Pictures courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle and CleanTechnica

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has installed self-service kiosks that enable passengers to offset the carbon emissions of their flight. Three so-called ‘Climate Passport’ kiosks are located beyond security checkpoints in the domestic and international terminals. The touch screen kiosks determine how many pounds of carbon dioxide a trip will produce, and then calculate the sum an environmentally conscious traveler should contribute reduce greenhouse gases.

Paying at the kiosks is relatively simple. Travelers enter their flight’s origin and destination, their number of passengers and whether they plan to fly round-trip. The machine then calculates a fee that can be paid via credit card to counteract the carbon emitted into the atmosphere during their trip. The kiosk shows how many pounds of carbon dioxide each passenger is responsible for, then charges USD13.50 per ton of emissions. For example, a passenger flying round-trip from San Francisco to JFK in New York would be responsible for offsetting 3,824 pounds of carbon dioxide at a cost of USD23.42. For every USD13.50 collected, USD12 goes toward reforestation efforts to suck up carbon dioxide at the 23,780-acre Garcia River Forest in Mendocino County, California, and USD1.50 helps fund San Francisco’s green initiatives, which thus far has helped fund a biodiesel business and tree plantings in the city.

The voluntary program for travelers is the first of its kind among U.S. airports. According to San Francisco airport: “We felt it was a good public service for our passengers and for the environment”. The airport anticipates the kiosks will take a while to catch on, and will monitor purchases made at the machines monthly. Travelers can also access the Climate Passport program through SFO’s website (http://sfo.3degreesinc.com). In May 2007, Eindhoven Airport, a regional airport in the Netherlands, was the first airport in the world to install a CO2 offset kiosk.

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