Is flying environmentally-friendly? No. In fact, if you've ever checked out your personal carbon footprint, flying is quite possibly the worst thing on your list. Now that it's summer vacation season, we think staycations and short regional trips are a great idea. But if you want to go farther afield, picking the airlines with the best environmental performance is smart. Here are the top choices:
Virgin America is the most eco-friendly airline, according to a new scorecard by Greenopia. Part of the reason Virgin ranks best is because all of its fleet is less than two years old, and the newer planes are much more fuel-efficient. When you get on board, you can offset your carbon emissions through the touch-screen in front of you.
Virgin's better at recycling in-flight waste than other airlines, and also offers local and organic food on some flights. Virgin is also one of the anchor tenants in San Francisco Airport's upcoming Terminal 2, which plans to get LEED Silver certification, offer preferred parking to hybrid cars, and even have slow food vendors in the terminal (hard to imagine good airport food, but that would make us happy on several levels).
If Virgin America doesn't fly where you're going, try Alaska Airlines or Continental, which were next on Greenopia's list.
(Image: Flickr member brewbooks)