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Wild Blue (Green) Yonder

CB009686You already comparison shop for the best airfares, perhaps making decisions based on where you have frequent flyer miles, or who has onboard Internet, or who will still give you a pillow without charging…but another element worth considering when booking air travel is the environmental responsibility of the company. Jet fuel does enormous damage to the world when it burns—you’d be hard pressed to find a more dramatic way consumers directly create a crusty carbon footprint.

Green America is a non-profit organization working to harness consumer power, our power, to mandate and create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Through Green America’s website for concerned consumers, Responsible Shopper, you can find any number of vetted copanies who are rated for their global responsibility. There is now a section for air travel: What company violated drug test requirements for pilots and flew improperly maintained aircraft? What airline passed measures of environmental, human rights, labor, ethics & governance, and health & safety issues with flying colors? (hint for this last one: Southwest and Virgin. Last place: United). Which airlines are actively reducing emissions or received high scores from the Human Rights Campaign?

It makes a difference, and it’s not just travel providers on whom you can check up. Companies are listed and ranked on in the following categories:  agribusiness; airlines; appliances; athletic wear; automobile; banking/financial; beauty and body care; beverage/water; big box retailer; big pharma; booksellers; chemicals; cleaning products; clothing; coffee; computer/electronics; department stores; electric utilities; electronics; fast food; food; gas/oil; home improvement/building; Internet; mass media (TV, radio, film); supermarkets; tires; tobacco; and toys/games.

Look it up before you buy and let your dollars talk.