Carbon-friendly: Erin Clugston, of Lennox Head, at the Ballina - Byron airport supports the carbon offset fee when she purchases airline tickets.
Carbon-friendly: Erin Clugston, of Lennox Head, at the Ballina - Byron airport supports the carbon offset fee when she purchases airline tickets. David Nielsen

Airport top in carbon-offset

MORE passengers flying into Ballina-Byron airport chose to offset their carbon emissions than any other Jetstar airport, according to the airline’s figures.

A list released this week showed 19.2 per cent of people flying with Jetstar into the Ballina-Byron airport between September 2007 and June 2008 opted to fork out the extra $2.50 for carbon neutral travel.

This percentage was head-and-shoulders above the next carbon-friendly destination, Hobart, which had 12.35pc of incoming passengers electing to buy carbon-offset tickets.

The Avalon-Geelong airport ranked third with 11.31pc.

Out of the 16 Australian Jetstar airport destinations, the Gold Coast was positioned 13th, with only 9.3pc of incoming passengers going green. At the bottom of the carbon-friendly ladder was Fraser Coast, with only 8.18pc opting for carbon offsets.

For Erin Clugston, of Lennox Head, who yesterday flew to Canberra to meet family in Cooma, forking out the extra $2.50 was preferable to paying credit card transaction fees.

“I prefer to pay for a carbon-neutral ticket because it’s better for the environment. It doesn’t seem like a lot of money compared to other charges,” she said.

According to Jetstar, if a customer chooses to offset the flight, their contribution is directed towards one of several government-approved Greenhouse Friendly Abatement projects.

However, some passengers are sceptical of where the extra fee goes.

Byron Bay tourist Mitch Hale, from Sydney, said until the airlines could prove the money wasn’t ‘just going into their own bottom line’, he wouldn’t be contributing.

Many young flyers drawn to Byron Bay last year by the Splendour in the Grass festival chose to fly green. More than 2899 festival-goers opted to buy a carbon-offset festival ticket and more than $17,000 was invested in renewable wind farm generation.

This year the festival is offering carbon-offset tickets for $3.



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