San Diego Airport program offsets flight miles for climate change

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San Diego Airport's Good Traveler program has offset approximately 11.5 million flight miles since its establishment in September 2015, the airport announced Thursday.

Meanwhile, SeaTac airport in Seattle and Austin-Bergstrom Airport in Texas have newly signed on to the initiative.

Under the Good Traveler program, fliers purchase credits to offset the carbon emissions of their trip. A $1 credit offsets 500 miles of air travel. The offsets can be purchased either online or at Ryan Bros. Coffee outlets within the airport.

Money from the offsets goes toward conservation programs in the U.S. and Africa. The U.S. programs include an Oklahoma wind farm, a forestry protection project in Northern California and restoration of the Colorado River Delta. In Africa, funds go toward forest and habitat conservation projects in the Congo and Zambia. Online purchasers can choose to direct their funds either to the African or U.S. projects.

Brendan Reed, San Diego Airport's director of environmental affairs, hailed the Good Traveler program in a statement Thursday.

"With every mile we offset, we're making a tangible contribution to the fight against climate change," he said.

Port of Seattle commissioner Stephanie Bowman said that SeaTac's entry into Good Traveler is part of the port's effort to reduce carbon emissions by 50%.

"Passengers can be personally involved in reducing their carbon footprint through an easy-to-use, intuitive offsetting program designed specifically for air travelers," she said.

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