Does Private Jet + Around the World = Green?
Photo: GJC1 on Flickr
using Creative Commons
At first I thought it must be an April Fool's joke. A green round-the-world trip by private jet? But Safari Air, the company behind this supposedly eco-friendly venture, is serious. They think that by simply offsetting the carbon emissions of the flights, their passengers' consciences will be clear. Think again.
Responsible travel is about a light footprint. A trip by private jet is anything but. The eight passengers who will fit on board Safari Air's Gulfstream IV would do much better to book economy-class tickets on a commercial airline: The more bodies you pack onto a plane, the fewer the harmful emissions per passenger. I also wish Safari Air's itinerary involved a little more time at each destination; as is, tour participants will jump from one iconic sight to the next (the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids) in just three weeks, as if these were merely items on a to-do list. Will they witness the gut-wrenching poverty just outside the gates of the Taj Mahal, or will they be whisked from their five-star hotel to the Taj's back entrance in an air-conditioned Mercedes, every beggar kept more than arm's reach away?
The only thing green about Safari Air's round-the-world trip is the price tag: $144,500 per person. For that kind of money, you could take a completely comfortable and much more green trip with one of the honorees in Condé Nast Traveler's World Savers Awards . . . and still have enough left over to build a school in Tanzania or a medical clinic in Indonesia.
* Carbon offset kiosks are coming to SFO
* Join the Condé Nast Traveler Challenge and tell us how travelers can contribute meaningfully to the lives of local people
* Responsible Traveler: Making a difference